Watershed development programmes in Madhya Pradesh: present scenario and issues for convergence

This report reviews the present status of watershed development in Madhya Pradesh for better convergence by carrying out a stock taking exercise and learning from the past

This report by Forum for Watershed Research and Policy Dialogue (FoRWARD) attempts to look at the present status of watershed development in the State of Madhya Pradesh so as to be able move towards a vision of better convergence across developmental objectives (including equity), synergy between natural resource regeneration, administrative co- ordination, institutional coherence, and resource mobilization. It is in this larger context, the review focuses is on (a) spatial spread, prioritization, and complementarity across projects; (b) comparison across modes/ approaches and cross learning; and, (c) issues for future policies. 

Importantly, the stock taking exercise has been carried out with a difference where the status of watershed development is being examined through the lenses of a normative framework that lays special emphasis on productivity, equity, sustainability, and democratic decentralization. It may be noted at the outset that the present review of watershed programmers in Madhya Pradesh is not an attempt to neither evaluate nor assess the impact of the large number of watershed projects that have been implemented in the state. Rather, this is more or less an exercise in stock taking and learning from the past.

The review is based mainly on the existing studies, which in fact, are quite scanty. There is also a serious problem of availability of such studies as well as other information in the public domain. Nevertheless, we have tried to overcome these constraints, at least partly, by holding detailed discussions with a large number of key informants and also by visiting a few sites of selected watershed projects.

The strength of the analysis therefore, lies more in terms of evolving a larger picture of watershed projects in the state, rather than in terms of presenting precise estimates or evidence, which is difficult given the paucity and asymmetric (in terms of coverage of WDPs across projects and regions) analyses as well as data-base in the public domain. In this context, the review may be considered as an important landmark for understanding watershed development in Madhya Pradesh. 

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