Government tackles state issues

Meghalaya State Capability Forum Launches to Enhance State Capacity

Government moves to address complex issues in state

The state government on Thursday launched the Meghalaya State Capability Forum and got the ball rolling for enhancing state capacity to address complex issues within Meghalaya.

According to a statement on Thursday, the Meghalaya State Capability Forum has been launched under the State Capability Enhancement Project (SCEP) with a three-fold objective — to enable learning and exchange between leaders from Meghalaya, India and the world on key issues of public interest, especially regarding the role of the state, to share Meghalaya’s experience and learnings from a range of initiatives, and to develop new models, approaches and initiatives for enhancing state capability.

Taking to Twitter, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma informed that the Forum is an initiative to “build state capability by bringing together senior state leadership, public officials and civil societies, to engage in dialogues on the most important challenges and opportunities facing the state. Through this, we seek to build a collaborative and empowered public sphere capable of collective problem-solving required to address 21st century challenges.”

Emphasising on the need to focus on efficient delivery mechanisms, Conrad informed that various departments are working towards implementing several programmes with a collaborative approach.
Thursday’s inaugural session was attended by Oxford University Professor, Lant Pritchett, who, during the programme, shared his expertise and provided clarity on building state capability.

It may be mentioned that Pritchett is one of the pioneering thinkers in the field of state capability.
Principal Secretary, Health department, Sampath Kumar, who led the State Capability Enhancement Project (SCEP) team, during the programme, informed that Meghalaya has reaped significant results after applying the principles of state capability to address maternal and infant mortality, malnutrition, climate change and rural development.

“In the process, the state was able to develop its own unique model comprising six important pillars for enhancing the state capability. These include local leadership, citizen-state relationship, effective use of data, accountability and agency, capability through practice (PDIA) and systems thinking. By applying these principles, the aim is to tackle many more complex issues faced by the state,” he said.

Kumar also informed how Meghalaya’s ranking leaped to the second position from the bottom in the national immunisation ranking after achieving 90 per cent child immunisation coverage through collaborative efforts.

It may be mentioned that the first interactive session of the Meghalaya State Capability Forum witnessed participation of cabinet ministers, government officials and officials from the World Bank, members of civil society, among others.

Meghalaya State Capability Forum will see conduct of bi-monthly events with each focussing on a theme of importance for Meghalaya’s development. “A guest speaker, whose work sheds light on the chosen theme, will present and engage in dialogue with practitioners and thought leaders from within Meghalaya and abroad, to exchange ideas and practices for strengthening state capability,” the statement said.