The Samagra anti-poverty programme in Madhya Pradesh: integrating household data, overcoming silo-problems and leaving nobody behind.

Aruna Sharma, James Copestake, Michelle James

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


If it is ‘to leave nobody behind’ in pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), then a state requires a comprehensive and continuously updated database of individuals and households within its jurisdiction. Consolidation of this data can also assist in overcoming silo-based fragmentation in state delivery of anti-poverty programmes and services. We explore the feasibility of establishing such a database through an extended case study of Samagra (meaning ‘all comprehensive’) in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. Samagra was developed to facilitate integrated monitoring and management of all major government-to-people (G2P) cash transfers in the state, and (more radically) to support a paradigm shift from a demand-led to an entitlement-based approach to benefit delivery. Samagra is a unified population monitoring system based on continuous recording of household level demographic events, linked both to operational records of participation in diverse G2P programmes and to financial accounts provided by designated financial institutions operating within a five-kilometre radius of each household. The paper offers a practitioner’s account of Samagra’s introduction, including implementation challenges, policy outcomes and issues meriting further research and discussion.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalDevelopment Policy Review
Early online date25 Apr 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Apr 2020

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