Project Goals and Results
• The Chhattisgarh Irrigation Development Project (CIDP) aimed to increase agricultural productivity, improve rural livelihoods, and reduce poverty by improving irrigation delivery, enhancing agricultural practices, and strengthening water resource management.
• The CIDP supported the rehabilitation and upgrading of irrigation systems that serve more than 150,000 households; strengthened government capacity to assist water users’ associations (WUAs); and trained 1,250 out of 1,324 WUAs in Chhattisgarh based on the Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM) Act, a legislation that mandated the roles and responsibilities of WUAs, including the membership of women in irrigation management. It also trained 191 WUAs on how to improve agricultural techniques and how to be more effective in general. It offered opportunities for collective actions by communities, such as joint purchase of seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides, and joint marketing of produce. Overall, participants reported improved crop yields and higher household incomes.
• Building on the new PIM Act, the CIDP strengthened women’s participation in WUAs. A widespread education campaign raised awareness on the importance of women’s participation in decision making and encouraged women to become active in these associations. In the 2007 WUA elections, women were elected in one-third of available positions.
Processes and Management Tools
• The PIM Act was passed through the CIDP. With this new law, the CIDP promoted PIM, especially women’s participation. The project predated the requirement for a Gender Action Plan and gender targets and indicators in the Design and Monitoring Framework (DMF) outputs. Gender-related strategies and targets were indicated in the Summary Poverty Reduction and Social Strategy.
• All irrigation upgrading and rehabilitation activities included contractual obligations to offer “equal pay for equal work” to men and women.
• Technical assistance supported activities to promote women’s participation in irrigation management and their election to WUA committees.