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APPRAISAL

OF THE CO-OPERATION
SIEMENPUU FOUNDATION (SF) & TAMIL NADU
PROGRAM (TNP)

Facilitated by
LEAD AUTHOR: MR. CHELLADURAI SOLOMON (DMC)
CO-AUTHOR: MR. OLLI-PEKKA HAAVISTO (SF)
Team Members:
MR. KAI VAARA (SF), MR. OSSI KAKKO (SF) & MS. PAULIINA TUOMINEN (SF)
MR. ROY DAVID (NAA) & MS. SUDHA (SADED )
MR. L. ANTONYSAMY (TNCT)

DECEMBER 2009
TAMIL NADU, INDIA

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Table of Contents

Preface ................................................................................................................................. 3
Acronyms.............................................................................................................................. 5
Executive Summary & Recommendations ............................................................................ 8
Chapter – 1 Background and Tamil Nadu Programme ........................................................ 14
1.1. Siemenpuu Foundation (SF)..................................................................................... 14
1.2. Siemenpuu India Cooperation programme ............................................................... 15
1.3. Historical background of SF in Tamil Nadu ............................................................... 17
1.4. Tamil Nadu Core Team (TNCT)................................................................................ 18

Chapter – 2 Appraisal of Tamil Nadu Programme & Process .............................................. 20


2.1. Context - Evaluations / Appraisal in SF..................................................................... 20
2.2. Tamil Nadu Programme Appraisal & Process........................................................... 20

Chapter – 3 Findings and Analysis on Tamil Nadu Programme elements .......................... 21


3.1. Organisation of Development Action and Maintenance (ODAM)............................... 21
3.2. People’s Action for Development (PAD) ................................................................... 26
3.3. People’s Education for Action & Liberation (PEAL)................................................... 32
3.4. Youth’s Network to Educate and Empower the Weak (Y-NEEW).............................. 37
3.5. Tribal Association for Fifth Schedule Campaign (TAFSC)......................................... 41
3.6. LEISA-Erode Network............................................................................................... 46
3.7. LEISA-Dindigul Network ........................................................................................... 49
3.8. Tamil Nadu Environment Council (TNEC)................................................................. 54
3.9. Joint Action for Sustainable Livelihood (JASuL)........................................................ 62

Chapter – 4 Overall Analysis.............................................................................................. 71


4.1. General Impact - Tamil Nadu Programme ................................................................ 71
4.2. What difference SF’s Cooperation has made to the Partners in TN Programme?..... 73
4.3. How has the Siemenpuu support affected the local power structure? ....................... 74
4.4. How relevant and what is the effectiveness of the programme? ............................... 74
4.5. Project & Process Management ............................................................................... 76
4.6. Learning and Cooperation ........................................................................................ 79
4.7. Analysis on ‘Strengths and Weaknesses’ ................................................................. 81

Chapter – 5 Recommendations.......................................................................................... 82
5.1. SF Level ................................................................................................................... 82
5.2. TNCT Level .............................................................................................................. 82
5.3. TNCT Partners’ Level ............................................................................................... 83

Annex 1: Terms of Reference (TOR)................................................................................... 84


Annex 2: Appraisal Implementation Plan (AIP).................................................................... 90
Annex 3: Appraisal Context, Process & Methodology ......................................................... 95

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PREFACE
We have in our hands an appraisal document which will hopefully be utilised fully in developing the
Siemenpuu Foundation cooperation programme in Tamil Nadu and its constituent projects further, in
making an already fruitful programme into a more targeted and influential one.

A special strength of this report is in shedding light into the constituent elements of the programme,
that is, the individual projects behind it all. The report brings forth many of the impressive
achievements of the projects, and some areas, where there are obvious needs for improvements. But in
many cases it is also obvious, that the projects cannot, and should not, be compared from the same
footing and angle. Some of our partners have a highly developed managerial NGO kind of approach
to their work. Some others can be understood better from a movement perspective. These different
approaches need different kind of nurturing and steering from the project management perspective. In
some cases even a project structure may be a bit blurred, giving way to processes, which are very
slow and gradual, but when moving, also very hard to be stopped.

One of the biggest achievement of the programme has actually been the fact, that under the joint
framework, there has been initialised cooperation between partners, which otherwise might not have
worked together at all. And it has been good to notice, that even though some of the operational
principles of the organisations and networks have differed quite much, there have been some very
basic values and ideals, which have been shared by all the actors involved. These have related to,
among other things, wide-based social, environmental and economical (self-)sustainability and
democracy, and solidarity with the most oppressed groups of the societies.

