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Though the watershed program contributed significantly to address the critical issues of drought prone areas, there are many challenges, on the way to progress. Institution Development, Participatory Processes, Indigenous Technologies, Gender and Equity considerations, Capacity Building strategies - deserve more attention. The revisions of guidelines are not necessarily based on analysis of experiences on ground. It is important to connect the policy formulation processes with the processes on ground.   There is a need for understanding the processes on the ground and provide independent feedback to state and national level policy makers so that systems are supportive of participatory processes that enhance sustainable management of environmental resources by communities. 


With this background, WASSAN has been focusing on Process Studies. Various issues related to the implementation and management aspect  have been deeply looked into and the learnings and insights have  been taken for several advocacy related initiatives at the state level. Process Guidelines issued by Andhra Pradesh Government is one among many  of such initiatives. Now WASSAN has undertaken a national level process study to understand the processes in various states across the country.....   

Looking at Processes...


 Understanding Processes in Watersheds Development Projects in India

Study of Processes in Watershed Development Program in Ranga Reddy District  -   

   Andhra Pradesh

 Understanding Processes in Watershed Program - Process study in Nalgonda District
    - Andhra  Pradesh

 Management Systems that Promote Participatory Processes in Watershed Program         

    Process Study in Ranga Reddy District (2nd & 3rd Phases)

 Assessment of Short Probation Period Achievements in New Watershed Programs in       

    Nalgonda District, Andhra Pradesh

 Upscaling of Successful Experiences in the Mainstream Watershed Programme in India -    Mechanisms, Instruments and Policy Considerations

Understanding Processes in Watersheds Development Projects in India

The impacts of watershed development primarily depend on the rigour with which the envisaged participatory processes are operationalised. Since its inception in 1994-5, there is no comprehensive review of how these processes are operationalised in the watershed program in India, in spite of nearly 7 years of experience. A preliminary survey of the experience suggests a varied and divergent experience across the states in the country. A re-look into the program would help in identifying the variations and/or deviations in the processes, major gaps and innovations at various levels. Such a process would help in improving the program design and taking the watershed movement ahead. With this  objective WASSAN has undertaken a national level process  study to critically look at the processes in the watershed development program in  various states across the country.... The study is being supported by Indo Canada Environmental Facility (ICEF), New Delhi..  The states and districts for the study are identified based on semi arid and sub humid regions/ protected areas/ buffer zone areas/ highly stratified societies. Eight watersheds in each state appropriately distributed on the basis of above criteria are selected.  The study is in the states of Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Gujarat, Rajastan,  Uttar Pradesh and Nagaland... 

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Study of Processes in Watershed Development Program in
Ranga Reddy District, Andhra Pradesh


A study to identify intervention strategies for improving participatory processes in watershed development program in Ranga Reddy district  was taken up by WASSAN in collaboration with Andhra Pradesh Academy of Rural Development at the initiative of the Project Director, DPAP, Ranga Reddy district. This study aimed at understanding the process of operationalisation of watershed development program in Ranga Reddy district. .

As part of the study, 10 watersheds selected randomly by DPAP were studied in depth to understand the processes. The report presented the most common observations, special practices and implications related to processes categorized into 15 key issues organized into five broad heads. While the study finds that the watershed program is successfully mainstreamed, some key processes are weak and are not grounded adequately. It identified the scope  for improving these key processes to give a 'process orientation' to the program from the present 'works orientation'...

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Understanding Processes in Watershed Program - Study in Nalgonda Andhra Pradesh

Government of Andhra Pradesh scaled up the program (5500 projects, highest number of projects in the country) by developing innovative administrative systems & collaborating with large number of Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Government Organizations (GOs) as Project Implementing Agencies (PIAs). In this background, the conflict between quality and quantity also became more prominent in various situations. There is a growing concern that appropriate systems and adequate preparations are not in place. For developing such systems, a need was identified to closely look at the processes in watershed development program. Andhra Pradesh Academy of Rural Development (APARD) and WASSAN, conducted a study to understand the processes  of the program in Nalgonda, Mahabubnagar, Kurnool, Prakasam and Anantapur Districts. This study is contributed to the process of exploring opportunities and strategies for scaling up of the program in the state without compromising on quality. This report is an output of the study of Processes on watershed program in Nalgonda district.  It contains responses of committee members, users, SHGs classified into Most Common Practices and Special Practices. And implications of each practice Strategies for capacity building were suggested, based on the perceptions/ practices/ processes on the ground.

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Management Systems that Promote Participatory Processes in Watershed Program - Study in Ranga Reddy District (2nd & 3rd Phases)

Guidelines for Watershed Development (GOI, 1994) demand significant "shifts" at various levels --in thinking, management systems & practices and activities. For a government organization like DPAP, promoting and facilitating a participatory development program is a new experience. Over a period of time, a need was identified for understanding more about the processes on the ground  to develop appropriate strategies for strengthening the program at various levels. One is aware of the strong influence of management systems at DPAP level on the processes at grass root level. The processes at village level do not become participatory, if the promoting organizations like DPAP / PIAs adopt an authoritarian style of functioning. For a government organization to support and promote a participatory program like watershed program, an entirely new style of functioning and management systems needs to be designed so that the main objectives of the program can be realized. With this background, the Study of Process in Watershed Program in RR Dist was conceived. The scope of the study was expanded from understanding the processes at grass root level to understanding the management systems at DPAP office. The objectives of the study were : To understand the process of operationalising watershed program in Ranga Reddy district and to analyze major gaps;  To analyze the role perceptions, capacity building needs and enabling systems in place (with respect to participatory processes) at various stakeholder groups; Based on the above analysis, identify strategies and management systems to bridge the gaps through a participatory process.

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Assessment of Short Probation Period Achievements in New Watershed Programs in Nalgonda District, Andhra Pradesh

With the Andhra Pradesh Rural Livelihoods Project (APRLP),  District Water Management Agency (DWMA), Nalgonda has  experimented with several process improvement measures. One among such efforts is a short probation period of 3 months for the PIAs and new watersheds. As per the MoU the PIAs are expected to achieve the following by the end of 3 months of the project  initiation: It is expected that about 40% of the people in the watershed know about the objectives of APRLP. Various communication programs are a means to achieve this. Identifying poorest of the poor and organizing them into new groups and strengthening at least 3 of the existing groups, mobilizing shramdanam for at least two days from each household, Project Implementing Agencies (PIAs) to establish their office with minimum facilities and update the basic records are some of the critical indicators selected for assessment purpose.  This study was undertaken to assess such short probation period achievements. The objectives of the study are ; Assessing the achievement of outputs expected during the probation period at the watershed level and at PIA level and suggesting the areas for improvement based on the assessment...

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Upscaling of Successful Experiences in  Mainstream Watershed Programme in India - Mechanisms, Instruments and Policy Considerations

This is based upon detailed case studies of watershed projects funded by DANWADEP in three states namely Orissa, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh as well as analysis of experiences under innovative watershed projects funded by various organizations like Government of India; Bilateral projects and NGOs. It synthesizes the lessons from studies on five themes/sub-themes under the assignment: (i) User rights, (ii) Capacity building, (iii) Equity for resource poor families, (iv) Participatory monitoring and evaluation systems, and (v) Withdrawal strategy / post project sustainability. These themes were pursued by five anchor organizations associated with the study namely Watershed Support Services and Activities Network (WASSAN), Poverty Learning Foundation (PLF), Watershed Organization Trust (WOTR,) National Institute of Agricultural and Extension Management (MANAGE) and Watershed Development Corporation Unit (WDCU).

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