Participatory Sustainable Rural Livelihood Approach [India]

approaches_2367 - India

Completeness: 81%

1. General information

1.2 Contact details of resource persons and institutions involved in the assessment and documentation of the Approach

Key resource person(s)

SLM specialist:
SLM specialist:
Name of the institution(s) which facilitated the documentation/ evaluation of the Approach (if relevant)
Orissa Watershed Developemnt Mission - India

1.3 Conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT

The compiler and key resource person(s) accept the conditions regarding the use of data documented through WOCAT:


1.4 Reference(s) to Questionnaire(s) on SLM Technologies

Contour Trench cum Bund

Contour Trench cum Bund [India]

Contour trench cum bund is a bund laid out on contour along with trench either staggered or continuous to check the velocity of run off, conserve in situ moisture, increse ground water recharge and there by establish a sustainable land use system.

  • Compiler: Niranjan Sahu

2. Description of the SLM Approach

2.1 Short description of the Approach

Participatory Sustainable Rural Livelihood Approach adopts participatory tools for livelihood situational analysis of the five capitals(Physical, Financila,Social, Human and Natural) and prepare livelihood focussed micro plan with the commuity for sustai

2.2 Detailed description of the Approach

Detailed description of the Approach:

Aims / objectives: Participatory Sustainable Rural Livelihood Approach uses the DFID's Sustainable Rural Livelihood Framework. The approach adopts participatory processes during planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.The out put of the planning process is a livelihood focussed micro plan. The process of micro plan preparation with the community consists of rapport building, livelihood situational analysis, problem identification and prioritisation, negotiation and development of action plan. The livelihood situational analysis focuses on identifying the strength of the community by diagonising the five capitals(Physical, Natural, Financial, Social, Human) and suggest options for livelihood improvement. Objective: 1.Livelihood improvement of the poor and vulnerable.2. Creating an enabling environment 3. Capacity building of the primary and secondary stake holders.Out puts:1.Enhanced and sustainable livelihood options for resource poor and disadvantaged identified and supported in project areas. 2.Resource poor and disadvantaged organised in project areas to effectively identify, plan and implement livelihood activities and participate in wider for a and processes.3.GO,PRI, NGO,PIA work effectively with communities on (pro poor) livelihoods and initiatives in four project districts. 4.Strategic constraints to livelihood of resource poor and disadvantaged are identified and reviewed and improvements proposed to Government.5.Appropriate approaches and interventions developed through the project are replicated in the four project districts and disseminated within Orissa and national level for a.

Methods: Participatory, Collaborative and Convergence. Stages of implementation: Rapport building,Community mobilistion, Preparation of micro plan, Formation of village level institutions, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

Role of stakeholders: Community members are actors and all others are facilitators.

2.5 Country/ region/ locations where the Approach has been applied



Region/ State/ Province:


2.6 Dates of initiation and termination of the Approach

Indicate year of initiation:


Year of termination (if Approach is no longer applied):


2.7 Type of Approach

  • project/ programme based

2.8 Main aims/ objectives of the Approach

The Approach focused mainly on SLM with other activities (Promotion of tuber crops for food security, Participatory technology development, Livestock management, Grassroot institutions building,Microenterprise development through Self Help Groups, Policy advocacy,Adopt participatory processes)

1.Livelihood of the poorest improved in four districts in a sustainable and replicable way.2.WORLP will provide ENABLING ENVIRONMENT to initiate this experiment.3.Bring about a clear understanding of-what is watershed- (emphasizing equity, social justice and local government / PRI).4.develop a synergistic strategy.5.Orient agencies to work towards the synergistic strategy- capacity building.5.Create and strengthen appropriate institutions at different levels for implementing and monitoring common strategy. 6.Pursue necessary policy change in regards to fund management and inter-department, inter-agency coordination.7.At the grassroots level i.e., watershed level demonstrate convergence of activities.

The SLM Approach addressed the following problems: Capacity building(Knowledge, skill and attitude) of the primary and secondary stake holders.Limited livelihood options.Sectoral approach by line departments.

