Learning Lessons: Participatory Irrigation Management

Evaluation Document | 1 March 2012
How can participation contribute to the sustainable management of irrigation and drainage systems for agriculture? This edition of Learning Lessons provides some lessons from evaluations of ADB-supported irrigation and drainage projects.drainage projects, with a focus on participatory irrigation management.

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.