‘Experience sharing and Capacity
building of SGP partners’
Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
SGP India has
so far approved 273 demand led and action driven projects. The
project partners work in five different thematic areas in
diverse geographical regions. Every partner have their own
difficulties and also local solutions to it. These problems and
solutions are sometimes common in many projects but due to lack
of a platform to share these experiences partners start
reinventing the wheel to find similar solution.
It thus becomes important to bring these experiences together so
that the learning could be shared among each other. Workshops
like this not only gives a chance to SGP partners to present and
share their experience but they also get chance to interact with
other partners doing innovative programmes and project in
different areas. This way they get an idea on practical and
tested technologies, methods and approaches which partners share
between each other and later apply relevant learning’s in their
projects. Through these workshops partners also come across
projects which could be replicated in their areas and thus they
get ideas to develop new and relevant projects required in their
area, this leads to cross learning and replication.
similar workshops in New Delhi and Bangalore inviting partners
from South, East and North India, the 3rd workshop was organized
in Bhopal which invited partners from Central and Western India.
ideas on the Principles of Sustainable development and
concerns on project sustainability.
of experiences among SGP partners on the kind of works
they have been doing and impacts created.
of plan of actions of new project partners and
incorporation of successful action plans from old
Updating partners on the system of documentation and
reporting of project activities
Upgrading the knowledge of project partners on issues
related to SGP thematic areas with special reference to
Climate Change (CC) and Conservation of Biodiversity (CBD).
Familiarising partners and updating them with systems of
Monitoring and Evaluation(M&E)
partners towards making linkages and partnerships with
special reference to making use of effective technology
More than 25 NGOs partners from
Central India UNDAF states and Western India, UNDP and CEE
officials from SGP secretariat and regional teams, key resource
persons from Government sector. Also Mike Wilson (Ex-Head NRM,
DFID and at present an evaluator for the SGP programme) was
present at the workshop A list of participants to the workshop
is attached in Annexure I.
The two day workshop was planned in
an interactive and participatory manner. Each session of the
workshop focussed on one issue at a time. Each issue was first
taken up by the resource person and the partners were made aware
on specific issues. Then the topic was open for discussion. Each
participant was asked to present their queries, strengths,
weakness, difficulties, experiences etc. based on particular
The second day of the workshop had discussions on reasons and
indicators of project success.
Day one- 19th September
To set up the
tone of the workshop, before starting the workshop, a
documentary was shown to the participants. The documentary was a
good start to share with partners the reasons and indicators of
a successful projects.The documentary was based on one of the
SGP projects in Southern India. This project is being run by the
Peekay Tree Foundation and the documentary was made and aired by
Prabhjot Sodhi welcomed the participants to the
workshop and informed them about the methodology of the
Rathore (NSC Member and Senior Advisor, Winrock
International India) informed participants about the purpose of
the workshop. Mr. Rathore told participants that in the two day
workshop we should do focussed discussions to come out with
Mr.Anil Arora (Programme officer, UNDP)
welcomed participants on UNDPs behalf and apart from informing
the participants about the role of UNDP in the Small Grants
Programme he laid emphasis on various other points essential for
project success and sustainability.
*Below given are some main points put forth by Mr.Arora -
UNDP views SGP programme and the role of NGOs and that
this Workshop should be treated more as a "problem
solving" and a "learning platform" rather than the NGOs
being at the receiving end as far as information feeding
of SGP programme v/s. UNDP's CPAP
informed about SGP's Inception in India, the involvement
of the NHI and the present portfolio of projects
(completed and ongoing projects), the funding pattern
from the beginning till the year 2004 and from 2005
onwards when SGP started receiving almost US $1 million
co-funding role of UNDP and the participation of MoEF in
the form of up-scaling of projects were explained.
participants were informed as to how to leverage
partnerships and links at local, central and state
levels and how to collaborate activities and funds from
geographical coverage and the penetration of SGP in
hilly, un-reached and marginalized communities were
explained. They were also informed of the importance of
involvement and empowerment of women in the projects and
how UNDP values them, and also that the women should
have no disparities in wages compared to men which
should be kept in mind for the sanctioned SGP projects.
