Collective Action for Integrated Community Watershed Management in Semi-Arid India: Analysis of Multiple Livelihood Impacts and the Drivers of Change

Spatial and temporal attributes of watersheds and associated market failures require institutional arrangements for coordinating use and management of natural resources. Effective collective action (CA) for watershed management has the potential to provide multiple economic and environmental benefits - tangible and non-tangible - to rural communities. This allows smallholder farmers to jointly invest in management practices that provide collective benefits to community members. The functions of the group can also extend to include provision of new services like collective marketing of products and essential inputs. While watershed management contributes to resource productivity and sustainability, increased commercialization and market access open opportunities to diversify into high-value crops, creating incentives for agricultural intensification. However, evaluating the multi-faceted impacts of integrated watershed management interventions is complicated by problems of measurement, valuation and attribution. While, more rigorous methods for evaluating such impacts in the context of developing countries are beginning to emerge, this study employs a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods for evaluating these multi-faceted impacts from a case study of a watershed project in semi-arid India. Results from qualitative insights are confirmed through econometric analyses and empirical measurements using proper count erfactuals. The study analyses the drought mitigation, economic and environmental gains along with linked benefits for commercialization of production and increased farmer participation in markets.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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