This report documents the 1998 village immersion programme (VIP) for World Bank staff organised by the Gandhigram Rural Institute (GRI) in Tamil Nadu, India. The objectives of the programme were to provide an opportunity to the bank staff to immerse themselves in the social reality of villagers by staying in the villages, listening to the villagers, particularly the disadvantaged and women, and learn from them of their concerns and issues that help or hinder their development; and to understand the potential of poor communities to improve their living conditions when they are provided with support and opportunities for development by the government, NGOs and CBOs (community based organisations). The programme was organised in four different villages from the 4th to the 11th of December 1998. The major components of the programme were: orientation on the programme; actual immersion in the villages; visit to NGOs; interaction with the District Collector and development officials; and reflections on the VIP. The report presents some guidelines for immersion; the activities of the VIP; and reflections and observations of facilitators, Bank staff and villagers on the VIP. It also includes details on placements and the programme schedule.
Gandhigram Rural Institute