Kudumbashree – An Introduction

Kudumbashree is the poverty eradication and women empowerment programme implemented by the State Poverty Eradication Mission (SPEM) of the Government of Kerala. The name Kudumbashree in Malayalam language means ‘prosperity of the family’. The name represents ‘Kudumbashree Mission’ or SPEM as well as the Kudumbashree Community Network. What is commonly referred to as ‘Kudumbashree’ could mean either the Kudumbashree Community Network, or the Kudumbashree Mission, or both.

Kudumbashree was set up in 1997 following the recommendations of a three member Task Force appointed by the State government. Its formation was in the context of the devolution of powers to the Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs) in Kerala, and the Peoples’ Plan Campaign, which attempted to draw up the Ninth Plan of the local governments from below through the PRIs.

Kudumbashree has a three-tier structure for its women community network, with Neighbourhood Groups (NHGs) at the lowest level, Area Development Societies (ADS) at the middle level, and Community Development Societies (CDS) at the local government level. The community structure that Kudumbashree accepted is the one that evolved from the experiments in Alappuzha Municipality and Malappuram in early 1990s.

Kudumbashree community network was extended to cover the entire State in three phases during 2000-2002. The Kudumbashree network by 15th March 2017 had 2,77,175 NHGs affiliated to 19,854 ADSs and 1073 CDSs with a total membership of 43,06,976 women. Kudumbashree membership is open to all adult women, limited to one membership per family.

In 2011, the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), Government of India recognised Kudumbashree as the State Rural Livelihoods Mission (SRLM) under the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM).

Kudumbashree Community Network

Kudumbashree is essentially a community network that covers the entire State of Kerala. It consist of a three tier structure with Neighbourhood Groups (NHGs) as primary level units, Area Development Societies (ADS) at the ward level, and Community Development Societies (CDS) at the local government level. It is arguably one of the largest women’s networks in the world. While the community network is formed around the central themes of poverty eradication and women empowerment, its main features include democratic leadership, and support structures formed from the ‘Kudumbashree family’.




Neighbourhood Groups (NHGs)

Kudumbashree is essentially a community network that covers the entire State of Kerala. It consist of a three tier structure with Neighbourhood Groups (NHGs) as primary level units, Area Development Societies (ADS) at the ward level, and Community Development Societies (CDS) at the local government level. It is arguably one of the largest women’s networks in the world. While the community network is formed around the central themes of poverty eradication and women empowerment, its main features include democratic leadership, and support structures formed from the ‘Kudumbashree family’.

Neighbourhood Groups (NHGs) are the primary units of the Kudumbashree community organisation. Ten to twenty women from a neighbourhood form a NHG. The membership, structure, and functions of the NHGs are bound by the byelaws of Kudumbashree CDS.


Membership is open to all adult women, and limited to a single membership per household. If a woman leaves the NHG, another woman from the family can be given membership. Even though membership is limited to one woman per family, other women can also participate in the discussions held at the NHG; they can also attend the training and development programmes that the NHG or ADS organises.

All the poor families are to be members of the NHG formed in that neighbourhood; the economic state of families – whether they are poor or not – is decided based on the standards that the government fixes from time to time.

While membership is open to women of all families, the benefits under government programmes or programmes of other agencies including financial assistance meant for poor families and families belonging to Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) are limited to women from families belonging to these categories. Women whose families have come out of Below-Poverty-Line (BPL) status after taking membership can continue with the membership. Special NHGs can be formed for the people with impaired speech and hearing, visually challenged persons, physically or mentally challenged persons, people who have been tested HIV positive (or AIDS affected), and destitute families. These NHGs are to be formed with the permission of the government and once formed, will enjoy the same status as any NHG.

Special NHGs can be formed for Scheduled Tribe (ST) communities. If necessary, special ADS covering such special NHGs can also be formed with the permission of the State Mission. Special NHGs can also be formed for mothers of mentally-challenged children or those living with people with special needs. Women Self-Help Groups formed under central and State government schemes such as Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY) are accorded the same status as that of NHGs under the Kudumbashree community network and affiliated to the CDS subject to the following conditions.

