The program’s overall objective is to support community-driven sustainable development and to improve the living conditions for rural poor of the State of Andhra Pradesh in India. Implemented in partnership with Bala Vikasa, the program includes two main strategies: 1) improving the living conditions of women, children/youth and farmers with the provision of safe water (bore wells, purification systems) and sanitation (household toilets), improved access to basic education and skills training, the development of organic farming technology and methods, and de-silting of water reservoirs and fertilization; and 2) investing in people’s knowledge and capacity building with the development and delivery of thematic training on rural community development for practionners from NGOs, local governments, universities, and the publication/dissemination of best practices and lessons learned. Local Partner: Bala Vikasa.
The expected outcomes for this project include: an increased involvement and control by women and men, girls and boys over their assets leading to enhanced economic, environmental, health and social development of the target community; and development actors (women and men) and institutions, in India and internationally demonstrate increased leadership in the promotion and the delivery of community development. Approximately 345,000 persons (50% women) benefit from the Program. These are those who benefit directly from the various activities undertaken by the 575 Committees (such as Women, Youth, Schools, Farmers, Water Purification, etc) working at the community or village level. Their living conditions are improving in relation with access to sanitation, safe water, health, education, and food security. In addition, 2000 development actors and 500 development institutions are integrating community driven development approaches taught by Bala Vikasa’s People Development Training Center.
Results achieved as of the end of the project (October 2017) include: (1) 125 rural public school facilities rehabilitated and equipped with educational material, benefitting 22,618 girls and 19,403 boys; (2) pedagogical supplies, including school bags and notebooks, provided to 5,687 girls and 4,425 boys in need; (3) 15,260 mothers received nutritional supplements and training on pre and post-natal care; (4) 153 water purification systems, 451 bore wells with hand pumps, and 2,764 latrines installed in 542 villages; (5) 25 demonstration farms totalling 128 acres set up to train and motivate farmers to use organic farming practices, with maize, paddy rice, pulse, peanuts, cotton and chili; (6)1,367 farming households trained on use of bio fertilizer and bio pesticides; (7)150 families equipped with drip irrigation kits; (8) soil fertility of 25,440 acres of agricultural land owned by 15,023 small farm-holders living in 152 villages improved by applying 1,725,620 cubic meters of silt; (9) tree coverage in 799 villages increased by planting 129,161 tree saplings; 10) through its People’s Development Training Centre in Warangal, Bala Vikasa provided training in asset-based community development to 3,817 (37% female) development practitioners from 936 organizations, both national and international, including NGOs, community-based organizations and government at various levels. Participants were from 52 countries, including India. As a result of the above project activities: 423,925 people, including 169,603 children, have improved access to water and sanitation; the prevalence of water-borne diseases among children in the beneficiary communities was reduced from 80% to 20%; there was a 100% reduction in new cases of dental fluorosis contamination; improved learning environment and school supplies to children reduced school absenteeism from 40% to 15%; organic farming practices contributed to increased yields (20% to 30%) and increased net farming income (40% to 80%), depending on crop varieties; 15,000 widows gathered in June 2017 at a convention to highlight their issues and educate the public.