Capturing all the nuances of various projects is very demanding in this kind of appraisal. Some of the
project personnel, when reading a description of their own projects, might find that there is something
crucial missing, or some aspects emphasized, which do not belong to the core of their projects. But
hopefully this does not keep each and every one of us from taking a critical look at ourselves, alone
and jointly, and see where the projects and the programme can perform even better. The intention of
this exercise is not to put the projects in order, and compare, which has the best performance. The
main goal is to learn and develop. And hopefully, those who are not directly involved will find the
report enlightening in creating ideas on how to get aboard in the processes of the programme.

The report in hand do not bring much additional understanding on the context of the civil society in
Tamil Nadu, or the basic characteristics and dynamics of the key networks, which are at the core of
the programme. It is hoped that additional understanding on these aspects of the programme will be
promoted through some systematic processes outside of this appraisal as well. Without quite deep
understanding on these aspects, there is always a risk that some aspects of the programme will be
progressing through trial and error and without deep enough of cultural and contextual sensitivity. In
the programme there have also been incidents, where some people have been feeling hurt, even
though all the original intentions have been only good. Some of these could have been avoided, if we
knew more about each others and our social and cultural peculiarities, and the processes which have
been actively involved in bringing us to the point where we are. But in deeper level we cannot get this
kind of deeper learning only through reading books about each other. The best ways of good
cooperation can be learned only in direct cooperation, and being patient and open to each others
peculiarities.

When this process was in its final stages, we experienced an immense loss from the very heart of our
cooperation. The Programme Convener Tony passed away on 21st November, 2009. Tony was very
instrumental in bringing the programme where it is now, and without his good guidance it is not easy

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to bring the programme back to its track. But we are hoping that through his example and in his
honour we will find back on the right path again.

This report is in memory of Tony, our good and very patient guide!

Mr Kari Bottas
Tamil Nadu Programme Coordinator
Siemenpuu Foundation

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ACRONYMS

ACT Association for Cultural Transformation


AM Afforestation Management
AIDS Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
AIP Appraisal Implementation Plan
ATM Appraisal Team Members

CACL Campaign Against Child Labour


CAFAT Collective for Action of Forest Adivasi in Tamil Nadu
CAPART Semi-government Body of the Govt
CAN Coastal Action Network
CASSA Campaign Against Sex Selective Abortion
CB Capacity Building
CBOs Community Based Organizations
CCFC Donor Organization
CEDA Centre for Education Development Association
CEED Centre for Education and Environment Development
CENDECT Centre for Development and Communication Trust
CGP Citizen Global Platform
CIRHEP Centre for Improved Rural Health and Environmental Protection
CRC-TN Child Rights Committee-Tamil Nadu
CRPF Child Rights Protection Forum
CST Central Sales Tax

DLOC District Level Organizing Committee


DSI District Science Institute

EGS Employment Guarantee Scheme


ELF Environmental Lawyers Forum
ESF Environmental Scientists Forum
EWD Education for Workers Development

FISHERR Financial Initiative for Sustainable Human, Economic Resource Regeneration


FFS Farmers Field School
FMFA Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs
FRA Forest Rights Act
FRA Forest Regulation Action

GAA German Agro Action


GCP Global Climate Campaigns
GM Genetically Modified
GMP Good Manufacturing Practices
GMS Genetically Modified Seeds

HILLS Human Integrated Life Learning


HIV Human Immune Virus
HIVOS Netherland Based Humanist Donor Organization

IAIP Irrigated Agriculture Intensification Program


IAMWARM Irrigated Agriculture Modernization and Water Bodies Restoration and Management
ICEF India-Canada Environment Facility
ICT Information and Communication Technology
IGSSS Indo Global Social Service Society
INGOs International Non-Governmental Organizations
ISF Indian Social Forum
ISRO Indian Space Research Organization

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IT Information Technology

JASul Joint Action for Sustainable Livelihood


JJ Jeeva Jothi

KIOS Kansalaisjärjestöjen ihmisoikeussäätiö


KIM Key Informant Meeting

LEISA Low External Input Sustainable Agriculture


LIC Life Insurance Corporation
LIFE Livelihood Initiative for Empowerment

MADA Modified Area Development Approach


MAPOVI Movement Against Poverty & Violence on Women
MFA Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Finland
MLA Member of Local Assembly
MS M Swaminathan
MSSRF M Swaminathan Research Foundation

