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Community watershed management in semi-arid India: The state of collective action and its effects on natural resources and rural livelihoods

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  • Shiferaw, Bekele
  • Kebede, Tewodros
  • Ratna Reddy, V.
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    Abstract

    "Spatial and temporal attributes of watersheds and the associated market failures that accelerate degradation of agricultural and environmental resources require innovative institutional arrangements for coordinating use and management of resources. Effective collective action (CA) allows smallholder farmers to jointly invest in management practices that provide collective benefits in terms of economic and sustainability gains. The Government of India takes integrated watershed management (IWM) as a key strategy for improving productivity and livelihoods in the rain-fed and drought-prone regions. This study investigates the institutional and policy issues that limit effective participation of people in community watershed programs and identifies key determinants for the degree of CA and its effectiveness in achieving economic and environmental outcomes. We use empirical data from a survey of 87 watershed communities in semi-arid Indian villages to identify a set of indicators of CA and its performance in attaining desired outcomes. Factor analysis is used to develop aggregate indices of CA and its effectiveness. Regression methods are then employed to test the effects of certain policy relevant variables and to determine the potential effects of CA in achieving desired poverty reduction and resource improvement outcomes. We find a positive and highly significant effect of CA on natural resource investments, but no evidence of its effects on household assets and poverty reduction outcomes. This may be attributable to longer gestation periods for realizing indirect effects from collective natural resource investments and the lack of institutional mechanisms to ensure equitable distribution of such gains across the community, including the landless and marginal farmers." authors' abstract

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series CAPRi working papers with number 85.

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    Date of creation: 2008
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:fpr:worpps:85

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    Related research

    Keywords: Collective action; Institutions; Property rights; Watershed management; Poverty; Environmental impacts;

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    References

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    1. Hausman, Jerry A, 1978. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1251-71, November.
    2. Baland, Jean-Marie & Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 2000. "Halting Degradation of Natural Resources: Is There a Role for Rural Communities?," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198290612.
    3. Christopher F Baum & Mark E. Schaffer & Steven Stillman, 2007. "Enhanced routines for instrumental variables/GMM estimation and testing," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 667, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 05 Sep 2007.
    4. Swallow, Brent M. & Garrity, Dennis P. & van Noordwijk, Meine, 2001. "The effects of scales, flows and filters on property rights and collective action in watershed management:," CAPRi working papers 16, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Knox, Anna & Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela & Hazell, P. B. R., 1998. "Property rights, collective action and technologies for natural resource management: a conceptual framework," CAPRi working papers 1, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. John Kerr, 2001. "Watershed Project Performance in India: Conservation, Productivity, and Equity," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1223-1230.
    7. Joshi, P. K. & Jha, A. K. & Wani, S. P. & Joshi, L. & Shiyani, R. L., 2005. "Meta-analysis to assess impact of watershed program and people’s participation," IWMI Research Reports H037467, International Water Management Institute.
    8. McCarthy, Nancy & Dutilly-Diane, Celine & Drabo, Boureima, 2004. "Cooperation, collective action and natural resources management in Burkina Faso," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 233-255, December.
    9. Swallow, Brent M. & Johnson, Nancy & Knox, Anna & Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela, 2004. "Property rights and collective action in watersheds," 2020 vision briefs 11 No. 12, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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    Cited by:
    1. Jain, Dinesh & Gandhi, Vasant P., 2012. "Institutional Performance in Natural Resource Management: A Study of Institutional Interaction in the Implementation of Watershed Development in Andhra Pradesh, India," 2012 Conference (56th), February 7-10, 2012, Freemantle, Australia 124319, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.

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