In this definitive history, a key figure in the People's Campaign in Kerala provides a unique insider's account of one of the world's most extensive and successful experiments in decentralization. Launched in 1996, the campaign mobilized over 3 million of Kerala's 30 million people and resulted in bottom-up development planning in all 1,052 of its villages and urban neighborhoods. The authors tell a powerful story of mass mobilization and innovation as bureaucratic opposition was overcome, corruption and cynicism were rooted out, and parliamentary democracy prevailed. Considering both the theoretical and applied significance of the campaign in the context both of India's development since independence and of recent international debates about decentralization, civil society, and empowerment, the book provides invaluable lessons for sustainable development worldwide.
T. M. Thomas Isaac is a member of the Kerala State Legislative Assembly from the Mararikulam Constituency. Richard W. Franke is professor of anthropology at Montclair State University.
1 Chapter 1. Decentralization, Democracy, and Development: The Kerala Experiment 2 Behind the Campaign: Political Vision, Civil Society, and the Kerala Model 3 Phase 1: the Grama Sabhas-Identifying Local Needs 4 Phase 2: PDRs and Seminars-What Is to Be Done? 5 Phase 3: Task Forces Prepare the Projects 6 Phase 4: Elected Councils Formulate the Plans 7 Phase 5: Planning Up Instead of Down-The Blocks and Districts 8 Taking Stock: The First Year's Local Plans, 1997-1998 9 From People's Planning to Plan Implementation 10 The Great Laboratory 11 From Experiment to Institution: The Plans and the Campaign, 1998-2001 12 The Long March Ahead 13 The Kerala Experiment in International Perspective