thematic area-wise distribution of projects was
explained and partners were informed that during the
later sessions we should generate a discussion as to how
can we focus more on climate change projects and as how
to assess the carbon emission in their projects.
details of co-funding accessed over the previous
projects was also explained to the participants.
were informed that SGP supports Pilot/Demo type,
demand-led innovative projects and that they should
bring in innovations in their projects which could be
were informed to bring in backward/forward linkages and
integrated strategies into the projects with full
community ownership and participation.
participants were informed about the knowledge
management initiatives that are in place, i.e. SGP-India
website, SGP network, UNDP Global EE Practice Network,
publications, brochures, posters, and booklets and how
to make use of them. The NGOs can write to Mr. Sodhi
and to UNDP in case they need experiences from anywhere
in the world in their practice area.
were asked to develop Success Stories, Case Studies,
Articles and papers on projects which can be shared with
UNDP and these can be placed on "UNDP Newsletter".
were informed that SGP and UNDP focuses very strongly on
information/knowledge sharing at local, national and
even at regional level. In case any NGO wishes to make
use of some facilities for learning they should bring
out the issues and UNDP will review to arrange for
were informed to place strong attention to advocacy
initiatives as it is noticed that many NGOs do great
work but do not report well - they were asked to take
assistance from CEE in case they have problem in writing
or expression in English language.
system's UNDAF approach was explained and since most of
these States fall in Western and Central Region, the
NGOs were asked to integrate their activities in the
UNDP's regular work if they are associated with any of
UNDP’s existing Core activities.
were asked to advise UNDP in case they feel any problems
are encountered while interacting with NHI or the areas
where the NHI's role can be strengthened.
that SGP is the only project of UNDP where we deal
directly with NGOs and the fund disbursement is also
done directly to NGOs. UNDP expects their full support
to make this as a "Peoples Programme" by establishing
best practices and by bringing in systematic approach to
Jitendra Aggrawal, a senior IFS official from Madhya
Pradesh stressed that NGOs should establish links with the
government schemes. The NGOs have their own power and the good
work has no boundaries. They should expand their horizon and
provide solutions and finding funds from donors/government will
not be a problem. The relationship should be value-based and
there will be no dearth of supporters. He also introduced the
partners with the MPRLP (Madhya Pradesh Rural Livelihood
Mike Wilson, the DFID Consultant who is being engaged
by SGP to do evaluation of projects spoke on the role of
technology in the SGP projects. He informed that the technology
is not a solution but regular advancements in technology are
needed wherein the people involved with technology are more
important than the technology itself. The selection of
appropriate technology and its adaptation by community is the
need - the communities should determine for themselves the
demands and what do they expect to fill the gaps rather than
somebody giving them the top-down agenda. He said that
technology should be directly linked to livelihood.
Issues related to Climate Change
to all the resource persons participants got an overview of the
kind of sessions ahead. This lead to opening of the sessions and
the first session on climate change started with the
presentation of Mr.Sodhi.
Mr.Anil Arora was invited to chair this session. Mr.Arora said
that UNDP is working on large Green House Gas(GHG) emission
reduction projects and UNDP need partner’s support in assessing
the potential and working on smaller Climate Change(CC) related
projects in their area.
informed participants on what is climate change and what type of
projects fall under the thematic area of climate change.
Mr. Ajit Saxena advised the NGOs to do mapping of areas which
affect climate change and create awareness on CC in their
neighbourhood. He also said that training on CC issues is also
Mr. Shyam Bohre
informed that the climate change is happening fast and hence
fast response is needed. He suggested participants to understand
the linkages between project activities and climate change
After the discussions 8-10 NGO partners realized and informed
that they were already addressing the issues of climate change
in their work. They were advised to also link biodiversity
related activities to climate change. Many NGOs did not even
know that the work they were doing on biodiversity was indeed
helping in GHG emission reduction. They were informed as to how
they should assess the carbon emission calculations. They were
informed that if they have any problem in calculating the GHG
emission reduction they should advise the volume of activities
and Mr. Sodhi will do the calculation on the tonnage of GHG
emission reduction done in their projects. This information is
absolutely essential for reporting back to GEF Headquarter on
regular periodicity. While sharing experiences one of the NGO
partner came up with contacts of Suryabijli Foundation- who is
working in the area of Solar Energy technologies, it was
suggested to partners to make linkages with such bodies while
doing energy projects.