2.9 Conditions enabling or hindering implementation of the Technology/ Technologies applied under the Approach

social/ cultural/ religious norms and values
  • hindering

Skewed distribution of weath, Community management of natural resources

Treatment through the SLM Approach: Identify well being groups,Promote communty farming, Capacity building on CPR management

availability/ access to financial resources and services
  • hindering

Poor affordibility of farmers and ownership

Treatment through the SLM Approach: Financial aid to farmers through WC, SHG and UG. Voluntary contribution to create a sense of ownership

institutional setting
  • hindering

Poor grass root institutions

Treatment through the SLM Approach: Strengthening of existing institutions and promotion of WC, SHG, UG and CIG

legal framework (land tenure, land and water use rights)
  • hindering

The existing land ownership, land use rights / water rights hindered a little the approach implementation Due to small land holding

knowledge about SLM, access to technical support
  • hindering

poor knowledge on land and water management practices

Treatment through the SLM Approach: In-field training and demonstration, exposure, development of NRM volunteers

3. Participation and roles of stakeholders involved

3.1 Stakeholders involved in the Approach and their roles

  • local land users/ local communities

Village level institutions like WC,SHG,UG,CIG etc.

Working land users were mainly men (mainly main supported by women). Men participate more in WC and UG meetings where as women participate in SHG meetings. The no of women in UG is also less. Decision making is mainly done by men on SWC technology. The resource poor land user is also a member of the UserGroup. So, he/She participate in the meetings and share his/her views.

  • NGO
  • national government (planners, decision-makers)


  • international organization


3.2 Involvement of local land users/ local communities in the different phases of the Approach
Involvement of local land users/ local communities Specify who was involved and describe activities
initiation/ motivation interactive Exposure visit and demonstration; Approach is initiated with rapport building stage through small interactive meeting, conducting mapping exercises and focussed group discussion to understand the village situation.Exposure and demonstration help the land users to identify gaps in the existing and im
planning interactive Mainly: rapid/participatory rural appraisal; partly: public meetings; 1.For livelihood situational analysis. 2. Focussed Group discussion for indepth analyis of constraints and oppertunities of a particular group.3. Palli Sabha to negotiate and obtain a consensus on the plan.
implementation external support Mainly: responsibility for major steps; partly: responsibility for minor steps; Implementation of the programme is the prime responsibility of the user group.NRM volunteers are assisting the UG on technical guidance like laying contours, bunds and trenches.Involved landless during the implementation
monitoring/ evaluation self-mobilization Mainly: measurements/observations; partly: reporting; Watershed Development Team member and WC check measure the work before payment. The report submitted by the WC is reviewed by the Project implementing agency(PIA). The estimated cost is approved by the committee and then the expenditure is made.
Research none

3.4 Decision-making on the selection of SLM Technology/ Technologies

Specify who decided on the selection of the Technology/ Technologies to be implemented:
  • mainly land users, supported by SLM specialists

Interventions promoted mainly on the existing indegeneous practices and based on peoples strength.

Decisions on the method of implementing the SLM Technology were made by mainly by land users supported by SLM specialists. The technical knowhow was transferred to the NRM volunteers and land users through training and demonstration Then the volunteer assisted the land users in developing proposal and implementation of the SWC Technology.

4. Technical support, capacity building, and knowledge management

4.1 Capacity building/ training

Was training provided to land users/ other stakeholders?


Specify who was trained:
  • land users
  • extensionists/trainers (2), SWC specialists (3)
Form of training:
  • on-the-job
  • farmer-to-farmer
  • demonstration areas
Subjects covered:

Understanding of present land use and future treatment measures, determination of slope, use of tools like A frame, hand level, layout of contours, trench and bund, role of UG etc.

4.2 Advisory service

Do land users have access to an advisory service?


Specify whether advisory service is provided:
  • on land users' fields
Describe/ comments:

Name of method used for advisory service: Participatory technology development, field demonstration, exposure visits and in field training; Key elements: Use of participatory tools, NRM volunteers, Insitu training, demonstration and exposure visits; 1) Mainly: NRM volunteers, Partly: projects own extension structure and agent 2) Mainly: NRM volunteers, Partly: projects own extension structure and agent; Extension staff: specifically hired project employees 3) Target groups for extension: land users; Activities: Meeting, exposure,training and demonstration

Advisory service is inadequate to ensure the continuation of land conservation activities; Five NRM volunteers have been created in each watershed to assist in SWC work.Three WDT and three LST have been in position for extension and awareness creation among the land users for ten watersheds.