NAA National Adivasis Alliance


NAPM National Alliance for People’s Movements
NEW ERA T New Era Trust
NGOs Non-Governmental Organisations
NREG National Rural Employment Guarantee
NTFP Non-Timber Forest Products

OAP Old Age Pension


ODAM Organization of Development Action and Maintenances

PAD Peoples Action for Development


PCM Project Cycle Management
PEAL People’s Education for Action and Liberation
POPE People Organizations for People Education
PPP Power Point Presentation
PRA Participatory Rapid Appraisal
PRI Panchayat Raj Institutions
PWD Public Works Department

RASI Rural Association for Social Integration


REAL Rural Education and Action for Liberation
REDA Rural Education and Development Association
RTI Act Right to Information Act
RWO Rural Welfare Organization

SAAF South Asia Adivasi Front


SADED South Asian Dialogues on Ecological Democracy
SAGE South Asia Genetic Engineering
SAM Social Action Movement
SAP Sustainable Agriculture Practices
SC Scheduled Caste
SERSA Social Research and Education Service Association
SEZ Special Economic Zone
SF Siemenpuu Foundation
SHGs Self Help Groups
SIMCODES Sirumalai Evergreen Multipurpose Community Development Society
SINFPAD Southern Initiative NGO Forum for Participatory Development
SLFA Sustainable Livelihood Farmers Association
SM Strategic Management
SRI S Rice Intensification
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SSA Sarva Siksha Abhiyan
ST Scheduled Tribe

TAAK Tamil Nadu Adivasi Amaipukali Koottamaipu


TAFSC Tribal Association for Fifth Schedule Campaign
TdH Terre des Hommes
TLLA Team Leader and Lead Author
TM Team Member
TN Tamil Nadu
TNCT Tamil Nadu Core Team
TNEC Tamil Nadu Environment Council
TNIP Tamil Nadu India Program
TNP Tamil Nadu Program
TOR The Terms of Reference
ToT Trainers of Training
TRC Tribal Resource Centre
TWF Tribal Welfare Board

UNDP United National Development Program

VCD Village Community Development


VDC Village Development Committee
VDS Village Development Service
VFS Village Forest Service
VRDP Village Reconstruction and Development Project

WFP Wild Forest publication


WORD Women Organization for Rural Development
WSF World Social Forum

Y-NEEW Youth’s Network to Educate and Empower the Weak

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Executive Summary - Appraisal – SF&TN Program – December 2009

Executive Summary & Recommendations

1. Backdrop:
The appraisal of TN Program was perceived within the overall context and program of SF. The Terms
of Reference (ToR) for the Appraisal of TNP has been developed by the SF’s India Group which is an
extension of SF Board in Finland. The implementation of the ToR is based on a joint approval by
TNCT and the SF Board. The support and cooperation of Siemenpuu during the last 5 years (2004-
2008) was the period the appraisal process covered.

The appraisal exercise was carried out by a team of 9 members with a combination of a facilitator, and
representatives from SF, the India Program partners (SADED & NAA) and TNCT. Mr. Chelladurai
Solomon (Development Management Consultant-DMC) led the team as a facilitator and lead author.
He has a wide insight and experience of the Tamil Nadu civil society circles and has had an earlier
consultant relationship with CEDA Trust, which is one of the core network members of the
programme through Tamil Nadu Environmental Council.

The whole appraisal process was facilitated with a participatory process; visits to partners of TN
Program, sample representation of village visits, focus group discussions, review of documents etc.
The exercise was kept within the overall focus of the ToR and qualitative aspects, and wherever
possible quantitative aspects were brought in as supportive or evidence to the analysis. The actual
implementation of the appraisal began from December 2008 and completed by January 2010.

The whole process was delayed for various reasons outside the control of the lead author of the report.
First and foremost the delay was depending on the extended processing of the report in Finnish end.
Furthermore, in November 2009, we heard tragic news about the death of the programme Convener L.
Antonysamy. This had left us all terribly devastated and empty.