  1. Such groups agree to abide by the Kudumbashree byelaws.
  2. The groups democratically elect their Executive Committees.
  3. The groups open bank accounts before applying for affiliation.
  4. The groups agree to accept the leadership of local governments.
  5. The groups accept the right and authority of the local governments and CDS in examining the utilisation of the funds that the local governments or CDS allot to the groups. 

Activity groups for taking up economic/ business activities are formed by drawing in members from one or more NHGs; these members will continue to hold their memberships in the respective NHGs and continue to function as other members of the NHGs. The activity groups, however, can claim support under eligible programmes including subsidies.

Membership is given to any woman from the neighbourhood desiring membership in a NHG subject to agreeing to work with the NHG, accepting the byelaws. Once a woman gets membership, she signs in the Membership Register of the NHG.

NHG Structure

The NHG general body includes all its members. NHG elects a five members Executive Committee consisting of the following positions.

  1. President
  2. Secretary
  3. Volunteer (Income generation)
  4. Volunteer (Health and Education)
  5. Volunteer (Infrastructure)

Every NHG elects its Executive Committee in special ‘election general body meeting’ in which only members can participate. Either president or secretary of an NHG has to be compulsorily a member of a poor (BPL) family. Members from APL families can assume both the roles only in case of absence of members from BPL families. Eligibility for election to the position of president and secretary is limited to two consecutive terms. NHG – Functions

The NHGs in the community network performs all the functions of typical Self-Help Groups (SHG) such as conducting regular meetings, running a thrift and credit programme, and maintaining records and books of accounts. In addition, NHGs have development functions for which they work closely with the local governments. Participation in Gram Sabha meetings and other development related meetings is important to them. They also facilitate social audit at the Gram Sabha level. See Annexure 1 for a list of NHG functions.

Weekly Meetings

In the meeting which decided on the formation of a neighbourhood groups, decisions are taken on the day and time for weekly meetings. NHGs are expected to hold the weekly meetings at the houses of members in rotation. All members are to attend meetings regularly; even though a quorum of 75% attendance has been fixed for meetings, 100% attendance is expected.

Thrift and Credit

In the weekly meetings, members deposit the pre-fixed thrift amount with the secretary and get the corresponding figure entered in the passbook and signed. NHG can issue small loans from the group’s savings to its members as per requirement. All decisions are to be taken by consensus or through majority support. All loans are subject to decision of the NHG.

The weekly thrift amount for members is fixed as equal to the weekly savings that the poorest member of the NHG can afford to make. Even though this is the general rule, NHGs may decide to allow reasonable levels of variation in the weekly thrift amount among members. Members who do not have source for savings at all are exempted from weekly savings. However, the exemption is not applicable for membership fee. In the case of those who have been exempted from weekly savings, their exemption does not prevent them from availing subsidies, financial assistance, and other support provided by the government and other agencies.

Once an NHG is formed, it works for three months with regular meetings and savings by members before it starts internal lending. Loans are approved by consensus or majority decision by the group after examining the demands by members put forward in weekly meetings. It is the prerogative of the group to decide on priority. NHG charges interest on loans at rates decided by the group.

Members are expected to keep high level of discipline in repaying their loans in installments as fixed by the NHG. In case of default in repayment, the NHG could resort to the following methods.

  • ——► Motivating the members to make repayment; CDS members may visit the group to discuss the matter.
  • ——► Charging penal interest from defaulters.
  • ——► Effecting repayment from the defaulting member’s savings.
  • ——► Legal steps


Bank Linkage

NHGs initiate steps to establish bank linkage on completing six months of functioning with regular meetings and savings. The NHGs undergo grading to qualify for bank linkage. Once an NHG is linked with banks, it can avail loan and use the funds to lend to its members. For loans extended to members out of bank loans, repayment terms are fixed based on the repayment requirements of the bank.