4.3 Institution strengthening (organizational development)

Have institutions been established or strengthened through the Approach?
  • yes, moderately
Specify the level(s) at which institutions have been strengthened or established:
  • local
Specify type of support:
  • financial
  • capacity building/ training

4.4 Monitoring and evaluation

Is monitoring and evaluation part of the Approach?



bio-physical aspects were ad hoc monitored through observations

technical aspects were regular monitored through observations

socio-cultural aspects were ad hoc monitored through observations

economic / production aspects were regular monitored through measurements

area treated aspects were regular monitored through observations

no. of land users involved aspects were regular monitored through measurements

management of Approach aspects were regular monitored through observations

There were several changes in the Approach as a result of monitoring and evaluation: Focussing the poorest through well being grouping for livelihood improvement, Grant component for the poorest earmarked in the livelihood guideline from watershed plus funds,Block approach for treatment considering poor people, poor land, contributiona nd ridge to valley, developed livelihood focussed micr plan process for the project.Transperency through social audit.

4.5 Research

Was research part of the Approach?


Specify topics:
  • economics / marketing
  • technology
Give further details and indicate who did the research:

Participatory technology development in farmers field.MART, New Delhi has taken up a six months study on developing marketing strategy.

Research was carried out on-farm

5. Financing and external material support

5.1 Annual budget for the SLM component of the Approach

If precise annual budget is not known, indicate range:
  • > 1,000,000
Comments (e.g. main sources of funding/ major donors):

Approach costs were met by the following donors: international (DFID,UK): 85.0%; local community / land user(s) (UG): 15.0%

5.2 Financial/ material support provided to land users

Did land users receive financial/ material support for implementing the Technology/ Technologies?


5.3 Subsidies for specific inputs (including labour)

  • none
If labour by land users was a substantial input, was it:
  • paid in cash

5.4 Credit

Was credit provided under the Approach for SLM activities?


6. Impact analysis and concluding statements

6.1 Impacts of the Approach

Did the Approach help land users to implement and maintain SLM Technologies?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

treating the land from ridge to valley,reduced soil loss and sand casting in the down stream, increased moisture availabilty, water harvesting of the excess runoff,

Did the Approach improve issues of land tenure/ user rights that hindered implementation of SLM Technologies?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

Working in group in a participatory manner has facilitated a process of identifying their own constraints and oppertunities and plan interventions accordingly, thus implamentation is more effective.

Did other land users / projects adopt the Approach?
  • No
  • Yes, little
  • Yes, moderately
  • Yes, greatly

Adoption of the SRL approach and compact area treatment in non-WORLP watersheds in WORLP project districts.

6.3 Sustainability of Approach activities

Can the land users sustain what has been implemented through the Approach (without external support)?
  • yes

6.4 Strengths/ advantages of the Approach

Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the land user’s view
We are working together (How to sustain/ enhance this strength: Ugs and SHGs be promoted in amore democratic way)
It is our work (How to sustain/ enhance this strength: Feeling of ownership needs to be strengthed)
We have been able to practise the SWC activity in a better way (How to sustain/ enhance this strength: Exposure to learn more about SWC activities.)
Strengths/ advantages/ opportunities in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view
Community take their own decision (How to sustain/ enhance this strength: making the institutions more democratic)
Revolving fund (How to sustain/ enhance this strength: Increased frequency of internal lending and repayment)
Village level institutions (How to sustain/ enhance this strength: provide autonomy)
Village volunteers/link workers (How to sustain/ enhance this strength: capacity building)

6.5 Weaknesses/ disadvantages of the Approach and ways of overcoming them

Weaknesses/ disadvantages/ risks in the compiler’s or other key resource person’s view How can they be overcome?
Poverty categorisation based on criteria developed by the community Criteria has already been developed nad circulated
Difficult to address all the issues of livelihood within the project time frame Strategy needs to be developed for better convergence with line department to expedite the process

7. References and links

7.1 Methods/ sources of information

  • field visits, field surveys
  • interviews with land users

7.2 References to available publications

Title, author, year, ISBN:

Success stories compilation, News letter, Project memorandum, Livehood microplan of watershed

Available from where? Costs?

Project Director(Watershed), Nuapada Project Director(Watershed)

Links and modules

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