2. Different impact created:


The finding from the appraisal is that the impact or intensity of interventions may not be spread at a
same intensity at a wider level in the state of Tamil Nadu but “it is happening significantly across
TN”. The support in the Northern Tamil Nadu has however been less extensive than elsewhere.

The contribution and cooperation of SF has helped to look at issues according to geographical
situation and connecting them as a whole. The money contribution might have been limited but the
cooperation or support of SF other than of money has contributed significantly to the objectives of the
SF & TNP.

Good numbers of farmers now come forward to adapt sustainable agriculture practices in the project
areas of the partners. There is growing awareness among the farmers and the momentum is created at
the grassroots level and there is large scope for more farmers to adapt sustainable agriculture methods
in the following years.

Acres of fallow lands have been converted in agro farming in the project areas. Considerable profit
has been earned by the farmers. Farmers’ collectives have been formed and farmers’ families have
adopted alternative livelihood in the project areas of the partners. Land alienation has been prevented.
Techniques of organic farming such as mulching, vermin-compost, and organic pest control have been
widespread in the project areas. Water conservation, green coverage has been adopted in the villages
covered by the projects. The practice is spreading considerably.

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Executive Summary - Appraisal – SF&TN Program – December 2009

Dalit women herbal collectors themselves have added value to the processing of herbs, preparing
medicines and selling on their own as against selling raw herbs. Income has augmented to the
families. Value added in the production process, standardization and quality control in production has
been enhanced.

The casualty / mortality rate of cattle has been very much reduced to about 30% in the project areas
through the Bare-Foot Veterinarians which increased accessibility to medical attention to the cattle. In
all, it has increased the income of the households and the bare-foot veterinarians. The usury system
has been stopped by provision of loans to the fishermen. Fishermen Cooperatives have come into
existence with family membership.

Environment campaign has been strengthened in 30 districts through campaign and advocacy efforts
through lawyers collective, environmentalists’ collective, and scientists collective. More and more
grassroots people from the districts come forward to join the campaigns.

Members are enrolled and networks / forums of farmers are established; organic farmers associations
in districts, district level organic farmers associations, Sustainable Livelihood Farmers Associations
(SLFA) in 19 districts where IAMWARM project of World Bank is being implemented, and network
/ state level ad-hoc committee of SLFA. Thus the people’s local collective efforts in the level of their
communities, at the level of districts and state have been able to guide the program in line with one of
the crucial objectives of the TN Program of “self-reliant and sustainable community-level use and
management of land, water and environment”.

Similarly, many of the tribal villages in Erode and Salem district where network partners have their
field base (250 villages) grama sabhas have been formed. The concept and practice of “self rule” has
been spread. The tribal villages practice self rule concepts by selling the NTFP on their own,
demanding the government schemes, safeguarding their culture and tradition and taking up efforts to
claim their entitlement under the new forest act 2006. Good numbers of tribal families were able to
reclaim their land for livelihood with environment friendly agriculture practices. Thus the practice of
“self-rule” has helped the tribal communities to be a collective force in solving, clarifying and
correcting the adverse impacts of global structures on village life reality and to enable the
communities decide about the sustainable use of their local environment.

3. Difference made by SF’s Cooperation:


With financial grants and with the ongoing interactions & other non-financial support SF’s
cooperation has made significant difference to the TN Program and succeeded in realizing self-reliant
and sustainable community-level use, governance and management.

(a) Earlier, due to paucity of funds, the reaching out was very minimal. Now, the TN program partners
could take up and address wide variety of issues in all parts of Tamil Nadu. They have now made
linkages with intellectuals like lawyers, doctors and scientists to make them also feel responsible for
the social issues. (b) NGOs in TN have started focusing on livelihood issues with ‘rights’ perspective.
(c) There is wider sharing of experience, looking into the new dimensions of issues and addressing
them in strategically planned ways. (d) The space for livelihood has been increased and introduced
diversification in livelihood options. (e) Working space is created in herbal collectors’ network. The
herbal collectors now have value added market. (f) Types of programmes, the partners address have
changed from one single focus to wider livelihood issues. There are new initiatives like ‘zero
budgeting’, ‘very low external input’ etc in sustainable agriculture practices. (g) Partners have learnt a
lot in different aspects related to environment such as water, forest, land, bio fuel techniques. The
relationship with Fair Trade practice has begun after the cooperation with SF. (h) Earlier individual
farmers focussed with sustainable farming but they have now widened their initiatives and have come

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Executive Summary - Appraisal – SF&TN Program – December 2009

together as network. Along with the focus on collective usage of land, seed purchasing and marketing
the campaign mode is adopted subsequent to the partnership with SF.