NHGs have own working fund generated from entry fee, membership fee, monthly subscription, interest on internal lending, penal interest, donations, and grants. All the funds are included in the accounts of the NHG and money is kept in the bank account.





Area Development Society (ADS)

Area Development Society (ADS) is the middle tier of the Kudumbashree community organisation. ADS is formed at the ward level of the local governments. There is a one-to-one correspondence between the wards and ADSs except for the tribal ADSs which are formed with special permission of the government.

In a Gram Panchayat, the ward member is the patron of the ADS. Similarly in Municipalities and Municipal Corporations, ward councillors are patrons of the ADSs. In places where ward development committees exist, ADS works as its sub-committee. ADS is not a registered legal entity.


All the NHGs within the operational boundary of an ADS that are affiliated to the CDS automatically become members of ADS as well. An NHG can have membership in only one ADS; in rare cases where an NHG has members from more than a ward, the NHG decides on which ADS to take membership in.

ADS is formed if there are at least two Neighbourhood Groups (NHGs) in a ward of a local government. In case a ward has only one NHG, till the time another NHG comes up there, it is affiliated to the ADS in the adjacent ward.

ADS Structure

ADS form its general body is constituted by the presidents, secretaries, and the three volunteers (concerned with income generation, health and education, and infrastructure) of all the neighbourhood groups in its operational area.

ADS has a seven-member Executive Committee elected from its general body. There are three office bearers, elected from among the members of the Executive Committee:

  1. ADS chairperson
  2. ADS vice chairperson
  3. ADS secretary

An individual cannot hold any of the above three positions for more than two consecutive terms.

In addition to the seven members of the Executive Committee, the following ex-officio members are part of the ADS general body and Executive Committee.

——► ICDS/Anganwadi worker
——► Saksharata Prerak
——► Two experienced members co-opted to the Executive Committee from among the former office bearers as per the decision of the current Executive Committee
——► Junior Public Health Nurse working in ward.

The size of the Executive Committee has been limited by byelaw (2008) to 15. The Executive Committee after assuming, office decides on the ex-officio members to be included in the committee in the very first meeting itself, so that the latter can start attending the second meeting onwards.

The ADS Executive Committee from among the members of the committee selects three volunteers:

  1. Volunteer (Income generation)
  2. Volunteer (Health and Education)
  3. Volunteer (Infrastructure)

The Executive Committee also decides on the individual responsibility of members in monitoring and supervising NHGs.

ADS - Functions

Functions of ADS include monitoring of NHGs and providing them support on activities including setting up and running micro enterprises. It works as the mid-tier of the community structure and takes a role in information dissemination. They play a development role as directed by the government as well as local governments. ADSs work closely with local governments at ward level. As Gram Sabha is held at the ward level in Kerala, ADSs have important role in conducting them. See Annexure 1 for further details.

ADS – Funds

——► ADS has its own fund. ADS is entitled to 25% of the annual subscription charges that the CDS gets from the NHGs.
——► Proceeds from ADS activities such as those relating to Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) and any other donations or contributions approved by the CDS add to the ADS’s working fund.
——► ADS keeps its funds in a bank account jointly operated by the chairperson and secretary; all expenses are made subject to the approval of the Executive Committee. 




Community Development Society (CDS)

Community Development Society (CDS) is the apex body of the three-tier Kudumbashree community organisation. It functions at the local government level, in both rural and urban areas. While typically there is a CDS per local government, there can be more CDSs for urban government institutions with relatively large number of NHGs and ADSs.


