ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Sounding a Note of Caution

Data on MGNREGA in Tamil Nadu

Official data from the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act website is examined alongside independently collected survey and ethnographic data. The validity of the official data is verifi ed by comparing it to field-level observations. This is done at various levels, and in doing so, it is shown that in certain ways the official mgnrega data is robust. In other very important ways the data is shown to be highly problematic for these particular villages in Tamil Nadu, for which the exercise is done.

This article is based on research carried out as part of British Academy funded research project entitled “India’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme: Livelihoods, Gender and Migration in Tamil Nadu” (SG101559). Rob Cripps was funded through the Junior Research Associate Scheme, University of Sussex. The research would not have been possible without the assistance of our research assistants, Ponnarasu and David. The article has benefi ted from help and comments by Indrajit Roy and Geert De Neve. All mistakes remain our own.

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