Summing up this
session partners were suggested to identify Climate Change
activities in their projects and document it properly in the
"Leveraging Resources and creating links with
focussed on issues related to co-financing. A presentation was
made on -what the resources mean and how they can be reported in
the Reports. Partners were made aware that help in terms of
finance, labour, skills of all types, technology support, space
support etc. all could be added to the projects as a part of
co-funding. Several questions were raised as to what
work/support they are bringing to the project could be a
co-funding. NGOs came up with specific examples as how, how
much and what type of Co-funding they have received from various
sources like, community, institutions, organizations,
government, private sector etc. NGOs said that the funds
received from other partners bring ownership by the
participating institutions and should be clubbed with the
project. The labour by the community should be strongly
encouraged. The SHG kitty, bank finances and subsidies should be
accessed as much as possible.
Parikh, Regional Coordinator, Centre for Environment
Education(CEE) gave a presentation on Monitoring and
Evaluation. The focus was more on identification of indicators
and capacity building of NGO staff to analyse indicators. They
were asked to make provision for training on impact assessment
in their budget. If they interact with any NGO, it is the
communities who should speak to the expert as no body other than
the communities can inform what the impacts are and how to
measure them. In many cases, if the community ownership
emerges, it is the community who evaluates the work of NGOs.
The NGOs should design their systems in a manner that the
outputs of their progress should be defined in a manner that
they are clearly measurable.
The NGOs were
advised that they should shun the language-shyness as it should
not be a barrier in their work. They were informed that we are
with you to learn from you and that they should clear whatever
doubts they may have.
III, the day I programme came to an end and the participants
were briefed on the programme for the next day.
visit to Central Institute for Agricultural Engineering (CIAE)
visit focussed on giving exposure to project partners to know,
learn and adopt relevant, simple, easy to use agricultural
technologies in their projects.
visit participants were accompanied by Mr. Prakash.P.Ambalkar
(technical officer CIAE, Bhopal.) At first Mr. Prakash
introduced the institute to the participant and gave an overview
about the kind of work being done by the institute. He said that
institute is doing various R&D in agricultural technologies and
is coming up with farmer friendly technologies. He said that
machinery needs to be changed as per geographical area, field
condition farmer’s requirement etc. and at CIAE such successful
and farmer friendly technologies are displayed. These are time
saving, cost effective, need based technologies. CIAE also
offers fixed as well as tailor-made training programmes. He said
that CIAE has displayed a range of machinery ranging from
Rs.1000-70,000 and even as high as Rs.3-4 lakh. During the visit
partners also shared their experiences and claified with Mr.
Prakash and got to learn new things,
success-Reasons and indicators”
This session was chaired by
Mr.Shyam Bhore. He briefed the participants on the objective of
the session and asked each of them to come up with points on
below given issues-
are the reasons of success of projects?
are the indicators of success?
participant came up with various reasons and indicators of
Few points made
by participants are given below-
Rapport, Trust and Community cohesivity developed in
projects. Vision and a common understanding between
range of socio economic communities focussed and
developed in Projects from the start. Communities
involved in planning, implementing and monitoring
need assessment of the people’s priorities in a range of
issues, using more participatory approaches eg.
Participatory rural appraisals (PRAs) promoting
localised vision of work plans in a more holistic
the ‘participatory micro planning, (PMP)
approach’, (eg village entry, informal
regular-periodic village meetings, record keeping of the
agreements in the meetings at the SHG levels,
discussions, PRAs and related participative
methodologies using the community problem analysis tool
with communities, discussing and negotiating community
priorities). The micro planning approach needs to be
taken up in the context as ‘local area based exercises’
which clearly lead to developing ‘village work
plans, (VWPs)’. These VWPs, are prioritising
the community needs with special focus
to poverty and gender.
Informal, issue based, self help groups (SHGs), forest
groups, irrigation groups etc. as institutions to be
developed in projects. The groups can be male, female
and mixed and the agenda not imposed rather
participatory in nature. Encourage regular meetings and
proper documentation of decisions.
