Community Governance in Infrastructure Services

This EU supported regional project is being implemented in 48 Gram Panchayats (village level local self governance units) in disaster prone and tribal pockets of Odisha state and 20 urban slums in the capital city Bhubaneswar.

In disaster prone Gop block of Puri district the project works in 29 Gram Panchayats covering 226 revenue villages with our partner Society for Women Action Development (SWAD).

Gop is subject to frequent floods and the project’s special focus is on mainstreaming disaster preparedness as part of the planning process. Intensive mobilisation and capacity building has been done to develop community-level need-based plans which have been incorporated into the Gram Panchayat, Block and district plans. Model infrastructure projects have been demonstrated based on these plans which include overhead water tanks and stand posts, toilets and irrigation facilities.

In Daspalla the project works in 19 tribal dominated Gram Panchayats with our partner, Orissa State Volunteers and Social Workers Association (OSVSWA).

In the remote tribal areas the focus is on mainstreaming the needs of the communities in the government planning process. Need-based community plans are developed and mainstreamed in the government planning process and based on these model infrastructure projects addressing the community’s needs for drinking water, sanitation and water for irrigation are demonstrated. These projects are planned, implemented and managed by the community.

In 20 urban slums in Bhubaneswar the project works to promote participatory planning through micro plans developed through slum development committees. Community infrastructure projects are set up as per the community needs. These mainly cater to the community needs for drinking water, sanitation and waste management.

The Makarprasad Miracle

Makarprasad is a remote village in Daspalla, NayagarhDistrict, majority of this small tribal community is dependent on seasonal agriculture. In recent times rainfall in this area has been erratic and partial or complete crop damage has become a general pattern over the last few years.

Practical Action started working with this community in 2009 and mobilised the community, PRI representatives and local officials to design and implement an appropriate water diversion scheme. The community received training in construction methods, new cultivation techniques, drought resistant cropping patterns and was actively involved in construction and maintenance of the irrigation system.

As a result of the project there was a marked increase in yield per acre of paddy during the Kharif season and the cultivation of supplementary crops such as wheat, sunflower and pulses was initiated during the rabi season.

The benefits of the project went beyond the 66 families and 123 acres of the village and extended to the neighbouring village also. The community were also linked to the government officers for technical support and guidance.

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