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									                                                                             Draft: 18/12/2003


DEPARTMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
ANDHRA PRADESH RURAL LIVELIHOODS PROGRAMME (APRLP)
MID TERM REVIEW: 10-14 NOVEMBER 2003
FINAL DRAFT REPORT

1.      SUMMARY AND AGREED ACTIONS

1.1    The project has made good progress in developing improved
approaches to watershed programmes in five districts. The review team was
impressed by the level of convergence being achieved at village and district
levels. Responsibility for implementation of the programme has now been
transferred to the CRD/PR&RD with the support of the Programme
Management Unit.

1.2    The team noted that APRLP was now well placed to deliver the project
purpose and recommends that the aim should be broadened to support GoAP
to implement pro poor approaches to livelihood enhancement and watershed
management throughout the state. However, the project will need to carefully
manage the process of scaling up so that APRLP principles and norms are
maintained.

1.3    The MTR team agreed the following actions during wrap-up meetings
with the Chief Secretary, Principle Secretary PR&RD, Commissioner RD,
PSU Co-ordinator and PMU Co-ordinator:

Para.    Agreed action                                                                  Resp.1
5.18     Adoption of APRLP approaches by all DWMA watersheds in                         PDs,
         5 project districts                                                            PMU
5.18     Adoption of GoAP process guidelines and APRLP norms in                         CRD
         other DWMA districts
5.16     Initiate work on innovative watersheds addressing rural                        PMU,
         poverty issues in specific villages                                            PDs
5.20     Undertake institutional constraints analysis of watershed                      CRD,
         programmes within CRD and DWMA                                                 PMU
5.19     Establish experience sharing mechanisms between the five                       PDs,
         project districts                                                              PMU
5.22     Revise financial forecasts for 03/04 and 04/05 financial                       PMU
         years to be consistent with district level plans. Review the
         financial systems and arrangements.
5.25     Revise purpose statement and OVIs to reflect state wide aim                    PMU,
         of the project                                                                 DFID
5.26     Ensure stability of project directors at district level and                    CRD
         retention of key staff within the PMU
5.24     Establish a programme support network based on the                             PSU,
         existing three working groups, external specialists and                        PS

1
 PS – Principle Secretary PR&RD, CRD – Commissioner Rural Development, PMU – Programme
Management Unit, PSU – Programme Support Unit, PD – Project Directors (district level), DFID –
Department for International Development
                                                                Draft: 18/12/2003


         additional institutions in policy analysis. The PSU to
         complete its role within the project by 31 March 2004.
5.23     State level management committee to monitor progress with PS,
         agreed actions and provide strategic guidance             DFID

1.4     Continuation of the project beyond the next review in September 2004
will be dependent on these actions. Further issues and recommendations are
outlined in Section 5.

2.       BACKGROUND

2.1    The DFID supported Andhra Pradesh Rural Livelihoods Project
(APRLP) is being implemented in five semi-arid and drought prone districts of
Andhra Pradesh. The purpose statement of the project is - „Government of
Andhra Pradesh able to comprehensively implement pro-poor watershed-based
sustainable rural livelihoods approaches in five districts of Andhra Pradesh‟. The
project has four components:

        Watershed and watershed plus initiatives
        Capacity building for primary and secondary stakeholders
        Innovation to enhance the impact of watershed work
        Lesson learning and policy influence

2.2    The project works within the State Government adopting a participatory
„Sustainable Rural Livelihoods‟ approach. While adopting the National
Watershed Guidelines, the project proposes to pilot new approaches in rural
data collection, participatory planning, and to evolve better convergence of
government schemes and programmes in rural development.            It aims to
analyse constraints and opportunities facing vulnerable groups and
encourage grassroots organisations involvement in service delivery, which
reflect their livelihood needs. A key agenda of the project is to help
Government of Andhra Pradesh (GoAP) identify policy changes to increase
impact on rural poverty.

2.3    APRLP has a total budget of £45.543 million divided into two
components. The financial aid (FA) component, to be routed through a
separate sub-scheme of Government of India‟s (GoI‟s) ongoing IWDP
programme is budgeted at £40.176 million. The Technical Cooperation (TC)
component is budgeted at £5.367 million. The latter is divided into three
components: an imprest managed by the PSU coordinator; an Accountable
Grant agreement and a sum of money handled by DFID India directly. The
project was agreed to run for seven years between 1999 and 2006.

