I am really confused over the state of India’s much hyped poverty alleviation program – NREGA. Some research work/media coverage provides clues but it is all too confusing. The govt says it has worked (for obvious reasons), some say it has stopped migration, some say it is highly inefficient etc etc. I usually get my fodder from either IDB or Urbanomics and Mint newspaper but am not able to draw any conclusions really. One major problem has been to draw lessons from all India experience.
Planning Commission has released a new study on NREGA which helps mitigate some confusion (only some). It uses a survey based approach done by Institute of Applied Manpower Research. The questionnaire covers all the basic issues and objectives of NREGA. It covers 20 districts and has some interesting findings and brings out some regional differences. But report has too little literature and like NSS surveys has many tables etc. So apart from some reported findings, you might need to pore over the tables to draw more results (if interesting please let me know).