To work towards women empowerment, local economic development, and poverty eradication through the three-tier community organisation consisting of Kudumbashree Neighbourhood Groups (NHGs), Area Development Societies (ADS), and Community Development Society (CDS).
To look after the expansion of the NHG network, coordination and monitoring of NHGs and ADSs within the local government area. 
To work as a voluntary apex collective for the social, economic, cultural, and intellectual development of Kudumbashree NHGs.
To function as a community monitoring agency in the preparation of development plans of the local governments as well as in their implementation and monitoring. 
To participate in the activities for strengthening of local self-government institutions and for good governance.
To participate in activities relating to strengthening local level planning and for quality improvement. 
To take part and provide leadership in development planning in areas such as local economic development, poverty eradication, Women Component Plan (WCP), women empowerment, and good governance. 
To plan and implement local development activities for livelihood enhancement in general and poverty eradication and women’s welfare programmes in particular as entrusted by the local self-government institutions. 
To provide leadership to NHGs in efficient conduct of thrift and credit programme.
To link NHGs with government departments, development agencies of the government, financial institutions and other relevant agencies, help them in availing shares of cooperative institutions, making deposits, and availing credit with the objective of improving the economic independence of the people of the area in general and the NHGs in particular. 
To encourage and support NHG members in finding self-employment opportunities and managing initiatives in self-employment. 
To provide training to member families for social and economic empowerment.
To take up and implement programmes for local economic development. 
To engage in activities for ensuring the rights of mentally or physically challenged persons, marginalised sections, and children, and work towards ensuring social justice for them.


In the case of CDS, members are NHGs, and mode of membership is affiliation of the NHG with the CDS. As per the CDS byelaw (2008), every women Neighbourhood Group within the operational area of a CDS, which agrees to ‘abide by the CDS byelaws’, and ‘functions under the auspices of local governments and as per the guidelines of central and State governments and Kudumbashree Mission’ is eligible for affiliation.

The NHG seeking affiliation fills up an ‘affiliation form’ and submits it to CDS through ADS. The NHG is liable to pay an affiliation fee and annual subscription at rates fixed by the State government. NHG gets an ‘affiliation certificate’ on completing the process for affiliation. Each NHG has a unique ‘affiliation number’, which is recorded in the ‘affiliation certificate’. CDS keeps an ‘affiliation register’ with details of affiliated NGOs.

Only the Kudumbashree women NHGs working under the auspices of the local government are eligible for affiliation. Other women Self-Help Groups promoted by any government agency or local self-government institutions should be brought into the Kudumbashree CDS structure before affiliating them.

CDS – Structure

The upper limit for the number of ADSs that can be affiliated to a CDS is 30; when there are 31 or more ADSs, more CDSs are formed. The CDS general body is composed of all the members of the seven-member Executive Committees of all the ADSs within the local government area (or the operational area of the CDS if there are more CDSs).

CDS Executive Committee consists of one representative of every ADS within its area. The number of members in the Executive Committee is equal to the number of ADSs.

Executive Committees of the all the ADSs hold special meetings to elect their representative to the CDS Executive Committee. The Executive Committee of the CDS selects two office bearers – Chairperson and Vice Chairperson. An individual can hold either of these positions only for a maximum of two consecutive terms of three years each.

In addition, the member secretary is the ex-officio member of the Executive Committee. The local government nominates an appropriate official as member secretary as per the directions of the State government. Typically it is the Assistant Secretary of the Gram Panchayat who would be nominated as the CDS member secretary. In places where there is no Assistant Secretary, the Panchayat may nominate Village Extension Officer (VEO) to the post.

Other ex-officio members of the CDS Executive Committee and general body are:

Five women ward members / councillors nominated by the local government.

Two experience former office bearers of the CDS, selected by the current Executive Committee.

In addition to the two ex-officio members typically selected by the Executive Committee in its first meeting after election, CDS can bring in appropriate officials as invitees to the committee. Each member of the Executive Committee gets the responsibility of an ADS; this is allotted in the first meeting of the committee. Volunteers (for income generation, health and education, and infrastructure) are also selected in the first meeting.

As per the CDS bye-laws, proportionate SC/ST participation is to be ensured in the general bodies and Executive Committees of CDS and ADSs.

