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The Department for International Development (DFID), UK is providing technical and financial support in implementation of the pre-matric scholarship in the State. Financial support is being provided in the form of a top-up scholarship amount to girl beneficiaries.

Odisha Girls’ Incentive Programme (OGIP) was started as a pilot initiative in the district of Rayagada, Odisha in March 2012 with support from DFID. Meanwhile, Government of India announced the Pre Matric Scholarship Scheme for SC and ST boys and girls studying in classes 9 and 10 in September 2012. DFID is now supporting the State government of Odisha in implementing the national scheme, as a conditional cash transfer scheme, across all recognised schools in all the 30 districts of the State. The conditionality is based on achievement of 70 per cent attendance each month.

To provide implementation support DFID selected a Technical Assistance agency through an international bidding process. DFID is providing implementation support to develop a state of the art system to deliver scholarship directly to the beneficiaries’ bank account on monthly basis including school survey, opening of bank accounts, facilitating issue of caste certificates, setting up IT platform and centralised MIS system, attendance tracking, rigorous community mobilisation, tracking of girls dropping out and counselling of girls who were failing to meet attendance requirements. Apart from setting up systems for proper targeting and timely payment of the scholarship, a range of complimentary initiatives to maximise the benefits of the pre-matric scholarship scheme are also being implemented on pilot basis.

The purpose of this programme is to drive up school attendance and increase completion rates for the disadvantaged students in State in the long term. It is expected that after the first cohort of disadvantaged students have obtained the scholarship successfully, public knowledge about the incentive will help to stem dropout of ST and SC girls and boys during upper primary school. The specific objectives of the DFID supported programme are:
  • To improve transition of SC/ST children from grade 8 to 9 and grade 9 to 10
  • To improve attendance rates of SC/ST  children in grade 9 and 10
  • To increase the graduation rates of SC and ST children to higher secondary education (i.e. from grade ten to eleven)
  • Financial inclusion of SC/ST girls and boys – own bank accounts
  • To improve  community and household attitudes towards girls and boys secondary education
  • Build robust evidence and contribute to global knowledge
  • Build capacities of district and block level functionaries to manage the scholarship programme

DFID has identified a consortium namely, IPE Global (P) Ltd., India Development Foundation (IDF) and Mastek Ltd. to manage technical assistance for implementation of the program.

For the ease of implementation and monitoring purposes, the State has been divided into five zones. The clubbing of districts into zones has been done taking into consideration the spatial contiguity, linguistic differences and balancing the beneficiary load with distance factor. The zones are as follows:

  • North–Baleshwar, Bhadrak, Deogarh, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj

  • East – Angul, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Jagat singhpur, Jajpur, Kendrapara

  • West – Bargarh, Bolangir, Boudh, Jharsuguda, Sambalpur, Sonepur, Sundargarh

  • South–Gajapati, Kalahandi, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabrangpur, Nuapada, Rayagada

  • South East– Ganjam, Kandhamal, Khurda, Nayagarh, Puri

Each zone is headed by a zonal coordinator who is responsible for the implementation of the scheme in the districts assigned to the zone. The zonal coordinator constantly supports the district teams and supervises their work.

The district coordinators are in charge of the districts allocated to them. They coordinate with the government functionaries at the district level for managing the operations. The teams are responsible for maintaining the database of the students in each district. For maintenance of database the district coordinators, district data coordinator and block coordinator work in collaboration. The tasks involve: distribution of application forms, assisting in the opening of bank accounts, issuance of caste certificates, verification of filled applications and data entry in offline software.

These teams are supported by the state team in Bhubaneswar which acts as an interface between the field teams and the state government with the help of Program Management Unit. The state team regularly updates the Department for SC and ST development on the field level activities. They seek approval from the Department for various activities and also seek their intervention to resolve bottlenecks for smooth implementation of activities in the field.

The state team regularly monitors and reviews the field level activities through monthly review meetings. The team travels to the field regularly to oversee the field level activities and provide feedback.

The implementation structure is presented in a diagram below:

DFID is also providing assistance in implementing some of the pilot initiatives such as Safe Transport pilot and Learning Hubs to complement the efforts towards greater participation and completion of Secondary Education by the ST&SC girls. While the Safe Transport Pilot is a small scale project aimed at testing the implementable and scalable models of safe access to schools by girls, the Learning Hub aims at improving the learning achievement and generating self-esteem & confidence among the disadvantaged students with a composite package of resource input, teachers’ training and remediation and reinforcement programme with students and life skill building programme.
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