NGOs today, as part of civil society, have come to play a prominent role in South Asia in the context of community-based natural resource management (CBNRM). This book examines the theory and practice of NGO-driven CBNRM within the framework of emerging critiques of dominant discourses of development, the micro-politics of decentralization, and the projection of community development. The book breaks new ground by situating these critiques within six detailed cases of CBNRM initiatives.

To what extent does CBNRM continue to offer a vision for the future and what role, if any, could NGOs play in this? The authors attempt to answer this question by seeking to understand the ideas and insights of CBNRM that intervening agencies bring with them and by examining the outcomes of the interventions and the strategies used to achieve them.

The book concludes that though these CBNRM efforts have made significant contributions to livelihood enhancement, the results gained are limited in collective action for sustainable and equitable access to benefits, continuing resource use, and in terms of democratic decentralization.

Hivre Bazar: A ‘Model’ Watershed Experiment

Hivre Bazar: A ‘model’ watershed experiment


Hivre Bazar, a village in Nagar taluka of Ahmednagar district, was chosen as an Adarsh Gaon Yojana (AGY, literally meaning Model Village Scheme) village in the early 1990s. The AGY was conceived by the government of Maharashtra to replicate the experiment in Ralegaon Siddhi, a very prominent and much cited example of participatory and sustainable watershed development. Hivre Bazar today is also considered a ‘success’ story like Ralegaon Siddhi and has become a ‘model’ village visited regularly by bureaucrats, development practitioners and even villagers from other parts of the country.

What sets Hivre Bazar apart from many of our other case studies is the fact that it is an initiative that has its roots partly ...

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