CDS – Functions

As the third tier of the community network, CDS has the responsibility to monitor the activities of the NHGs and ADSs affiliated to it. In addition, CDS works as a local government level entity of women and works closely with local governments in development programmes. The role of CDS has been institutionalised in the processes for plan formulation and implementation at the local governments. CDSs have capacity building and awareness building roles; they also have a definite role in women empowerment.

CDS – Funds

Kudumbashree CDS has a working fund of its own. Entry fee/ affiliation fee, annual subscription, donations, grant received from government, the three-tier local government, other organisations, individuals, and financial institutions, earnings from economic activities, and incomes from regular activities are added to the working fund.

CDS keeps its savings account in a nationalised, commercial, or cooperative bank. The account is jointly operated by the chairperson and member secretary subject to approvals and decisions by the Executive Committee.




Thrift and Credit

Thrift and credit programme is the first level entry point for Kudumbashree. Poor women are organised into neighbourhood groups and the first activity initiated is the thrift programme. NHGs start lending to members using the group’s savings. Subsequently, each NHG is graded and once it qualifies, they are eligible for bank linkage. For the loans availed through bank linkage for lending within the groups, Kudumbashree Mission provides a token matching grant to the NHGs.

Poor families need money on a regular basis for a variety of needs. The typical needs can be classified in the following categories.

  1. Consumption needs
  2. Contingency needs
  3. Festival needs
  4. Needs for income generation activities

What is meant by thrift and credit is to encourage the poor to save some money from what they use for their regular expenses, and help them to avail small loans from their savings. Every member brings a pre-decided amount (this amount is decided by the group) to the weekly group meetings. The money collected is deposited in a bank in an account jointly operated by the president and secretary of the group. As moths pass, these savings progressively increase to relatively large amounts.

Once a neighbourhood group completed six months of operations with regular meetings and thrift, the group can start internal lending. This means lending small amounts as decided in the group meeting to the needy members. The group decided who would get the loan and how much. The advantage here is that everyone knows everyone else in the group. Therefore, the loans are typically decided in reasonably.

NABARD has developed a 15-point grading system for NHGs; it is transparent and therefore NHGs can work towards eligibility for bank linkage.

At the NHG, the Volunteer in charge of income generation is responsible for the activities relating to micro finance including management of thrift and credit and preparations for bank linkage, and subsequently for maintaining the relationship with the bank. ADSs have a volunteer responsible for micro finance in their Executive Committees. Every CDS has a Sub-Committee on Micro Finance headed by the CDS Vice Chairperson.

The State Mission has a Micro Finance Team headed by a Team Leader. At the district level, Assistant Mission Coordinators lead the micro finance tram.

Roles in Micro Finance

NHG: Management of the thrift and credit programme including internal lending and account keeping, grading, bank linkage

ADS: Monitoring the thrift and credit programmes of NHGs, facilitation of bank linkage

CDS: Monitoring of thrift and credit; facilitating bank linkages; payment of matching grant to bank-linked NHGs; updating management information system

The district mission approves and releases matching grant to CDSs. It is also responsible for liaison with district level review committee of banks. District missions conduct capacity building programmes too.

Liaison with State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) is the responsibility of the State Mission. State Mission monitors the micro finance programme at the state level through the management information system. It designs programmes and schemes and does capacity building.

State Mission’s Schemes

Matching grant: This is an incentive scheme for NHGs that establish bank linkage by qualifying in the grading system. The quantum of grant is linked to the total accumulated savings of the NHGs. The incentive is calculated as Rs 5000 per NHG or 10% of the total savings, whichever is less.

Interest subsidy: Under this scheme supported by the Government of Kerala, the State Mission provides 5% interest subsidy on bank loans to NHGs; Joint Liability Groups (JLGs) running enterprises are also eligible for interest subsidy.

