Institutional Strengthening of Gram Panchayat Project

isgppPanchayats & Rural Development Department, Government of West Bengal

With the objective to strengthen Gram Panchayat as an institution and improve upon the civic service, the Institutional Strengthening of Gram Panchayats (ISGP) Project was launched by Panchayats and Rural Development Department, Government of West Bengal with financial assistance from the World Bank (IDA) in 2010. The Project covered 1000 (one thousand) selected Gram Panchayats across nine districts in West Bengal namely Bankura (113 GPs), Birbhum (99 GPs), Burdwan (165 GPs), Cooch Behar (76 GPs), Dakshin Dinajpur (39 GPs), Howrah (93 GPs), Nadia (111 GPs), Paschim Medinipur (172 GPs) and Purba Medinipur (132 GPs). The Project will formally close on 30th June 2016.

Project Factsheet


1 Project Cost (based on US Dollar Conversion Rate in 2010) INR 1081 Crore
2 Sanctioned IDA (World Bank) Credit (based on US Dollar Conversion Rate in 2010) INR 920 Crore
3 IDA (World Bank) Disbursement till 31st May 2016 INR 1110 Crore
4 Counterpart Financing from Government of West Bengal till 31st May 2016 INR 494.93 Crore
5 Utilization of IDA (World Bank) fund till 31st May 2016 INR 1110 Crore
6 Utilization of recoupment of forex loss by the State Government till 31st May 2016 INR 47.6 Crore
7 % Utilization of Fund till 31st May 2016 99.57%
8 Districts covered under the Project 9
9 Sub-Divisions covered under the Project 33
10 Blocks covered under the Project 174
11 Gram Panchayats covered under the Project (initially it started with 1000 GPs but later 2 GPs got merged with Municipalities) 998
12 Rural Population covered by the Project 17908134

ISGP Project: Key Achievements & Innovations at a Glance


  • The project has introduced a unique on-site handholding model for capacity building of GPs known as the mentoring model. This is now a nationally acclaimed capacity building model for the Gram Panchayats. The performance of the project GPs in all facets of institutional functioning has been largely attributed to the mentoring support.
  • The project, for the first time, has introduced performance based block grants for the Gram Panchayats. The block grants was discretionary that allowed GPs to plan according to their local needs. The timeliness and predictability of the discretionary block grant further helped GPs in planning and execution of local services. The model had tremendous impact on the performance of the GPs over the years as it not only ensured a performance standard but also induced a healthy competition among the GPs.
  • The project has introduced a unique instrument for Annual Performance Assessment of GP’s performance over the years assessed by a third party every year. This instrument has been recommended by the Fourth State Finance Commission and will applied across all untied grants, such as in CFC, SFC and other block grants.

Key achievements at a glance – financial 2010-11 2015-16
ISGPP Performance (Block) Grant (INR Cr.) 44.08 293.45
Per Capita Performance Grant (INR) 43 138
Per GP Average Disbursement of Performance Grant (INR Lakhs) 4.41 29.35
No. of Gram Panchayats Qualified to receive Performance Grant 483 986
Key achievements at a glance – institutional 2010-11 2015-16
Timely Preparation and Approval of GP Plan and Budget 741 995
Timely Utilization of Untied Grants (SFC, CFC, Block Grant and Own Fund) 483 990
Clean External (CAG) Audit 995 1000
Timely Computerized Accounting and Disclosure in Public Portal (GPMS) 525 998

  • The project institutionalized systems to enhance social inclusion, especially the vulnerable groups, including gender budgeting, transparency and greater accountability for service delivery.
  • In order to strengthen the system of state oversight on Panchayats, ISGP Project has designed, developed and operationalized a web based monitoring of all important parameters of GP’s performance through Web Based Monitoring System.
  • To add a feather to the Web MIS, ISGP Project has launched a web enabled GIS based planning and monitoring system utilizing the satellite technology for geo-tagging of all GP level assets and planned projects in real time. The GIS system is first of its kind in the entire country. In addition, efficiency in service delivery and customer interface have been strengthened, such as efficiency in issuance of computer generated birth and death registration and trade registration
  • The Project has collaborated with Land and Land Reforms Department of the State Government to implement Solid Waste Management initiative at the GP level as an intervention under the Mission Nirmal Bangla. ISGP Project has also started to work in convergence with the Public Health Engineering Department to ensure safe drinking water to each and every rural household throughout the year.
  • The project intervention was reinforced with a strong citizens’ communication drive which included design, development and circulation of key development messages through leaflets, TV commercials, radio spots, wall writings, venue brandings and hoardings. In addition, monthly newsletters (Gram Katha) and quarterly periodicals (Ankur) have been published by the project on contemporary development issues, initiatives, good practices etc. A coffee table book has also been published by the project to share the best practices of the project with the entire state and Government of India. The project has a strong presence in most popular social networking sites like facebook, twitter, linkedin, google plus, pinterest and Instagram. The project has a dedicated portal ( for public disclosure of all relevant reports and documents which also has SMS gateway to communicate the Panchayats instantaneously.
  • ISGP Project has come up with a comprehensive Grievance Redressal Management (GRM) system for the Panchayats in West Bengal which is a major leap towards a long felt need to have an electronic grievance management system with a built in protocol for grievance redressal at every tier of administration. The GRM system would be formally inaugurated by Shri Subrata Mukherjee, Hon’ble Minister-in-Charge, Panchayats & Rural Development Department and Public Health Engineering Department, Government of West Bengal.

Launch of ISGP Project Phase-II

Banking on the remarkable success of ISGP Project Government of India and the World Bank have already approved the preparation of a Second Project for the next five years. The second phase of the project would cover all the 3342 Gram Panchayats spread across 19 districts of the state of West Bengal. The tentative budget for ISGP Project Phase-II is INR 1783 Crore, out of which World Bank assistance will be around INR 1372 Crore and the State Government’s counterpart financing would be INR 411 Crore.