4. Influence on the local power structure:


4.1. Relationship at different levels: The formation of TNCT has helped a lot in understanding the SF
process. The partners’ meeting make the individual partners feel the space for sharing experiences and
learning from each other rather than mere reporting. The relationship with SF is felt to be mutual with
comfortable feeling of articulating and sharing with each other. Among the partners, there is a sense
of solidarity to support the issues addressed by other partners. There is a common understanding to
cooperate with each other in spite of the differences.

4.2. Regarding the “power sharing”: A clear channel of communication exists at different levels; TN
Partners & TNCT, TNCT & SF. There is intention to widen the Core Team with representation from
other networks and with women representation. There are also efforts to bring closer relationship
between NAA, TAFSC & CAFAT, and also in the relationship between TAFSC & CAFAT.

5. Program Relevance and effectiveness:


There is growing anti-people and environmentally un-friendly policies and tribal lands are being taken
over by the multi-nationals. There is a need for a radical shift and alternatives; from market force to
people centred. Isolated activities may not be sufficient and there is relevance in terms of networking,
alliance at the macro levels including political parties, church organizations etc.

The TN Program has responded keeping the above as their basic understanding. The ongoing struggle
for the implementation Forest Rights Act (FRA) has been strengthened with the cooperation of
Siemenpuu. The thrust for sustainable agricultural practices helped families to get shifted from
inorganic farming to organic farming. Their family income has improved, external input has
decreased, land alienation has been checked and converted barren land into cultivable land. Farmers’
technical knowledge on organic farming has increased and there is gradual policy change in
agriculture sector towards organic farming. Advocacy campaign for coastal rights involved fisher
people into collectives and fisher cooperatives.

It was relevant to use the existing legal provisions; villagers and people were sensitized on RTI, PRI
Act, NREG act by providing information and strengthening the peoples struggle. Campaigned on
restoration of water bodies by creating mass awareness and campaigned against surface water
privatization policies of World Bank. Without such resistance the people at the grassroots will be
taken for granted and exploited to the core.

Promoted and strengthened Farmers organizations (SLFA) in sub basin areas in Tamil Nadu
responding to the vested interests of the World Bank’s irrigation scheme. Thus the grassroots are
organized and helped to work collectively with more vigour.

Established various dialogue forums such as advocates, environmentalists and scientists, in a situation
where the onslaught of industries and multinational companies in collaboration with the local
governments is high. This way the different sections of the public were offered common platform to
express their solidarity and concerns.

6. Project & Process Management:


At the level of Siemenpuu the planning is carried out by the India Group consisting of members
within SF and members from cooperation program at Finland level. The India Group has had sub-

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Executive Summary - Appraisal – SF&TN Program – December 2009

groups on the 3 specific themes and they are (a) dialogues, advocacy & campaign on ecological
democracy, (b) sustainable agriculture and livelihood and (c) Adivasis & their rights, protecting wild
forest and environment with which people can live from the natural renewal of wilds.

6.1. At the project level management:


Planning: The partners keep the global and national context in mind while planning. They consult the
CBOs, conduct random survey with the active participation of community and staff / organization,
and involve the chief functionary of the organization. These amply indicate the formal & informal
ways in which the planning is done at the project level.

Monitoring: Based on the plan, there is ongoing check to finding whether the plan is achieved or not
and undertake course corrections depending on the findings. Some of the partners have fixed formats
through which the information / data on the happenings & results are collected & collated
periodically. Monitoring is happening at the project level but there is less systematic documentation of
the monitoring activities & findings in many cases.

Evaluation: So far no external or internal evaluation has taken place in any of the projects of TNCT.
This appraisal is the first one which is being done with external team of facilitators.

6.2. At the TNCT level management:


Planning: At the TNCT level, it is in the form of consolidation of the planning which comes up from
the project level planning. TNCT facilitates pre-planning process which involves capacity building of
partners and preparation of context papers. The planning in the future has to be more interactive and
systematic involving all the stakeholders. Such process could involve the community in the planning
thereby the management at the TNCT level.

