Delivery of Social Protection Entitlements in India: Unpacking Exclusion, Grievance Redress, and the Relevance of Citizen-Assistance Mechanisms

We use an exclusion framework to document the challenges citizens faced in accessing their social protection entitlements during the period of March to November 2020. Using Gram Vaani’s IVR-based database of citizen complaints, the report provides a succinct typology of exclusionary factors in welfare delivery and also describes in rich detail the various resolution pathways that were used by Gram Vaani volunteers to assist excluded citizens. We cover citizens across seven DBT schemes[1], MGNREGA, PDS, and Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) in the states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu. In addition to broad policy recommendations, we also propose a set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that can be a ready reference for community-based institutions, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), or government-run help centres, engaged in citizen assistance in the field of social welfare and accountability.