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Scaling up participatory watershed development in India: The case of the Indo-German Watershed Development Programme (IGWDP)

Briefing/policy papers

Written by John Farrington

For several years prior to the full start-up of the Indo-German Watershed Development Programme (IGWDP), its architects were driven by one principal concern: that participatory watershed development should be replicable over wide areas. This stimulated the close engagement of stakeholders at international, national, district and local levels, and the creation of confluences of interest (and corresponding checks and balances) within and across these levels. 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 ha 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.

John Farrington and Crispino Lobo