Can Participatory Watershed Management be sustained? Evidence from Southern India
AbstractWatershed development is a very important rural development programme in India. This paper studies 60 community groups in 12 micro-watersheds in South India to understand how villagers cooperate to manage watershed related tasks. The paper examines the factors that affect collective participation in watershed management and how cooperation changes once the State withdraws and hands control over management to panchayat raj institutions and other groups. The study finds that watershed institutions in most cases become inactive once the project period is over. The analysis of factors that influence on-going maintenance of watershed structures indicates that collective action emerges when user groups are small and homogenous and communities are dependent on a large number of wells. Wealthy user groups are likely to be more active when a project is on-going. The results suggest that watershed development should be given more emphasis where wells are the predominant source of irrigation. Further, greater success is likely where user groups have more knowledge and control over funds available for maintenance activities after the state withdraws.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics in its series Working papers with number 59.
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Watershed management; collective action; user groups; rich-poor differences;
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