Wednesday, January 8, 2014

36 month impact of LIFE-Rajasthan!



In Rajasthan Caritas India with its partner organization’s in Rajasthan  region worked with deprived community through LIFE programme intervention. We have started this project in  Feb 2010 and it has ended in Jan 2013  ! LIFE is 1st of its kind and the 1st result based project of Caritas India which not only focus on better implementation of the project, but also focuses on regular handholding the project partner in terms of its capacity building, strengthening systems in the partner organization and establishing and strengthening strong linkages with other stake holders like NABARD, KVK (Krishi Vigyan Kendera), Panchayats and Agriculture department. LIFE is being considered as one of the best livelihood based model project of Caritas India and delivered not only mere result but has impact on entire Programme designing of programmes in development sector!
Caritas India, Caritas Spain and Caritas Italiana entered into a partnership agreement to jointly work for the development of BPL SC, ST and OBC community living under the most vulnerable situation in Bundelkhand region, India. This commitment is translated in to a project titled ‘LIFE-Livelihood Initiation For Empowerment for securing livelihood in 20 villages of 2 districts ( Ajmer-Rajasthan  and Banswara-Rajasthan ) of Rajasthan region’ implemented by the local partner RCDSSS-Ajmer and SJVS-Banswara  with funding support from Caritas Spain. 
LIFE as a result based Programme till Jan 2013  able to achieve 91% of total set results and .In terms of reach although programme is being implemented in 20 villages, but its impact is been reached to more than 50 villages  and interestingly even after one year of completion of Programme, it is being managed by community based institutions and other technical institutions like KVK and NABARD. Impact could be largely seen in terms of following:
1. A model of Rozgar Dhaba at Ajmer (a form of Village Information Center under LIFE Programme) been awarded by as one of the top ten model of sustainable livelihood. It is also officially acting as Panchyat Resource Center
2.  Official Linkages with MDS-Ajmer University and KVK and NABARD ( 100% approved farmers club from NABARD)
3. Strengthening organization capacity and team capacity
4. Mitigating Migration up to 40% in boarder districts like Banswara.
The project directly caters 1572 small, marginalized and landless SC, ST and OBC of households. The deliverance of the project is through Community Based and Community Managed Organizations, (CBMOs) and other stake holders as Krishi Vigyan Kendera (KVK) and Panchayats. 
The program envisages to achieve Improved socio-economic status amongst the deprived community (SC/ST and OBC) in Ajmer and Banswara districts of Rajasthan through optimized use of locally available resources, skill development and full access over the entitlements” with the following set specific results to be achieved during the project period

In terms of Impact we can understand LIFE impact through popular line of a Hindi poem by by a Hindi poet Dushyant Kumar as:
sirf hangama, khada karna, mera maksad nahi
saari koshish, hai ki ye, soorat badalni chahiye
mere seene mein nahi, to tere seene mein sahi
ho kahi bhi aag lekin, aag jalni chahiye

Poet Dushyant Kumar[1] wrote above lines on bringing change-describes that its not only we talk or shout about change…but instead we must bring change!  And with Caritas LIFE project we have tried to bring out some of the changes at grass root and at institutional level (which probably not happened earlier)! Lets see that in 36 months of the LIFE project implementation with 92% of total result achievement, what all are the changes (mainly 100%) in thought process, and in practice has visualised at both grassroots and at institutional level (Both partner and donor agency)

Changes at grass root/community level!

Sustainable agriculture:
  • Usage of HYBRID SEEDS is 100% out from the project field, not only that target community is not using it, also none of the community members in the project villages are using it. Certified seeds from KVK and local seeds are in use. This in turn is making farmers not to depend on market for farming, every year  to purchase hybrid seeds
  • 100% of  target community started practicing cultivation with mix of synthetic inputs ( mainly DAP, but no UREA).  This in long run is improving the maintaining the optimum level of pH[2] of soil and thus improves the soil heal on hand and on other hand reduces the input cost up to 80%

