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Baseline Study of the Project 'Mobilizing MGNREGA- A High Impact Collaborative Water Security Programme in Jharkhand'

The ‘Consortium’ of three organisations i.e. PRADAN, WOTR and Society for Promotion of Wastelands Development (SPWD) initiated a project with the objective “To contribute to improved food and nutrition security of vulnerable populations in selected drought prone districts in 6 Blocks of two districts of Jharkhand”. The project was supported by Welthungerhilfe (WHH), a German non-denominational and politically independent non-profit and non-governmental agency working in the field of development cooperation and humanitarian assistance. The project proposed to channelize the MGNREGA funds for improving irrigation infrastructure in the villages for enhancing their cropping intensity, diversity and productivity. The project proposed to use agriculture for improving nutrition outcomes, as it addresses some of the direct causes of undernutrition (inadequate food and nutrient intake) and some of the key underlying factors (e.g., poverty, low income, and food insecurity). The ‘Baseline Study’ was conducted with the aim to establish the baseline situation pertaining to the impact and outcome matrix proposed for the project.

Value Chain Gap Specific Analysis of three Agri-Commodities in Kalahandi District of Odisha

The broad expectations of this Value Chain Specific Gap Assessment study was to understand the critical gaps in the identified value chains (Seasonal Pulses, Moringa and Backyard Poultry) and recommend possible solutions to overcome the gaps. More importantly, the study findings intended to support in developing effective value chain development interventions. The study adopted a well-designed methodology to capture the gaps in value chain that prevent women farmers from enhancing their incomes from the identified value chains. In addition to the women farmers, the study team also reached out to multiple value chain actors (Processors, Wholesale Traders, Commission agents and Distributors etc.) and representatives from the government departments (agriculture, horticulture, KVK, etc.) in order to understand the complete value chain of the selected commodities, key gaps and possible recommendations.

Baseline Study of “Shakti” Project in Kalahandi district, Odisha

The project aims to make a significant change in peoples’ lives by “increasing the resilience of marginalized rural women to climate changes, capacitate them to take part in decision-making processes related to climate adaptation, food security and nutrition”. The baseline study aimed to establish benchmarks at the start of the project on selected indicators to enable measurement of project’s impact and outcomes at the end of project intervention. The study also focused on gathering inferences that provide gender sensitive recommendation for the project’s overall strategy and to inform the review of targets against project indicators as needed, to ensure they are achievable. A cross-sectional study design was followed with assessments to be undertaken at start of the project and end of the project (total duration of project, 3 years). Quantitative data was collected through interview of a total of 460 households (23 households from each village), using a structured questionnaire. To substantiate, and triangulate data collected through quantitative tools, qualitative data was collected through Focused group discussions with female and male farmers; In-depth Interviews with SHG leaders and Panchayati Raj members. Information available through secondary sources viz. government data/reports, publications by organizations of repute etc. were also used to provide context. The indicators were selected such that they are capable of measuring project impacts (project goal or long-term objective) and project outcomes (medium term objectives).

Feasibility Study for “Climate resilient farming systems to improve the food security of smallholder families in Purulia, West Bengal”

The broad nature of the assignment was two-fold i.e., to evaluate the success and impact of the first phase of project, and to review the concept (impact matrix, proposed activities and budget) for the planned new project and give qualified guidance on the development of the planned project. The evaluation was oriented towards the specific objectives, the results and the indicators of the project and analyzed relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, overarching developmental impact, sustainability and cross-cutting issues as well as the replicability of project interventions through the scale-up project. The survey was conducted among 364 households, spread across 12 villages of Joypur and Jhalda blocks (six villages each from current project and new project). The households from the current project was covered through a‘panel’ survey.

Preparation of Cluster Level Micro Planning in Bathinda (Punjab), Chhota Udepur (Gujarat) and Damoh (Madhya Pradesh)

The objective of this micro planning exercise was to deepen CARE’s understanding on the landscape of the impact population, broadly in the areas of agriculture and livestock rearing practices, crop preferences, current package of practices, inputs used, water use for agriculture, soil and water conservation practices along with overall natural resource management practices. In line with the objective of the micro planning, community consultation process was undertaken in each micro cluster. A set of PRA tools in the form of Focus Group Discussions focusing on complete micro cluster profile, social and natural resource mapping, production profile of crops, seasonality calendar, training need analysis, stubble burning, energy and opportunity mapping in farm sector/allied sector/traditional. The exercise also used transect walk and informal discussions and observation throughout the visits to triangulate and confirm the data gathered through PRA tools. A Civil Engineer was also engaged in each location to prepare the detailed plan for NRM structures covering resource mapping, ownership mapping, INRM technologies and structures with dimensions, action plan with proposed land use, map, labour requirements, budgets etc.

