European Development Cooperation and the Poor

By Aidan Cox; John Healey et al. | Go to book overview

Annex 2 Recommendations and Suggestions from Project Case Studies in India
In India specific recommendations were made for improving the effectiveness and impact of the interventions on poor people in different sectors. Although these reflect the particular socio-economic, political and institutional context of India, the suggestions for improving effectiveness may well have relevance in other developing country situations.
Watershed sector
Although it is logical to implement watershed development projects strictly on a watershed (and sub- and micro-watershed) basis, this may create tensions where parts of the villages are being left out. As far as possible the projects should include whole villages, even where this is in conflict with watershed boundaries.
Participatory approaches are clearly necessary but watershed and village committees tend to be dominated by better-off (male) farmers, usually from the dominant caste. In order to reach the poor it is necessary to take participation one step further and support the organization of more homogeneous groups of poor people (self-help groups).
It will take a long time to make the watershed and village committees effective partners in decision-making. Most of the monitoring in the projects deals with physical outputs.
Those who can afford it should contribute to sharing the costs. Provision of inputs free of cost contributes to the 'dependency syndrome' and undermines replicability. However, it is of vital importance that a differentiated system of cost-sharing is developed, which may require that the poorest are exempted from payment.
There needs to be more donor coordination — or learning from each other. Two out of three projects planned in the same Karnataka region have involved no attempts at coordination so far.
There should be more monitoring of process and poverty reach and not just physical outputs as at present. Participatory monitoring and

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