6.3. Implementation & Monitoring: In order to strengthen the implementation process, TNCT
organized discussions on Perspective Building for the partners of TNP, organized partners meetings
and coordinated the visitors from SF. From the point of monitoring TNCT has the mandate to appoint
somebody to do the monitoring studies of the partners. So far it has not been taken up and though
TNCT is conscious about it. They feel it is something that has to be done in the future phase
periodically and on need basis. TNCT also played the important role of compiling and providing
articles for publication in North-South magazine.

In terms of applications for partnership or decisions on inclusion of potential NGOs or Networks in


the TN Partners are left to SF. TNCT prefers this way in order that TNCT does not play a role of
“donor” which has certain dynamics and danger, and it is not healthy for the effectiveness of the TN
Program.

6.4. Reporting: TNCT collects the periodical report from the partners, consolidates the report and
shared it with SF and all the partners of SF. There is no scrutiny of the reports in comparison with the
proposed project plans of individual project. It is recommended that TNCT plays a role of facilitator.
It would mean that the reporting has to be made not just as ‘mandatory’ but has to be made more
meaningful and user-friendly at the project or TNCT level. The reports of the partners have to be
scrutinized as well in relation to their proposed plans within the TN Program.

6.5. Sharing: There was also opportunity created by SF for wider dissemination of the report in
Finland. In fact SF uses some models of TNP for wider dissemination and published core studies from
TNP in North-South magazines.

6.6. Gender Balance: TNP has to ensure that in the Core Team or project level management there is a
gender balance / equation maintained consciously. At present, the Core Team has only male members
though there are efforts to resolve the concern. The same concern is extended to the TN partners as

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Executive Summary - Appraisal – SF&TN Program – December 2009

well; How many of the TN partners are headed by woman? How many of the NGO partners of the
networks are headed by woman? These are some of the obvious questions.

6.7. Overall Governance: Thus far the governance of the TN Program with the facilitation of Core
Team and the Convenor has been good and effective. The Core Team members have collectively
wide and multi-dimensional experience in the governance of networks and community-level practices,
and they have been used the same in the governance. However, areas as indicated earlier (monitoring,
interactive / participatory planning and scrutiny of reports / consolidation of reports of the partners)
require attention in the future and TNCT has mandates to perform.

7. Alliance at the TN Partners, TN Program or SF levels:


The individual NGO partners either fitted their projects into SF program or joined the program of SF
or shared with the SF program. The question of ‘ownership’ for the total program by all the program
and project partners has to be felt. The ‘ownership’ for the three program objectives of SF is blurring
and it has to be strengthened with conscious efforts at all levels and especially at the level of SF. To
start with SF has to involve members from TNCT to be part of the planning of the next phase.

8. Learning and Cooperation:


8.1. The learning process: Moving towards collective functioning (agree to disagree but live with it
and work together), enriching perspective in the collective process, collective perspective & group
learning, collective responsibility, democratic functioning, on equal platforms – sharing and teaching,
joint action, different activity and group sharing, process between the present situation to the desired
situation. The other learning from the process was issue-based solidarity, giving importance to CBOs,
collectively sharing, supporting, co-operating and consistently giving solidarity.

8.2. Sharing the learning with wider circles: The sharing of ‘learning’ has been through reports,
perspective building meetings / workshops / seminars, newsletters & books, research & report
publications like North South Perspectives-magazine, Wild Forest. It has also been through other
forums like WSF, e-forums, Web pages, and YouTube. The sharing of learning has also been with
CBOs/focus groups, ‘people for self development’, through network, e-mail campaigns, discussion
with partners/network meetings, and joint planning.

8.3. Contribution to the co-operation on development between: (i) North and South? Global issues
have gained local faces, focused intervention & state to state collaboration, made state an active
partner, networked, and publication of NSP &Wild Forest. (ii) Within South? Co-operation between
TN and Sri Lanka on Sedhu Samuthiram Canal Program, sharing TNCT’s experience with Indonesia
SF partners and SF co-operation partners’ sharing meetings. It is important to note that TN co-
operation is regarded as a fruitful model for other areas / countries. (iii) Within North? SF works with
many likeminded activist organizations and the co-operation is seen as a valuable approach to be
implemented by others. The co-operation program has opened other new exchange and learning
opportunities and understanding the reality of the South and extending solidarity

9. Recommendations:

9.1. SF Level:

It is apparent from the findings and analysis of the individual and network partners of TN Program the
cooperation of Siemenpuu has contributed to impact in the three areas and has made visible
differences; (a) dialogues, advocacy & campaign on ecological democracy, (b) sustainable agriculture

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Executive Summary - Appraisal – SF&TN Program – December 2009

and livelihood and (c) Adivasis & their rights, protecting wild forest and environment with which
people can live from the natural renewal of wilds in Tamil Nadu.