Endline Evaluation of “Climate Change Adaptation of Women Smallholders and Cotton Producers from Vidarbha Region, Maharashtra”

CARE India’s project on “Environmentally Sound and Climate Resilient Cotton Production Practices (ESCRCPP)”, supported by Group Galeries Lafayette, was implemented from 2018 to 2021 in Buldhana district of Maharashtra, with an aim to promote environmentally sound, climate-resilient and inclusive cotton production. The location of the project was guided by the fact that Vidarbha accounts for half of the cotton area of Maharashtra, which has one third of cotton growing area in India and Buldhana district being the major cotton producing area in Vidarbha. The evaluation focused on gathering evidences on the quantitative and qualitative results and outcomes of this project to understand key learnings. The focus was on the elements that worked very well and contributed to the sustainability of the projector otherwise. The findings of this assessment were shared among key stakeholders as a part of knowledge sharing.

Impact Tracking Study of Maharashtra Agri-skilling Programme (MASP) in 12 Districts of Maharashtra

Palladium Consulting India Pvt. Ltd. is part of a consortium implemented the Maharashtra Agri-skilling Programme (MASP)supported by National Skill Development Corporation – NSDC, Government of India and the Government of Maharashtra. The program aimed to recognise prior learning of farmers, orient them to the concept and allied ideas of Group Farming Practice, impart practical inputs in group farming and facilitate paperwork for formation of Farmer Producer Organisations (FPO). The overall target of the Program was to train and certify 2,82,000 farmers in Group Farming Practice and submit 2000 FPO undertakings. The Program was split into three training phases and implemented in a cascading manner. The training activities were done in 6 to 7 districts to cover all the 34 districts of Maharashtra. The study tried to understand key factors like relevance, effectiveness, sustainability and potential impact of the agri-skilling program as well as the key shortcomings/bottlenecks in the processes and results, and elaborate upon ways and means to overcome them. A total of 3700 farmers from 12 selected districts were interviewed. In addition, FGDs with FPC and Non FPC members, KIIs and IDIs with selected respondents were also done.

End-line Study of Community-based Adaptation Project ‘Where the Rain Falls’ in Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra

The WTRF project was implemented by CARE India with financial support from AXA in Bagicha and Pathalgaon blocks of Jashpur district. The project was implemented since 2014 with the ultimate aim to increase climate resilience of 3000 tribal women and their households in 40 villages of the program district and to curtail shocks and stresses among the tribal women emerging due to climate change. The project interventions advocated ‟promotion of community-based strategies and practices” evolved by CARE India. The endline evaluation was conducted to provide evidence-based information that is comparable (pre and post interventions) and summarize the quantitative and qualitative results and outcomes from WtRF activities. The study focused on identifying key lessons learnt and provide recommendations that contribute to the sustainability of this project and aid in the overall enhancement of the programming of CARE and its partners in India.

Tracer Study of Maharashtra Agri-skilling Programme (MASP) in 6 Districts of Maharashtra

The study was conducted to understand the change in knowledge, skills, attitude and practice of the MASP participants of phase 1 with regard to group farming and Farmer Producer Organizations. It also focused on understanding the skills acquired by farmers on farming practices, crop management, technology, setting up and management of FPOs, exposure to market linkages and networks and changing/emerging aspirations of farmers from the perspective of group farming.The study also documented the key learning from the first phase of the program so as to offer strategic directions for the remaining phases. Mixed method approach was followed to accomplish the assignment. Quantitative survey was anchored by 2200 survey with farmers from six sample districts while qualitative survey entailed focus group discussions with the members of FPC and Non-FPC.

Documentation of “Climate Change Adaptation and Cotton Production (CCACP) Project” in Buldhana district, Maharashtra

The project focused on developing environmentally sound and climate resilient cotton production model plots for demonstration on the lands of traditionally cotton growing women smallholders of 10 villages. The package included; modules on good practices for cotton production, as well as inputs like seeds, bio-fertilizers, farm equipment and post-harvest storage materials. This assignment was entrusted to CMSR Consultants with the aim to document the project learnings and disseminate the project experience of promoting climate resilient cotton production so as to inform key stakeholders on various State, National, and International Platforms. At the community level, discussion was conducted with lead farmers/demo plot farmers to understand their acceptance and response in switching over from BT cotton to organic cotton cultivation. Interviews with key stakeholders at block/district level (Agriculture department / Extension department / Trainers/ KVKs, etc.) was also done.

