A comparative analysis of institutional arrangements in watershed development projects in India:Global Theme on Agroecosystems Report No. 50 uri icon


  • Institutions are mechanisms provided by individuals in the community to resolve social dilemmas and these define and restrict access to and control over resources. In the context of watershed development they are organizational structures evolved in the process and their mutual interaction mechanism. Watershed development approach has evolved over the decades bringing a paradigm shift in thinking of decision makers, which resulted in shifting responsibilities of natural resource management towards local communities and following participatory approaches in implementation. As a result the new generation of watershed development projects encounter multi stakeholder situation requiring institutional arrangements to achieve efficiency and sustainability. The present study has looked into four leading watershed development projects viz: Andhra Pradesh Rural Livelihoods Programme (APRLP), Sujala Watershed Program in Karnataka, Indo-German Watershed Program (IGWP) in Maharashtra and Drought Prone Area Programme (DPAP) following Hariyali Guidelines, Rajasthan in India, which is known to have designed innovative operational modalities to enhance communities? participation in management and implementation of the projects. There are no efforts in critically comparing different projects but assembling elements of institutional mechanisms and their mutual interactions so as to abstract the potentially significant institutional interaction and arrangements that could enhance the efficiency of any programe. Also development of capacities of these institutions and stakeholders and their linkages are studied closely to complement and fortify the objective of this study. This study showed that through capacity building and development of social capital along with suitable institutional mechanisms at local watershed as well as supporting institutions in terms of gender, equity and sustainability, improved livelihoods could be achieved. Critical institutional mechanisms and actors? linkages in these programs are used to infer ?good institutional mechanisms? for improving impact of watershed programs in India

publication date

  • 2008