Entitlements:
  • with the expenditure of 559000 ( in 30 months)  on strengthening the function of Panchayats , we are able to systemise the operation in 8 Panchayats , this expenditure per panchayat is on an average 750000 , and with that now all these  8 Panchayats are functioning effectively . If with an average of 75000 (in 30 months) investment Panchayats operations could be strengthen,  then why not the  similar model of LIFE could be adopted. By the Rajasthan
  • 20 micro-plans have developed and presented in gram Sabaha and 15 out of 20 get approved by gram Sabha. Community participation in development planning has begun in the region.
  • 100% of target community in all the 20 project villages have access to NREGA and now 70% of the target community submit ritten application to demand work under NREGA.  This in long run is spreading the impact and also mitigating the migration pressure from the villages to the near by citities. In Banswara no migration after Kharif crop soweing.
  • Godiyawas Panchayats ( LIFE project village & Panchayat in Ajmere) has become one of the best Panchayat in the state for implementation of NREGA ( almost 100% HHS have 100 days of work).
  • If we compare the total budget of NREGA in last two years with the amount we have spent through LIFE project i.e. 159000/- its just .04% of the total budget of NREGA for the concerned 8 Panchayats, but with .04% amount we are able to strengthen the budget of INR 390600000[3] . From this we can easily understand that how it is important to have programmes like LIFE in strengthening the implementation of NREGA, else the amount of INR 390600000 is hardly used for building sustainable resources ( one of the key mandate of NREGA). Also it is worth to note that this amount is now reaching to the community and in other way it is mitigating migration.
  • 100% of the eligible target community have received the benefits of government schemes.
  • Rozgar Dhaba at Naulakha (Godiyawas Panchayata0 has officially become the part of of Panchayat as Panchayat Resource Center (PRC).  It has become the 1st Village Information Center in India to be as PRC. And has strengthen the Panchayat process

 Community based & Managed organisations:
  • Now 100% the CBOs ( farmers club, Women SHGs) are self managed and operates without any support from the project field staff
  • 100% of farmers club formed under LIFE project are approved by NABARD and also started getting financial support. Its 1st time that 100% of farmers club formed in any of the project at any of the partner organisation has get approved from NABARD.
  • 100% of SHGS are linked with NABARD/bank and started availing loan for the livelihood based activities.

Changes at partner organisation level!
Fund leverage
  • In last 30 months approximate fund release ((through Caritas India) is about INR 6000000 (approx round figure) and is able to cater 1572 target families ( 614 at Banswara and  958 at Ajmer)     , where as fund leveraged from the various government institutions is about  INR 6900000 and is able to cater 1777  deprived communities ( including target communities). From this its easily observed that in LIFE project till July 2012, not only INR 6000000 has been invested rather its INR 12900000  has been invested and thus the results are in front that almost 6 months in advance LIFE project is able to achieve the set results.
  • Support/projects from government institutions: With Linkages and support in the project, it’s not only that it has impact on the community, but organisations also get support from the government institutions, SJVS Banswara has received two projects from NABARD.
  • It is important to know that SJVS-Banswara has grown up with LIFE project in terms of establishing linkages, where as RCDSSS-Ajmer has grown up in terms of establishing systems like LIFE project. Now both the partner organisations are developing the projects for other agencies keeping LIFE as the base model for project development as well as project implementation. Now all the projects with both the partner organisations are result based and on monthly reporting systems ( which was earlier limited to activities and quaterly reporting )
  • Visibility of Partner, the project , community and the donor agency has reached throughout the globe with LIFE blog  ( www.liferajasthan.blogspot.com )which is India’s 1st development project blog and has now crossed 30000 of viewership with daily updates.

 Changes at Caritas India level!

  • Now projects in Caritas India’ is also being developed on the base structure of LIFE project considering the Result Based Approach and thorough hand holding for the project at field level.
  • With the initiation of LIFE blog and on social media, now there are around 9 development projects of caritas India have blog and are on social media sites.
  

Now the development scenario in the LIFE project field has changed , capacity of partners has enhanced , probably we are reaching at the end , where the sustainability of project has already begun 6 months in advance!








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