Education and Campaigns: Mission conducted an accounting and audit campaign in 2009 for improving systems of micro finance across the state. It also conducts education programmes for financial literacy and for improving the management of NHGs.



Responsibility Mapping

CDS bye-laws prescribe the roles and responsibilities of the three tier Kudumbashree community organisation and specify their inter-linkages. The three tiers of the community organisation have distinctive yet complementary responsibilities in the implementation of various Kudumbashree programmes.

Programme/Scheme NHG ADS CDS
Micro credit Thrift management, internal lending, grading, bank linkage Monitoring of thrift and credit, bank linkage Monitoring, facilitating bank linkage, payment of matching grant to bank-linked NHGs, updating MIS
Micro Enterprises Formation of activity groups for taking up enterprises, support to enterprises Formation of activity groups spanning more than one NHG, support to enterprises Formation of activity groups spanning more than one ADS, Financial assistance to micro enterprises, liaison with LSGI for support, monitoring of enterprises, formation and support of special enterprises, marketing support
Collective Farming Formation of activity groups / Joint liability groups (JLG) Formation of activity groups/ JLGs spanning more than one NHG Financial assistance to groups, liaison with banks and Kudumbashree Mission, liaison with LSGI for support, monitoring of progress, marketing support
Ashraya Identification of destitute families, helping with delivery of service package Verification of identified families and recommendation to CDS; helping with delivery of service package Project formulation, liaison with LSGI and Kudumbashree, ensuring approval of project by LSGI after discussion in evaluation committee, implementing agency of the LSGI for Ashraya
Balasabha Formation of Balasabha, organising programmes Monitoring of Balasabha activities, organising ward level Bala samithy activities Facilitating formation of Bala panchayats, monitoring of activities of Balasabha and Bala panchayats, channelising LSG and Kudumbashree funds for activities
BUDS School Support to ADS/CDS Support to CDS Identification of children with special needs, liaison with LSG for funding and organisation of schools, monitoring of school functioning
SC and ST Special Projects Formation of special NHGs of marginalised communities Need identification for services Nutritional programmes for special communities, health awareness programmes, liaison for obtaining ration cards



Evaluation Committee

Evaluation Committee is formed at the local government level with the president or chairperson of the Local Self-Government Institution as chairperson. CDS chairperson is the secretary of the Evaluation Committee; the CDS member secretary is its convenor. In municipal corporations with more than one CDS, the corporation council decides on the secretary and convenor of the Evaluation Committee.

It is the responsibility of the local government to form the Evaluation Committee along with conducting elections to the CDS Executive Committee.

The Evaluation Committee has the following members; the size of the committee is 25 for rural and 40 for urban local governments.

  1. Secretary of the local government
  2. CDS chairperson(s)
  3. The women ward members/ councillors nominated to the CDS by the local government
  4. Department heads and programme heads under the local government
  5. Two former CDS office bearers who are ex-officio members of the CDS
  6. The three volunteers of the CDS (income generation, health and education, infrastructure)
  7. Representatives of financial institutions
  8. Chairpersons of Welfare Standing Committee and Development Standing Committee of the local government
  9. All the members of the local government Steering Committee (the committee consisting of the chairpersons of all the Standing Committees), and convenors of the five Standing Committees of the CDS (Thrift and Credit, Micro Enterprises, Social Development, Infrastructure, Employment Guarantee Scheme).

Evaluation Committee – Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Monitoring of CDS Action Plan: Monitoring of implementation of various poverty eradication schemes by the CDS against the CDS action plan and providing support for rectifying deficiencies, course correction, and leadership wherever required. 
  2. Strengthening of CDS: Supporting and strengthening CDS as the main agency for planning and implementation of poverty eradication schemes of the local government, government agencies, and quasi-government agencies. The Evaluation Committee is also expected to encourage CDS in democratic decision making and efforts in women empowerment. 
  3. Coordination and Back-stopping: Working as the coordinating agency for the action plans in sectors that CDS associates with in local level development programmes within the local government’s jurisdiction. Evaluation Committee is expected to ensure that the services of the officials and resources available within the institutions transferred to the local governments are available to the CDS for programme implementation.
  4. Linkages: Helping CDS in accessing the services of experts, techno-economic agencies, and voluntary organisations. 
  5. Micro Enterprise Promotion: Supporting CDS in exploring opportunities for promoting micro enterprises for local economic development and in finding market for the products of micro enterprises. 


