In 1985, the Water and Energy Commission Secretariat of Nepal and the International Irrigation Management Institute developed an ingenious intervention program for nineteen irrigation systems located in the middle hills of Nepal in an attempt to overcome the prevailing 'best-practices' traps, in regard to assisting irrigation systems. This book highlights the innovativeness of the project lay in its provision of ample opportunities for farmers to make decisions regarding the operation of the irrigation system based on their local knowledge and creativity. The authors of this work, Elinor Ostrom, Wai Fung Lam, Prachanda Pradhan and Ganesh P. Shivakoti provide detailed analysis of these interventions and support the conclusion that farmers can build on an innovative intervention that not only provides physical improvements but also enhances farmers' problem-solving capacity. They argue that to achieve sustainable improvements in performance, the farmers themselves need to engage in collective action over time and support local entrepreneurs who provide leadership and stimulate adjustments to change.
Providing practical policy solutions, this study will prove a fascinating and invaluable read for academics and scholars of development studies, resource management, and irrigation studies, as well as development specialists in international agencies, policy makers in governments and international donor agencies.
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd
Number of pages: 160
Dimensions: 216 x 138 mm
Improving Irrigation in Asia by Elinor Ostrom and colleagues is grounded in intimate detail on water management experience in Nepal while being informed by broadly-applicable concepts and behavioral theories. It greatly advances our understanding of management options and effects. As the water resources available for agriculture become more limited and unreliable, the efficiency and productivity with which irrigation water is used must be increased. While better technology can assist in this quest, the greatest potential gains lie in the social and organizational domains. --Norman Uphoff, Cornell University
Governance of irrigation systems is complex, needing social, technical and financial actions that support farming. Few people have as much knowledge of self-governing irrigation systems as these authors, and few countries have as many of these systems as Nepal. Lessons from these small irrigation systems can be adapted to much larger units, and to other kinds of activity. External assistance on a modest scale could generate practical benefit, by encouraging self-reliance in communities. --Charles Abernethy, International Irrigation Management Institute, Colombo (1987 - 94) and Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand (1996 - 99)
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