Data Collection for Animal Protein Consumption Study in Four States

The study was conducted in four states i.e. Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Assam. The scope of the study involved conducting a survey among 4704 households spread across the four states. Besides, the study team also administered the survey questionnaire among the representative of selected Abattoirs, Retail Stores (modern and conventional), HRI Sector, Dairy Companies (Co-op &Pvt.), Poultry companies (Meat & Egg) andwholesalers of Meat, Fish, Poultry (Chicken), Egg and Milk.

Impact Assessment Study in 14 Project Districts of Maharashtra, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh under Godhan Program

The study was undertaken for BAIF Development Research Foundation, Pune. The study was conducted to understand the project impact on the target group and also to understand the functioning of various programmes for course correction and lessons learned. It has also improved decision making for the current or next generation socio-economic development projects, including Field Performance Recording (FPR), documentation, M & E, and research. The study involved large scale data collection in field (face to face interviews with 3000 farmers and 1500 DIG members). Besides, 100 focus group discussions were also conducted with farmers and DIG members and telephonic interviews were conducted with 10000 farmers.

Development of FFBS Manual & Toolkit for Care India’ Pathways Project

A toolkit on Farmer’s Field and Business School (FFBS) has been brought out by the Pathways Global Program of CARE. The toolkit follows Klobe’s Learning Cycle Approach. Though Pathways India also follows some of the session plans and methodologies as listed in the Global Pathways toolkit, there was scope for the adaptation of the toolkit to incorporate field and community conditions and requirements, and keeping in mind the resource material and content CARE actually intends to deliver in the respective domains, in a crop cycle sensitive manner. Therefore, in order to adapt Pathways India’ Resource Material into a full-fledged FFBS Manual with participatory tools and methodologies interwoven, CARE India sought the services of CMSR Consultants for “Preparation of FFBS Manual and Tool kit for CARE India’s Pathways Program”

Community Mobilisation, Household and Livelihood survey for Slum Redevelopment Program under RAY

The purpose of the project was to support WAPCOS Limited in preparation of SFCPoA and DPR for development of slums under Rajiv Awas Yojana scheme as per GoI guidelines. The project component includes community mobilization and conducting slum household & livelihood survey in Buxar and Ara districts of Bihar. The study involved the large scale data collection (25000 households) in slum households through the formats prepared by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation with the help of National Buildings Organization (NBO).

Thematic Study on Community Based Adaptation (CBA) Project in Chhattisgarh

Qualitative study and documentation pertaining to various interventions done under “Community Based Adaptation Project” was undertaken in Jashpur district. The project interventions advocated‟ promotion of community-based strategies and practices evolved by CARE India. The study focused on how these interventions had worked on the community around the underlined five Thematic Areas i.e. Agriculture Collectivization, Soil & Water Conversation; Climate Resilient & Financial Services; Inclusive Governance and Gender. In-depth interviews (IDIs) were conducted with the project functionaries and Focus Group Discussions with the Adivasi men and women of the farming community, Members of Village Development Committee, Block level Motivation Teams, Self-help Groups, Water User Associations and Joint Forest Management Committee.

Consumer Survey: Socio-economic Conditions for Successful Introduction of Improved Pigeon Pea Varieties for Bern University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland

Indo-Swiss Collaboration in Biotechnology (ISCB) is a bilateral research and product development program, jointly funded and steered by the Indian and Swiss government. In phase IV (2013-17) research networks were funded to work on pest resistance, yield improvement and climate resistance of cassava, finger millet and pigeon pea.CMSR Consultants carried out the value chain analysis and consumer survey in Delhi & Hyderabad to ascertain market perception and preference of desired traits in improved pigeon pea cultivators. The exercise explicitly gave an insight about the tangible benefits that were gradually emerging from the project which are capable enough to challenge any vulnerable situation that can occur during climate change in terms of hunger and human mobility.

Baseline Study for Pathways’ Supplemental Grant Period

Pathways project was implemented during 2012 – 2015 and the Gates Foundation extended the Pathways program for one more year from April, 2016 to March, 2017 under the Supplemental Grant Period (SGP). CARE India contemplated to utilise this Grant for consolidating project outcomes and learning for sustainability, scale up and replicating best practices in other project locations through a wide range of stakeholders. CMSR Consultants undertook this Baseline survey at the beginning of this extended period in order to ascertain the project impact at a later stage towards completion of the project and their sustainability.

End-line Study of Pathways Program in Kalahandi and Kandhamal Districts of Odisha

End-line assessment was conducted to establish quantitative and qualitative end line values against the baseline values and measure the progress made during the supplemental grant period. The study also identified learning and challenges that hinder the success of the project and also documented the lessons learnt that could be used while developing future strategies. The quantitative assessment included measuring the status of the women Self-help Groups, and the Community Resource Persons on the Sustainability parameters as suggested by CARE India.