The Meghalaya Basin Development Authority (MBDA) is a Society registered under the Societies Registration Act 1860. Set up in March 2011 and headed by the Chief Secretary, Government of Meghalaya its Registered Office is situated at Nongrim Hills, Shillong. MBDA aims to address management of natural resources in the state while addressing issues of livelihoods among the rural communities with emphasis on sustainable good practices. Its strategies focus on leveraging the strengths of the land while adapting to climate change, without degradation to the environment.
MBDA follows a citizen centric approach and designs its interventions around the needs of the people. It focuses on collecting demands of the citizens and creating necessary eco-systems to facilitate
developmental actions based on these demands. MBDA does not provide subsidies or schemes; instead, citizens are encouraged to undertake profitable activities and generate their own livelihoods. Since partnership promotes ownership and accountability, each citizen working with MBDA are known as “Partners” rather than “Beneficiaries”, this further ensures sustainability of interventions. Citizens are provided with technical and non-technical support to pursue livelihood activities of their choice.
The Four Pillars of MBDA
The programmes of MBDA leave space for the choices regarding planning and implementation of demand side initiatives by the citizens and entrepreneurs. It focuses on building a systematic, inclusive framework within which sustainable, inclusive, people-centred development can occur. Its four pillars are:
1. Entrepreneurship Development
2. Natural Resource Management
3. Knowledge Management
4. Good Governance
Finally, grassroots responsibility is implemented through community partners. These include NGOs, community institutions, Social Groups and community volunteers who have been mobilized across the state to spread awareness about critical natural resource challenges in Meghalaya, livelihood opportunities and to collect feedback from communities, to motivate communities to take up an enterprise or natural resources management projects and to help initiate local development projects that can be supported by MBDA.