2.4    Though sanctioned in early 1999, the project went into implementation
phase as late as in October 2000. A Government Order has been issued by
GoAP, which explains the roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders, and
setting in place operational modalities including the setting up of a State Level
Steering Committee.
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2.5   The project has been operational for about three years now. An
independent evaluation of the project and the first Annual Review were
conducted in December 2001 - January 2002 followed by the second Annual
review (OPR) in December 2002. The Annual Review (OPR) carried out in
December 2002 recommended changes in the existing institutional
arrangements. The key recommendation was the proposal to separate the
programme management functions from the innovation and         research
component.

2.6  The Mid Term Review (MTR) was undertaken jointly by DFID, GoI and
GoAP from 10 to 14 November 2003.

3.         MISSION MEMBERS AND ITINERARY

Kevin Crockford                   Senior Rural Livelihoods Adviser (Team Leader)
Aditi Rajyalaxmi                  Deputy Programme Manager
Sally Taylor                      Programme Manager
Vikram Menon1                     Governance Adviser
Janet Seeley                      Social Development Consultant
Sean Doolan                       Environment Adviser
Sonali Chib                       Programme Officer
Vincent Cooke2                    Assistant Programme Officer
NK Singh                          DOLC, Ministry of Rural Development

3.1     Mr Sanjay Gupta (PMU Co-ordinator) and Mr Kamal (Capacity Building
APC PMU) accompanied the Mission. Lalita Kumar (Joint Secretary, MoRD)
participated in the meetings with PSU and PMU representatives on 13
November.

3.2     The MTR itinerary is provided in Annex 2. The mission visited
Nalgonda and Mahbubnagar districts accompanied by the Project Directors
Krishan Das and Mr Thimma Reddy respectively. The MTR also benefited
from recent visits by Janet Seeley to Prakasam, Anantapur and Kurnool
districts.

3.3    The Mission thanks the PMU and PSU for the high quality and useful
reports and to the Project Directors and their teams for arranging a most
useful series of field visits and discussions. The Mission would also like to
thank the Collectors and district officials involved for their time.

4.         OVERVIEW OF PROGRESS

4.1     The project has made good progress in developing improved
approaches to watershed programmes in five districts. The review team was
impressed by the level of convergence being achieved at village and district
levels. Strong teams are being established within districts that are capable of
improving and delivering the rural development schemes in the districts.
Responsibility for implementation of the programme has now been transferred

2
    Present for part of mission
                                                                  Draft: 18/12/2003


to the CRD/PR&RD with the support of a Programme Management Unit. DFID
agrees that this is the appropriate institutional location for the project providing
strong opportunities to support GoAP on rural livelihoods issues. The review
team agreed that the Programme Support Unit should complete its role within
the project by 31 March 2004.

4.2     The team noted that APRLP was well placed to deliver the project
purpose and recommends that the aim should be broadened to support GoAP
to implement pro poor approaches to livelihood enhancement and watershed
management throughout the state. However, the scope of the project should
not be limited to implementation in project sites. The CRD within PR&RD will
need to carefully manage the tension between APRLP approaches that
emphasise people‟s empowerment and expanding livelihood options and the
physical and financial targets of conventional watershed programmes. It will
be critical for the project to retain staff in key positions at district levels and
within the PMU. Success of the project will depend on retaining and
developing these staff.

4.3     The next review will be undertaken in September 2004. The focus of
the review will be to assess the adoption of approaches and livelihood
outcomes within project districts, progress with organisational change within
office of CRD/PRRD and adoption of APRLP principles and norms by other
districts in the state. DFID expects the project to meet these broader
transformational aims if it is to continue beyond September 2004.

5.     SPECIFIC ISSUES

Reaching the poorest
5.1      All districts are making efforts to undertake poverty ranking and draw
the poorest of the poor into Village Organisations (VO). This is based on
criteria for identifying the poorest and marginalised people set by the villages
themselves. The mission was however concerned that many of the poorest
would find it hard to participate in SHGs even at the reduced
contribution/savings rate. The APRLP should continue to analyse constraints
to livelihood protection of the poorest of the poor, disaggregated by causes of
marginalisation, and develop appropriate strategies. For the poorest of the
poor, households would be a more appropriate unit for analysis and planning.
Targeting of the poorest by Velugu also provides opportunities for experience
sharing. It will be essential that support from APRLP and Velugu is
complementary when both programmes operate in the same villages.

