Learning Lessons: Participatory Irrigation Management

Date: March 2012
Type: Papers and Briefs
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ADB administration and governance; Agriculture and natural resources; Evaluation; Social development and protection
Series: Learning Lessons


Functioning irrigation and drainage systems are vital for increasing agricultural productivity and food security, and promoting inclusive economic growth in ADB’s developing member countries. ADB’s support to irrigation and water management is guided by its Water for All Policy. This puts participation as the core of water service efforts. Participation is the process in which stakeholders influence and share control of development initiatives.

This edition of Learning Lessons shows how policies promoting participation in irrigation and drainage projects are likely to have satisfactory results. Having clear procedures for policy implementation and establishing enforcement mechanisms are crucial. The study shows how good governance in the context of transparency and accountability within community organizations and implementing agencies are essential to participation. It concludes that participatory irrigation management may generate more benefits and perform better than other approaches.

Participatory Irrigation Management by Independent Evaluation at Asian Development Bank