In response to the 73d and 74th Constitutional Amendments, the state had undertaken several pioneering initiatives to establish institutions of local self governance with the task to promote economic development and social justice. The democratic decentralization in Kerala ushered a new development culture of genuine grass root level democracy and people’s participation in economic development. Despite certain weakness such as dual control over the functionaries and lack of role clarity for the different tiers, the local governments in the state have succeeded in creating a new model of equitable economic growth. The two decades of decentralized planning and the implementation of local governance in Kerala shows a ‘learning by doing’ exercise. The Thirteenth Five Year plan will be making an effort to improve the methodology of participatory planning by incorporating the lessons learnt from the last twenty years.