Alternate livelihood options to be encouraged through
SHGs for its members. Sharing and local initiatives to
be encouraged. Non members not to be encouraged for
actions in villages.
encouraged to meet credit needs of poor through common
decision making processes. Timely and cheap interest
encourages more regular savings and links to banks for
the schemes and access to more working capital.
Increased participation of community (including women)
in all project activities addressing both practical and
completion of actions/activities in the project.
Constant and regular monitoring of the activities by the
NGO and the communities.
the skills and capacities of a range of community
volunteers-resource grass root persons, (including both
men and women) to plan, implement, manage and monitor
resources and activities according to the village work
plans. (1-8 months in the program, continual in nature
and regularly enhancing during the project period).
Developing a long term vision within the project
actions, with communities sharing costs, decisions and
Building community skills, capacities particularly in
management and operations of the accounts for actions
maintaining clarity and transparency in actions.
that during the project timeline/cycle a problem solving
ability is developed in a range of people, ensuring a
spread of technologies, which are easy to adopt and
manage; low cost; ensuring community and individual
Communities enhanced incomes lead to a reduced migration
and equity in both access of benefits and increased
capacities, in particular with women and the poor.
Enhanced quality of life for all socio economic
categories of people in the project areas. No universal
approaches will be encouraged, however the possible
options and reasonableness that the communities lead to
doing rather than getting the activities/subsidies.
Co-financing is encouraged within project actions both
in terms of in kind and in cash. Linking SHGs with
co-financers and establish livelihoods for them.
Constant efforts to Influence on policy at all levels
within the system and in particular with the governments
and donors at local/state/central levels.
Increased benefits and beneficiaries through a more
systemic replication and scaling up strategies.
business model approach ensuring stable profits,
especially in livelihood enterprise projects. Efforts to
link the markets, ensure quality of products and timely
and regular supply/production. Ensure better value
additions in products and raw materials in villages.
of the community to constantly over longer time periods,
handle and maintain physical assets through project
and timely Exposure, Training and Capacity Building of
communities in a range of actions.
Conservation of local varieties and establishing market
the community from the beginning, clarity of concept is
important, make proposals with the community
Alternate livelihood options (especially in case of
Linkages with private sector for both conservation
practices and livelihoods
Involvement of youth and women in education, health and
related issues through other partners, including
Identification of local resources and generation of
livelihood based on the same Develop a more self
critical, open and responsive approach in projects. What
are participatory approaches, tools and methods in
natural resources management which promote community
Identify and understand the roles and skills required of
management partners for participatory resources
on the traditional knowledge systems and practices to
ensure and encourage community benefits.
“Long Term Project Sustainability”- Mike Wilson
After a long
discussion on reasons of successful projects, Mr. Mike Wilson
talked on the topic of long term project sustainability. After
listening to all the participants for two days and knowing the
ground realities Mike came up with some very relevant and
specific points which he felt is very important to achieve
sustainability in projects. Few points which Mike emphasized on
is given below-
Sustainability is a broad rage of activities and there
are 2-3 things which is crucial for attaining
Building trust and confidence among the community or
representative of the community.
Innovation in projects
Management (saving schemes etc..)
answered various queries put-forth by the participants.
Vote of Thanks
session, Mr. Kapil (CEE, Central) thanked participants on behalf
of the SGP. He summed up the discussions happened in the past
two days and emphasized that the partners should make more and
more linkages with Government schemes and also make use of
existing laws, specially the Forest Act.
He requested all the participant to develop a brochure on
impacts created by the project. He guided all participants as
how to develop such brochure.
The partners were also asked to make a two page note on what are
the activities in their projects which could be linked to
climate change and they were asked to send this note within 1-2
of the workshop
Partners working in different geographic and thematic
areas came to know each other and also shared
experiences, issues and local solution to some common
Partners got to understand more clearly, the role of GEF,
UNDP, CEE and MoEF in the Small Grants Programme
got more aware about generating co-funding, making
linkages and building partnerships
understanding of activities which could be linked to
various thematic areas specifically Climate Change
Importance of documentation and reporting was clarified
understanding of M & E formats and procedures
interaction with the representative from UNDP, and clear
understanding on the expectation of the funding agency
from project partners
Exposure to latest, simple, easy to use, farmer’s
friendly technologies available with the CIAE, Bhopal.
Partners already started making linkage with the
institute for availing facilities.