The authors make the book much easier to be understood by dividing it into three parts. The first two chapters briefly narrate the conditions of n the People’s Campaign in Kerala. The authors provide a theoretical explanation on the developments of the decentralized planning campaign with the progression of the thought of decentralization using India as basis with the support of past events.
The first two chapters of the book also show the details regarding the implementation of decentralization on two other Indian states (Karnataka and West Bengal) with the effort to discuss the differences of the Kerala decentralization implementation to the other states. The next four chapters of the book, Chapters 3-7, provide an account of the methods that were used on the decentralization campaign in Kerala.
The authors explain on this part of the book the idea of grama sabha together with its functionin the planning for democratization. The authors define ‘grama sabha’ as the ‘Village Assembly’ which is primarily the organization of all the members of the village with the goal of clarifying issues on the village and designing plans of improving the local community. The authors provide an explanation on what influences the involvement of the local people in the grama sabhas.
This part of the book also narrates the different actions like seminars and developmental programs which helped the people of Kerala more capable of writing reports. This part of the book also gives details on how the officials of the grama sabha developed their yearly plans and the development by which this method of formulation of plans are brought up to a higher district level plan. The authors also argue that one of the key features of the decentralization campaign in Kerala is the creation of an in-depth database at the local level to formulate plans.
The last part of the book gives the details on the five years of the Kerala decentralization campaign. This part of the book details the procedures on how the resources in Kerala are distributed and also the process of identifying the priorities on the local community. The authors also explain on this part the on how the local community has been successful in utilizing their resources.
The authors also identify some of the positive factors on the development of the decentralization campaign such as the success with the participation of the people. Some of the difficulties are also identified in the execution plan like the problem of corruption. The book successfully narrates that some key factors of the success for the decentralization process are the support from the government and the lawmaking amendments passed to institutionalize the planning procedure.
Unlike the first parts of the book, the authors compare the course of decentralization of Kerala to that of other countries. Just like the author said, the approach of the Kerala decentralization campaign is much more realistic and sound than the IMF/World Bank model of decentralization. Upon reading the book, the reader might say that the Kerala experiment on decentralization can be considered as an alternative to the IMF/World Bank’s globalization programs by other third-world countries.