My topic—the analysis of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, its implementation, details, outcome, and the evaluation of possible alternatives—involves, largely, a review of existing literature (secondary data sources). In the first week, then, I have assessed some of the scholarly appraisals of NREGA, and have gathered evidence on the programme’s implementation and outcomes. Amongst the papers I have consulted are ones that perform a regression discontinuity and difference-in-difference estimations to gauge the poverty-reducing impact of the scheme (Klonner & Oldiges, 2013); the labour market effects of the programme, including an evaluation of the hypothesis that public work programmes ‘crowd out’ private work (Imbert & Papp, 2013); and, a paper produced by the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices that examines the role of the programme in inducing a wage-price spiral (Gulati & Saini, 2013). Moreover, I have also analysed the viability of a counter-measure such as cash transfers, which, whilst providing rural households with additional purchasing power, would not similarly distort the labour market nor face comparable leakages. During the week, I also decided on a research question: viz. has MNREGA, the UPA government’s flagship rural employment programme, resulted in an increase in the purchasing power and standard of living of rural households? Would an alternative—such as cash transfers, for example—be better placed to serve the same purpose with fewer leakages?