Towards human development: impact assessment of a micro-development intervention in Western India

This paper seeks to understand the human development potential of a lift-irrigation scheme introduced by a development NGO in Western India. In particular, it focuses on the ways in which this micro-level intervention has been able to create conditions for enlarging the choices of the poor. The impact of the intervention, captured at the farm and household level through both conventional and PRA data, is shown to have enhanced the productivity of the land, resulting in improved food security, higher employment, and a significant reduction in distress migration, especially among women. The success of the intervention is attributed to its appropriateness to local needs and to the creation of a suitable institutional mechanism. Given its demonstrated potential, the paper emphasises the need for replicating such interventions more widely.