Gender policy and strategy
5.2    The Mission commends the efforts by the PMU in gender sensitisation
and development of the APRLP approach to gender issues. The gender policy
is nearly finalised and has been shared within the PMU and some project
partners. The challenge now will be to work with the district teams to ensure
that the gender policy is incorporated into practice. The Kalajatha programme
of performances has been very successful at promoting messages of
empowerment of women and changing gender relations in villages.
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5.3     The MTR mission recommends that training on gender analysis and
tools is provided to key district staff and an awareness programme developed
for senior staff to encourage appropriate behaviour and attitudes.

Impact on sustainable livelihoods
5.4     Agriculture (and livestock) is still the most important economic activity
for poor farmers in APRLP project districts requiring continued effort to
diversify cropping and agricultural practices. The Productivity Enhancement
Group has been working on the introduction of improved agricultural practices
in pilot villages resulting in impressive productivity enhancement using low
cost inputs. The challenge will now be on scaling up these practises across
project districts. Horticulture using dry land varieties has significant potential,
especially in project districts that are well connected to Hyderabad, and
appropriate practices should be promoted by APRLP.

5.5    Enterprise development has been an important component of the
project, providing increased income opportunities especially for the landless
and marginal farmers. APRLP has adopted a strategic approach to enterprise
development using sub-sector analyses and development of mandal level
training and trade centres. However, the mission got the impression that these
efforts were not well connected with the village level micro-enterprises
supported by APRLP. Micro enterprises were often individual based with
apparently limited group enterprises. It will be important for these two strands
to be brought together if SHGs are to achieve substantial increases in
incomes.

5.6     Migration is an important livelihood strategy of poor rural people, which
can be broadly categorised as distress migration and cumulative migration.
While push factors associated with distress migration will be tackled through
village level support there is increased cumulative migration to both urban and
other rural areas that the APRLP should engage with. Exploitation of migrants
and conditions for women and children are important issues. The migration
study report co-ordinated by the PSU should have some valuable ideas on
policy and programmatic actions that would improve the conditions under
which people migrate.

5.7     Livelihoods is often narrowly interpreted by the project as non-land
based activities (i.e. enterprises) and this is exacerbated by nomenclature of
specific posts (e.g. livelihoods specialist and NRM specialists). It is important
that livelihoods is interpreted in a broad way covering all aspects of project
support (capacity building, social empowerment, natural resource
management, micro-enterprises and migration). The APRLP also needs to
consider health issues as these are inextricably linked with poor people‟s
vulnerability and livelihoods. The MTR encourages the APRLP to consider the
findings of the health study being undertaken by the PSU and identify APRLP
actions and convergence that can address some of the health issues.

5.8   The MTR recommends that a broad interpretation of livelihoods is
encouraged, which includes issues of migration and reducing vulnerability due
to bad health. It would be useful for the project to distinguish between those
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interventions that are focused on livelihood protection from those aimed at
livelihood promotion.

Integrated water resource management
5.9    Much has already been accomplished within the APRLP in relation to
water resource development. The focus on use of cost-effective and small-
scale structures is appropriate and a challenging water audit has been
conducted, with some follow-up activities in two districts.             However,
awareness of the water audit findings within other districts is limited, although
a publication was being issued at the time of the review. APRLP needs to
promote an integrated approach to water resources management with an
emphasis on demand-side management, including cross-allocation to
competing uses, an appreciation of the central role of the sustainability of
water resources to watershed activities, and the importance of efficiency of
water use in irrigation.

5.10 Development of a field manual and guidelines to take up the detailed
recommendations in the short-term, as discussed during the mission, is
welcome. The MTR mission recommends that a programme of focused
action on the water resource audit should be undertaken.

Environmental sustainability
5.11 Several elements of environmental sustainability were highlighted in
the original appraisal of the APRLP design and reinforced in the baseline
survey conducted in 2002. Natural resource criteria are used in selection of
watersheds and targeting of interventions. A soil fertility manual and a natural
resource manual and guidelines have been developed. Integrated pest
management and organic farming practices are being promoted by
paraworkers, although there may be overly high expectations of what such
practices can deliver.

5.12 However, attention to maintaining and improving natural capital has
been patchy, and environmental sustainability has not been systematically
addressed. One means of doing this would be to develop a simple and brief
environmental approach paper along the lines of the emergent gender
strategy. Participatory monitoring and evaluation systems and the project-
level monitoring system should include appropriate indicators for
environmental sustainability issues. There is growing acknowledgement of an
“imminent and immense need” for reducing agricultural inputs and improving
agricultural practices. Periodic technical monitoring on a sample basis should
be considered to track the impact of agricultural interventions – specifically to
monitor nitrate and pesticide levels in ground and surface water - in those
watersheds where use of these inputs is expanding.The development of
fodder resources on common property deserve attention               given their
importance for resource poor families and the landless.

