This article examines the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in two districts of Tamil Nadu—Panchetti and Salem. It describes the functioning of the Act based on a preliminary field study and documents the views of implementers and beneficiaries. This analysis reiterates that the implementation should drive policy and that the evaluation lessons need to filter back to the design of the policy. More specifically, MGNREGA requirements can be improved on two counts: one, wage determination and wage rates; and two, evolving better techniques to measure labour productivity. © 2021 Institute for Human Development.