Kudumbashree Mission

Kudumbashree Mission refers to the State Poverty Eradication Mission (SPEM) of the Government of Kerala. It is a registered society under the Travancore Cochin Literary, Scientific and Charitable Societies Act 1955.

Mission Statement of Kudumbashree

‘To eradicate absolute poverty in ten years through concerted community action under the leadership of local governments, by facilitating organisation of poor for combining self-help with demand-led convergence of available services and resources to tackle the multiple dimensions and manifestations of poverty holistically’.

Roles and Functions of the Mission

The Mission looks after the overall implementation of the poverty eradication and women empowerment programme across the State. It provides guidance and direction to the programmes as per the government policy. The Mission takes the lead in ensuring convergence of the community network with local self-government institutions. It also works as the platform for partnerships with government departments at the district and State levels.

The Mission’s functions include the expansion and promotion of the community network. It supports programmes in economic and social empowerment through financial and technical assistance. The mission also works towards enhancing women’s citizenship and agency through women empowerment programmes.

The Mission – Governance and Administration

Governance of the Mission is with the Governing Body chaired by the Minister for Local Self-Government, Government of Kerala. Principal Secretary, Department of Local Self-Government is the vice chairperson and the Executive Director of Kudumbashree Mission is its convenor. The Governing Body has representatives of the three layers of PRIs, different government departments, the State Planning Board, State Women’s Commission, and NABARD as members.

Members of the Governing Body

Minister for Local Self-Government, Government of Kerala – Chairperson
Principal Secretary, Department of Local Self-Government – Vice Chairperson
Representatives of mayors, municipal chairpersons, District Panchayat presidents, Block Panchayat presidents, Gram Panchayat presidents, District Collectors.
Secretaries to Government of Kerala, Finance, Local Self-Government, Social Welfare, SC and ST Welfare, Health and Family Welfare, General Education
Directors of Panchayat and Urban Affairs
Member Secretary, State Planning Board
Chief General Manager, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD)
Chairperson, State Women’s Commission
Two nominees of the State government

There is an Executive Committee to oversee the Mission’s administration. The Principal Secretary, Department of Local Self-Government is its chairperson and the Executive Director of Kudumbashree Mission is its convenor. The Executive Committee, unlike the Governing Body, consists mainly of officers.

Members of the Executive Committee

Principal Secretary, Department of Local Self-Government – Chairperson
Director of Panchayats
Representative of the Department of Finance
Director, Urban Affairs
Commissioner for Rural Development
Nominee of the State Government
Executive Director, Kudumbashree – Convenor

The Mission Structure

The Mission structure consists of the State Mission and 14 District Missions. The State Mission is structured into three divisions – Systems Support, Organisation and Social Development, and Livelihood Development.

District Mission Coordinators head the District Missions; there are Assistant Mission Coordinators under them looking after different thematic areas.

Support Structures

The Mission has different types of community support structures for various programmes ranging from development of community network to enterprise promotion. Members of these support structures are either Kudumbashree members or members of ‘Kudumbashree family’. Kudumbashree Mission selects and mentors these members through different processes including training programmes and practice.