Convergence with other programmes
5.13 An important aim of the APRLP has been to improve convergence of
rural development efforts in support of protecting and enhancing livelihoods of
poor people. The project is actively developing systems for improved
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collaboration between organisations at state, district and village levels. The
MTR was impressed by the levels of convergence being achieved, including
the emergence of village organisations that are both exerting demand for
government services and providing established social capital for different
projects and schemes to work with. The team noted the use of existing village
institutions when both APRLP and Velugu operate in the same village. The
MTR review was particularly impressed with mechanisms for joined up
working at district levels, including monthly meetings hosted by DWMA with
agriculture, animal husbandry, horticulture and SC/BC Corporations. This is
facilitating the development of joint actions plans for the district and
mandal/PIA level action plans on specific subjects.

Hariyali guidelines and PRIs
5.14 The Hariyali Guidelines issued by the Ministry of Rural Development in
March 2003 make a serious effort to enhance the role of Panchayat Raj
Institutions in watershed development programmes. WASSAN and APRLP
organised consultations with CBOs, PRIs and NGOs, and a national
workshop during May 2003. While recognising that there is no conflict in the
role of Zilla Parishad as nodal authority for watershed development
programmes, many issues and concerns were raised including lack of
capacity of gram panchayats to facilitate and implement. The MTR team felt
that it was exactly this type of challenge that APRLP should be supporting
GoAP to interpret within the AP context. Although core APRLP watersheds
had been identified before April 2003, it would be inappropriate for APRLP to
avoid implementing the Hariyali guidelines. Experience with involvement of
PRIs will valuably contribute to approaches across Andhra Pradesh and at
national level.

5.15 The MTR strongly mission recommends that APRLP supports GoAP
with the implementation of the Hariyali guidelines in all DWMA districts. This
should be based on developing approaches in the 500 new watersheds and
innovative watersheds in the five project districts.

Innovation to enhance impact
5.16 Component 3 of the project envisaged the piloting of innovative
approaches in 50 watersheds (across the five districts) to improve impact on
rural poverty. This would inform APRLP work in the five districts, GoAP
approaches and guidelines, and contribute to revisions of National level
guidelines. APRLP has undertaken considerable innovation work in preparing
for the 500 core watersheds supported by the project and this has influenced
GoAP process guidelines for watershed development programmes. However,
the project has not started the innovation work in 50 watersheds. Ongoing
innovation is an important part of the project and should be used to explore
areas such as the role of panchayats, cost recovery, wider convergence of
government schemes including access to health services and migrant labour
support.

5.17 The MTR strongly recommends that this component is taken forward
and that the opportunity is used to go beyond watershed approaches and pilot
innovative approaches to rural poverty in specific villages.
                                                                Draft: 18/12/2003



Scaling up and out
5.18 The project design envisaged that APRLP would develop and
implement pro poor approaches to watershed management in 500 new
watersheds and build capacity, promote convergence and support livelihood
enhancment in a further 2,000 ongoing and completed watersheds. This was
to be reviewed as the project progresses. The overall aim was to support
GoAP to implement improved approaches to watershed management
throughout the state. Although APRLP is making good progress with these
targets, there is a risk that the project will become one of many watershed
projects with a limited geographic focus. During the MTR, it was agreed that
the challenge was now to upscale APRLP, both through (i) the adoption of
APRLP approaches by all DWMA watersheds in the five project districts and
(ii) the adoption of GoAP process guidelines and APRLP norms in other
DWMA districts. It was agreed that this was possible within current cost norms
for watershed development.

Experience sharing between districts
5.19 A strength of APRLP has been the support to district level Project
Directors to innovate and develop approaches that are suited to the varying
situations within districts. The MTR observed that different approaches were
being developed between districts that need to be shared. Although video
conferences and Hyderabad based meetings of project staff occur, the MTR
recommends that mechanisms are established for experience sharing
between project districts. This could include regular meetings hosted by
project districts on a rotating basis providing an informal forum for interaction
and exchange of ideas on different themes (e.g. convergence, monitoring
systems, migration). Experience sharing mechanisms would also contribute to
dissemination of lessons and good practice from field level between the five
districts and promote the adoption of GoAP process guidelines for watersheds
across all DWMA districts.

