Over the last twenty-five years, GRASP worked on a variety of aspects of rural livelihoods and natural resources development and management through a number of projects. GRASP left a lasting impact on the lives of rural people, especially the poor and the disadvantaged.
Community Action Programme (CAP)
GRASP successfully completed two participatory watershed development projects in villages Bolted and SitanaikTanda in Kannad block of Aurangabad district under Indo-German Watershed Development Programme during 1996-2000.
GRASP implemented watershed projects with focus on soil and water conservation projects sponsored by the union and state governments e.g. DPAP, Adarsh Gaon (model village) and Jal Sandharan(water conservation) in five villages of Fulambri block of district Aurangabad during 1995-1998.
These projects helped 3926 families in 17 villages by treating degraded area of around 11,738 hectares (including common and private lands) in Aurangabad district.
The watershed management committees promoted under these projects have taken forward the development process and worked for overall development of their community. These committees are still functional and active in addressing emerging development issues.
In Vidarbha, GRASP implemented the Capacity Bulding Phase of a watershed development project in Wapti-Kupti cluster of five villages in Karanja block of district Washim under NABARD supported Holistic Watershed Development project. It helped 255 farming families with regeneration of soil and water resources of nearly 300 ha of their land.
In district Chhindwada of Madhya Pradesh state, GRASP successfully completed a watersed project, which substantially increased the family incomes of ___ families through increased agricultural production by way of improved land and water management on about 2000 ha from nine villages from two blocks.
GRASP demonstrated efficacy of micro-finance model for socio-economic empowerment of women in project areas under CAP projects. In Stree-Shakti Lok-Shakti Vikas Project under DFID's PACS programme more than 156 women SHGs so far were promoted covering 2,294 women with a total turnover of more than INR 30 million.
GRASP dveloped and implemented an innovative approach to groundwater management in a cluster of 20 villages of Sindkhed Raja block of Buldhana district. Aquifer Water Management Pilot was a prestigious action research project of Government of Maharashtra under the World Bank supported Jalaswarajya Project. GRASP promoted twenty village level aquifer committees and federated them into a block level management Aquifer Association. With very strong capacity building on scientific aspects of groundwater, and with effective technical backup, these committees have been managing their water resources for the last ten years even during the drought years. This pilot was appreciated across the state for its strong technical content and unparallel institutional capacity enhancement results.
GRASP worked in the state of Madhya Pradesh as a Project Facilitation Team at Kolaras block of district Shivpuri where we first time launched resource conservation as a basic instrument for livelihood security of the poorest under state government's Indira Gandhi Garibi Hatao Yojana (District Poverty Initiatives Project, DPIP-MP, supported by the World Bank).
In addition, GRASP provided Strategic Support to DPIP-MP in eight districts on identification, pilot testing and scaling up of appropriate livelihood activities. GRASP also carried out the capacity building of the stakeholders at cluster, district and state level. The unique approach of GRASP in providing handholding support proved a great success in this project, and was replicated by the Government of Madhya Pradesh in other projects.
GRASP provided support for planning, designing and implementation of household level drinking water supply in ten villages of North Sikkim district in the Himalayan state of Sikkim. It was for the first time in North Sikkim that the rural families got year-round supply of potable water at the doorstep in 2008-09.
GRASP provided support to farmers in twenty villages of North Sikkim district in the Himalayan state of Sikkim for organic horticulture. Over 300 farmers benefitted from the skills and knowledge aquired in organic practices of cultivation and primary processing of large cardamom, citrus fruits and seasonal vegetables.
GRASP extended technical and management support to several voluntary organisation and community based organisations on various land and water management projects, watershed development projects, sanitation and health. Prominent projects in the recent past include Comprehensive Water Resources Assessment for providing drinking water to 40 villages in Jharsuguda (Orissa), capacity building of Farmer Producer Organisations in CAIM Project in Vidarbha and designing School Sanitation project in Meghalaya.
GRASP promoted a regional network of ten voluntary organisation working on environmental resources management, providing resource support by building their capacities in financial management, infrastructure, expertise on technical aspects and in the areas of gender and equity. Besides facilitating successful implementation various project in the short run, it helped the partners in perspective development that led to their growth in the long run.
In 1999, this initiative culminated in a formal network - Guild of Regional Associates for Community Empowerment (GRACE). It led to a consorted action on regional issues like water management and water governance in developed watersheds, Joint Forest Management, resource mobilisation, etc, which were taken up by the partner organisations with success. Successful implementation of two large projects in Maharashtra - Management of Eco-Resources by Communities (MERC) and Poorest Areas Civil Societies (PACS) - could be attributed to efforts of GRACE. GRASP's major contribution is acknowledged in promotion and institutional development of these organisations.
Today, members of this network are active in various districts of Marathwada region, like Aurangabad, Jalna, Parbhani and Nanded and in Yavatmal district of Vidarbha region. Many have successfully implemented watershed projects under Indo German Watershed Development Programme, and subsequent programmes of NABARD and Government of Maharashtra.
In the nineties, GRASP also promoted a network in the state of Himachal Pradesh so as to build their capacities to address the local environmental issues. As a part of this process, four new community based organisations got capacitated. They are playing a meaningful role in implementing the state government's development programmes in the region.
Study of community practices in drought proofing
Study of existential conditions of brick workers and technology impacts on brick sector
Collaborated with International Crop Research Institute for Semi Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) on field level research in agronomic practices and productivity of dryland crops in four successive seasons in the state.
In mid-nineties, GRASP could successfully promote the concept of micro-catchment treatment for improving the sustainability of village drinking water sources and evolve appropriate technical solutions for the same. This concept is now an integral part of the State's rural water supply
Study of rural haats(weekly markets), the first of its kind, was conducted by GRASP in collaboration with MART. This study helped in building linkages for livelihood promotion activities in several community action projects.
Extreme Vulnerabiity Assessment (EVA) in Jalna with NIBR, CICERO, on impacts of climate change and community adaptation practices
GRASP, in collaboration with Marathwada ShetiSahayya Mandal (MSSM) and The Human and Institutional Development (HID) Forum of Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC), promoted Moderation in Maharashtra State . Also conducted the first basic training programme in Moderation methods in the state.
Groundwater in AMC Area - community management of water scarcity and use of groundwater in urban areas of Aurangabad Municipal Corporation
Water Tenure Study for FAO - Study of prevailing practices of water sharing, management and governance in two river basins of Maharashtra
Gender and Social Inclusion in Urban Water Supply and Sanitation in two medium sized cities in India
GRASP conducted several research and documentation studies on various aspects of rural livelihoods and natural resources management. Prominent among these are Bio-Fertiliser Study in seven agro-Climatic Zones of Maharashtra , Best Practices in Joint Forest Management, Social Review of Sugar Sector in Maharashtra , and Women's Role in Water Conservation and Environmental Sanitation at Household and Community Level.
Due to our long term perspective and holistic approach GRASP was selected as a NGO representative on the Advisory Committee of DPAP for Aurangabad district during its first phase.
Launched the concept of post-project resources management in watershed and supported micro-irrigation, composting, lift irrigation, water harvesting structures and technologies in the ERM projects of GRASP and its partners.
GRASP has been consistently advocating for reforms in Joint Forest Management with varying degrees of success and sanitation strategy.
Hydrology focus in watershed management in Neeranchal project of Gevernment of India
Pilot on scientific approach to water harvesting structures in IWMP, Vasundhara