Resource Persons (RPs): The primary role of Resource Persons is capacity building at various levels. There are General RPs and Special Focus RPs; Special Focus RPs specialise on thematic areas such as Urban Projects, Gender, and Children. 
Training Groups: The Mission has set up Training Groups for providing various training programmes in a range of themes including organisation management and enterprise development.
Micro Enterprise Consultants (MEC): MECs are a pool of community professionals trained for providing business development services to micro enterprises.
Café Management Team: This is a training enterprise that provides specialist training in catering, hospitality management, and restaurant management. 
Kudumbashree Accounts and Audit Service Society (KAASS): KAASS provides accounting and auditing services to Kudumbashree community network.








Kudumbashree Programme Domains

Kudumbashree, with its central objectives of poverty eradication and women empowerment, has three strategic domains in which programmes are formulated and rolled out through the community network. The three programme domains are:

Economic Empowerment
Social Empowerment
Women Empowerment

Economic Empowerment

Programmes on the economic Empowerment domain envisage helping the women members and group start and run enterprises. Kudumbashree believes that the spread and growth of such enterprises are critical for local economic development.

The key programmes in Economic Empowerment are:

Collective Farming
Livestock Farming
Micro Enterprises
Market Development
Value Chain Based Strategies
Collectives and Consortiums

Social Empowerment

Social empowerment programmes focus on inclusion. There are sections of the poor that are left out of the fold of development programmes including those of the Kudumbashree network. There are sections that are even too weak to be part of the community network. Social Empowerment programmes are steps towards ensuring the inclusion of such vulnerable sections. Major programmes are the following.

Destitute Identification and Rehabilitation
Rehabilitation of Mentally Challenged Persons
Children’s Programmes

Women Empowerment

Women Empowerment programmes are for the women of the community network. These programmes aim at transforming the community network into an agency of women for their overall empowerment and development. Some of the important initiatives include the following.

Gender Self Learning Programme
Programmes for Elimination of Violence Against Women

Other Programmes

Urban Poverty Alleviation Schemes

Kudumbashree Mission is the State Urban Development Agency of the Government of Kerala. The Mission plays a pivotal role in coordinating urban poverty alleviation schemes of the Central and State governments. For the Central urban schemes, Kudumbashree Mission is the Nodal Agency for implementation.

Kudumbashree is the implementing agency for urban poverty eradication programmes of the Government of India.

These programmes include:

  • Swarna Jananti Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY), and the two employment programmes under it: Urban Self Employment Programme (USEP) and Urban Wage Employment Programme (UWEP). Subsequently, when SJSRY was re-launched as National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM), Kudumbashree became its implementing agency too
  • National Slum Development Programme (NSDP)
  • Valmiki Ambedkar Awas Yojana (VAMBAY)


When the following centrally sponsored programmes were initiated, the Kudumbashree Mission became the implementing agency for them as well.

  • Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) and its components: Basic Services for Urban Poor (BSUP) for Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi urban conglomerations, Integrated Housing and Slum Development Programme (IHSDP) for smaller towns, Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) aiming at slum-free cities.
  • Urban Statics for Human Resources and Assistance (USHA).
  • Rajiv Rinn Yojana (RRY).
  • Interest Subsidy Scheme for Housing Urban Poor (IHSUP).


Kudumbashree Mission's role in the urban development and poverty alleviation programmes included the following.

  • Facilitation and sensitisation
  • Staffing, including hiring of expert services
  • Empowering urban local governments including Municipal Corporations and Municipalities
  • Project design
  • Training
  • Community interface management and mobilisation
  • Project monitoring


Kudumbashree’s Programmes in Other States

Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), Government of India has recognised Kudumbashree as a National Resource Organisation (KS-NRO) under the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM). KS-NRO is expected to provide technical and implementation assistance to the State Rural Livelihood Missions (SRLMs) that partner with it. KS-NRO works with partner-SRLMs on two domains.

  1. PRI-CBO Convergence
  2. Enterprise Development

PRI-CBO Convergence Projects, as the name indicates, address the convergence between PRIs and the community based organisations (CBO) being promoted under NRLM. KS-NRO has tied up with States to train and place Micro Enterprise Consultants (MECs) for promoting enterprises of the poor as part of enterprise development.