The impact of a multi-component Wadi project has to be evaluated under several distinct parameters like:
- livelihood impact, including impact on income, migration and livelihoods base
- food security, nutritional and basic health status
- capacity and skills of participants
- participation and role of women in family decision-making and development activities
- environmental impact, including impact on soil and water resources, biomass production, etc (see Suggested impact indicators)
BAIF-Wadi projects have undergone several evaluations using some of these parameters. Below are summaries of two published studies.
The Wadi programme in Vansda tehsil of Navsari district (earlier in Valsad) was studied in 1986-87 by Anil Bhatt of IIM-A, for the National Institute of Bank Management (NIBM), as a case study.
Bhatt made several visits to project village and BAIF head office in Pune. Twenty-three Wadi families were interviewed in depth. On the spot observations were made by attending meetings and visiting project sites. A survey of 162 Wadi families in 12 villages was done, to assess benefits in terms of income, change in assets, etc.
Below were his key findings, discussed in Poverty, Tribals and Development: A Rehabilitation Approach (Manohar, Delhi, 1990):
- 69% Wadi participants had annual income below Rs 1500 before joining the programme but only 11% reported having such low income after the joining the programme; 48% reported having income of Rs 2500-Rs 4000 after joining the programme (pre-programme: 9%).
- “Most noticeable impact” was among two lowest-ranked tribes, Kolchas and Kotwalis; nearly 20% among them reported earning over Rs 3000 p.a., as against none before the Wadi programme.
- Over 85% participants had improved their homes, by raising the roof, adding rooms, replacing thatched roofs with tiles, mud walls with brick structures, etc
- Participants were regularly eating wheat and rice, which they rarely did earlier. Use of vegetables and fruits was not uncommon anymore.
- In 15 villages, in 1984-86 there were 7 infant deaths in 150 live births among Wadi families, compared to 13 deaths in 156 live births among other families.
- Proportion of people migrating for over 3 months for work had reduced from 57 to 12%.
- Kolchas and Kotwalis had acquired confidence and their self-esteem had gone up. There were incidents of them refusing to do free labour for powerful landlords.
- Number of surveyed participants who accessed drinking water from a handpump had gone up from 1 to 77.
- On the whole, the ethos in 15 surveyed villages was `forward’, `upward’ and `optimistic’.
NABARD `Sustainable tribal development model’ case study (2005)
Dr Dilip Shah, head, department of rural studies, South Gujarat University, undertook a “critical analysis of working of Wadi as an anchor of the sustainable tribal development” in 2005, for NABARD, the nodal agency for the `Comprehensive Tribal Development Project’, funded by KfW-Germany, for Wadi-based development in Dharampur and Kaprada tehsils of Valsad district, and later Dangs.
The study covered the project’s performance in 1995-2003, and was based on some primary data, discussions with NABARD and BAIF staff, and exhaustive study of secondary data including:
- evaluation of project, done by Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) for KfW in 2001, based on a sample survey of 477 households, including 91 landless households, in 25 villages
- baseline survey done by AFC in 2000
- project status report done by IIM-A, in 2001
- project’s progress reports
Key impact-related findings of Dr Shah’s study, published in NABARD’s website, are as follows:
- Annual income per Wadi household was Rs 10,470, which was 60% more than during baseline survey
- There was significant reduction in migration. Incidence of migration of women had declined from 20% to 12%.
- Across all land-owning categories (including landless), income from agricultural and non-agricultural labour had increased, indicating greater availability of employment options in village itself.
- Horticulture crops has acquired a significant share of 20% of the total area under cultivation.
- Incidence of food insecurity or starvation (18% in Dharampur, in 1980s, according to one study) was zero. Consumption of milk, meat and fish had increased.
- 77% of participants had received one or the other kind of training and 66% were practising knowledge/skills gained in training.
- 96% respondents had undertaken one or another measure of soil conservation; 70% had adopted water harvesting techniques.
- Yield of pulses had increased from 87kg per acre to 108kg.
- Most women had to walk less than 0.5km for fetching water (13% women had to walk 1-2km to fetch water in baseline survey period).
- 71% families were following one or the other family planning method.
- 78% women reported they had say in family economic decisions; 46% reported they decided how to use income they themselves had earned.
- 69% respondents reported having a positive sense of self confidence, self respect and self esteem; 45% stated feeling that `development without government’ was possible; 93% said unity among different social groups had increased due to the Wadi project; 70% indicated willingness for taking responsibilities in village development.
- Almost 5 million forestry trees along with 225,000 mango and 45,000 cashew trees had been planted in an area of around 12,000 acres.
Wadi, concluded Dr Shah, was a “robust concept of sustainable development”, which was “powerful and practicable”.