Organisational change for implementing watershed programmes
5.20 The institutional review noted that the most important role for the PMU
over the remaining lifetime of APRLP will be to provide capacity building,
advice and guidance across the entire watersheds programme, using the
2,500 APRLP watersheds as exemplars to influence the practice of all of the
divisions under the CRD, and across PR&RD as a whole. The PMU needs to
establish an internal mandate whereby PR&RD recognises and endorses its
efforts to encourage adoption of APRLP principles and norms across the
wider watershed programme. The Commissioner Rural Development has a
critical role to play in this activity, as the manager responsible for both APRLP
and the wider watershed programme. A change management strategy will be
required for the watershed programme, which is likely to include operating
policies, structures and processes; strengthened human resources and HR
management systems; monitoring and quality assurance systems for
application across all watersheds; and capacity building approaches in non
APRLP districts.
                                                              Draft: 18/12/2003


5.21 The MTR recommends that an analysis of institutional constraints be
undertaken by the CRD office within PR&RD, which will examine structural,
systems and staffing issues and develop a change management strategy and
action plan to improve the ways watershed programmes are delivered state-
wide. This should identify how the PMU could support the CRD and PR&RD
with the broader change process.

Financial planning and targets
5.22 The MTR recommends that financial forecasts are revised for the next
two years, to remove current pressures to spend, and that these are agreed
by DFID, GoI and GoAP. A request was made by GoAP to extend the project
until December 2007. A review will be undertaken in 18 months to consider
project progress - any request for extension would be decided against
development merit and other priorities for assistance at that time.
There has been a lack of clarity of the role and functions of CDS in the
management of APRLP funds. It was agreed that the various options
available for the transfer of funds from GoI to the programme should be
explored and that term of reference with clear scope of work for the CDS and
the PMU should be drawn. It is recommended that a review of the financial
system looking at the annual budget, financial flow, functional relationships
and financial constraints in the efficient delivery of the programme should be
conducted (before March‟04).

State level institutional arrangements
5.23 The State level Steering Committee was replaced by a State Level
Management Committee in July 2003. It will be important that this
Management Committee considers not only operational issues but also
monitors progress on agreed actions and provides strategic guidance on
achievement of the state wide aims of APRLP. The State Level Watershed
Committee will be an important forum for considering the wider influence of
APRLP on watershed programmes in AP. It was agreed that a revised
government order would be issued for the State Level Watershed Committee.

Programme support arrangements
5.24 A strength of APRLP has been a programmatic approach, which has
drawn on the expertise of many institutions and individuals. The MTR
acknowledges the quality and creativity of the Programme Support Unit over
the initial project period in developing APRLP approaches and encouraging
networks of organisations to work on specific themes. The majority of PSU‟s
work and staff have now been effectively transferred to the PMU and the MTR
agrees with the recommendation that the PSU completes its role within
APRLP by 31 March 2004. It will be vital for the project success that a project
support network continues that is responsive to demands from PMU and
accountable to the state level management committee. The MTR
recommends that a programme support network is established based on
the three existing working groups (capacity building, enterprise development
and productivity enhancement) and external specialists, complimented by
additional individuals/institutions in policy and programmatic analysis as
required. Arrangements for management and financing this programme
support network will need to be reviewed.
                                                              Draft: 18/12/2003



Logframe and purpose
5.25 The MTR recommends that the purpose statement and OVIs for the
project be revised to reflect the aim that GoAP adopts sustainable approaches
to tackling rural poverty in drought prone areas of Andhra Pradesh. This
should cover the state wide focus of the project and not just implementation of
watershed approaches in five districts. Review of the logframe will also need
to reflect the CRD institutional development work under component four.
Agreement of quantities for both purpose and output level OVIs is also
overdue and should be based on a participatory process involving key APRLP
stakeholders.

Human resource development
5.26 The mission was impressed with the calibre and commitment of
APRLP staff at all levels. However, the transfer of functions and staff from
PSU and PMU during this year has led to inevitable tensions and anxieties.
As the new institutional arrangement settles down, it will be important that
staff feel valued and understand their role within the project. Retention and
development of experienced staff within the PMU and at district level will be
vital for continued progress and in meeting the challenges agreed between
DFID and GoAP from this review.



DFID India
December 2003

Annexes:

      1. TOR
      2. Itinerary
      3. OPR

								
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