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This paper describes one approach - the Indo-German Watershed Development Programme (IGWDP) - which has explicitly attempted to make participatory watershed development replicable over wide areas.

TitleScaling up participatory watershed development in India : lessons from the Indo-German watershed development programme
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsFarrington, J, Lobo, C
Secondary TitleNatural resource perspectives / ODI
Volumeno. 17
Pagination6 p. : 5 boxes
Date Published1997-02-01
PublisherOverseas Development Institute (ODI)
Place PublishedLondon, UK
Keywordscab97/3, catchment areas, community participation, franchising, government organizations, india maharashtra, indo-german watershed development programme (igwdp) (india), non-governmental organizations, replicability, rural areas, sdiasi, sdipar, sdiwrm, selection criteria, water resources management

This paper describes one approach - the Indo-German Watershed Development Programme (IGWDP) - which has explicitly attempted to make participatory watershed development replicable over wide areas.


It has also generated a technically sound but participatory watershed planning methodology, a coherent transition from capacity building to full-scale implementation within watersheds, and a practical framework for field-level collaboration among NGOs, community-based organisations and government departments. The Programme currently covers 92,000 hectares of private and other land in 20 districts in Maharashtra, involving 50 NGOs working in 74 watersheds. It is set to expand within Maharashtra as new NGOs register themselves some growing from village groups in successful watersheds and to other States through a system of franchising.


Cases of participatory micro-watershed management especially those managed by NGOs are becoming abundant. Yet, almost without exception, they are very small in scale and can be expanded only by repeating the same slow, costly, in- depth techniques in successive villages. By contrast, many government-sponsored approaches have expanded rapidly, but often lack the local ownership and group coherence necessary for sustainable management of the common pool components of watersheds.


If approaches to micro-watershed rehabilitation are to be participatory and rapidly replicable, then the preconditions for scaling up have to be identified and introduced into the design of projects and programmes. These preconditions include:
- the close engagement of stakeholders, and marshalling of political support, at international, national, state and subsequently district and local levels, and the creation of confluences of interest (and corresponding checks and balances) within and between levels;
- the creation of a local watershed planning methodology which is technically defensible to funding agencies yet is participatory and accessible to community-based organisations (CBOs);
- the provision of appropriate capacity building and technical support to these;
- the existence of a framework for local-level collaboration among NGOs, CBOs and government departments, including the setting of preconditions for NGOs and CBOs to join the Programme;
- the creation of mechanisms which channel funds to local organisations with as few intermediate stages as possible; some authority by these to contract-in services, especially training; and
- the existence of a mechanism for promoting the approach across major political and administrative boundaries. (NB)

Notes3 ref.
Custom 1205.1, 210, 822



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