Consortium Approach for Capacity Building in Watershed Management in Karnataka, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand: Experiences and Learning.Resilient Dryland Systems Report no. 56 uri icon


  • The Comprehensive Assessment (CA) of watershed programs in India undertaken by the ICRISATledconsortium showed that large scope exists to improve the impact for 66% of the watershedprojects by addressing the issues of productivity enhancement, technical back stopping, collectiveaction, improving community participation, diversification of systems and targeted income-generatingactivities for women and landless sections of the community. The CA also identified poor capacitybuilding as the weakest link for achieving the impact as well as for scaling-up the benefits fromthe exemplar watersheds in the country. Participatory management of natural resources in thewatersheds was adopted as the best approach for sustainable management of natural resourcesin the rain-fed regions by adopting consortium approach. The consortium approach for integratedwatershed management involved holistic farming systems approach and called for convergenceof interventions from different sectors like livestock, poultry, markets, monitoring and evaluation,policies, institutions, finances, in addition to agricultural production.The common Watershed Guidelines of 2008 released by the Government of India have clearlyemphasized strong efforts for capacity building through a new framework by adopting principles ofconvergence and participatory collective action. The Department of Agriculture and Cooperation,Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India in partnership with German International Cooperation(GIZ), International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and NationalInstitute of Agricultural Extension Management (MANAGE) developed a national consortiumfor capacity building for decentralized watershed management and piloted capacity buildingfor decentralized watershed management through consortium approach in three states in Indiaviz., Karnataka, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand. The results and the learning from the pilot statesshowed that convergence of various departments could be addressed through buy-in and timelyinterventions from the top officials of the concerned departments. The champions at state levelplayed an important role for establishing the consortium as well as ensuring proper functioning ofthe consortium for capacity building of the integrated watershed management program (IWMP). Italso showed that support from the national nodal agency/departments is expected by the statesin forming of guidelines as well as technical support through the national consortium. Earlierexperiences of the state department working with externally funded projects by agencies like WorldBank etc., sensitized the departments and were more willing to accept new innovative approaches.The Department of Land Resources (DoLR) which is a nodal agency for implementation of IWMP inthe country need to take a lead role for developing the national level capacity building strategy forenhancing the impact of the IWMP through forming national support group for providing handholdingsupport to the states to operationalize the national capacity building strategy

publication date

  • 2012