The cooperation of SF needs to be continued in stronger ways of financial support, North-South


exchange and including TNCT in the planning process of SF as a whole.

9.2. TNCT Level:

TNCT has been playing an important role in facilitating the TN Program in a proper stream of
thinking, supporting the partners in their capacity, linking them with the TNCT, supporting SF with
required documentation & organizing / coordinating the visits of SF, conforming potential partners
and consolidating the reports of TN partners. The roles of the Convenor and the Core Team Members
have been visible and they have been able to use their experiences effectively in the TN Program.

In future, (a) the planning has to be more interactive and systematic involving all the stakeholders.
The next phase is an opportunity to demonstrate a better interactive planning process for TN Program.
(b) There is a need to make the role and responsibilities of TNCT clearer. A special attention has to be
provided in specifying the role of identifying potential partners or monitoring role of TNCT since it is
bit tricky and dynamic. (c) Conscious efforts have to be taken to ensure there is gender balance in the
membership of TNCT as well as in the leadership of TN Program partners.

9.3. TNCT Partners’ Level:

The relevance, effectiveness and impact generated by the TN Program partners have been significant
and been in line with the overall program objectives of Siemenpuu.

On the other hand; (a) there is tendency among the partners to be more project-oriented than process
oriented especially the individual NGO partners. This suggests that the cooperation in future could be
given importance to partnership with networks than with individual partners. (b) Their learning and
cooperation has been sufficient enough to make themselves relevant however the learning and sharing
has largely been limited within the project areas and the State Tamil Nadu. It has to go beyond. (c)
The project and process management of the partners has been both informal and formal ways, but it
would be necessary to make more systematic management of planning, implementation and
monitoring.

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Chapters 1-5: Appraisal – SF & TN Program – December 2009

Appraisal of the Co-operation


Siemenpuu Foundation (SF) &Tamil Nadu Program (TNP)

CHAPTER – 1
Background & TN Program

1.1. Siemenpuu Foundation (SF)


SF has been operational from Finland since 2001. It was founded by 15 Finnish NGOs working with
environment and development issues1. The purpose of the Foundation is to promote environmental
protection and fulfilment of human rights, advance peoples’ opportunities for participation and
promote more democratic and transparent political decision-making globally all within the field of
environment.

SF promotes work for ecological democracy, environmental protection and prevention of


environmental threats through supporting civil society organisations in developing countries working
for environment. SF helps people in the South to get their voices heard while also supporting their
work in advancing citizens’ political and other decision-making powers locally and globally. SF also
support the activities of the founding organisations and other environment and development
movements both in Finland and in other countries by producing and disseminating information on
experiences and lessons learned in the co-operation with Southern partners. The aim is to change the
unsustainable consumer society both in the North and the South.

The Foundation is an operationally and legally independent civil society organisation. Grants from SF
go directly to civil society organisations and networks of organisations, Non-Governmental
Organisations (NGOs), community groups and research institutes based and operating in developing
countries. However, SF economy is primarily based on the development co-operation funding from
the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, and it reports on the use of received funds to the Ministry.
The total budget of the organisation for the year 2008 was 1,25 million Euros. It is important to note
that the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland (MFA) supports three Finnish NGO Foundations
within three broad categories of support2, to provide small grants to non-governmental organisations
(NGOs) in developing countries. All three Foundations were established in 1998. Each foundation
focuses on different issues – Abilis on disability issues, KIOS (Kansalaisjärjestöjen ihmisoikeus-
säätiö) on human rights issues, and Siemenpuu (SIPU) on environmental issues. The Foundations
report to, and are monitored by, the NGO Unit of the MFA.

1
For more details of about SF please visit http://www.siemenpuu.fi
2
The Government of Finland channels the NGO funding through three groups of organizations: 10
partnership organizations, three NGO foundations, and about 140 other organizations, which receive project-
based funding. In 2007, the Finnish NGOs implemented nearly 700 projects in 87 countries and regions. The
share of the amount of projects for each NGO group is close to one third. In terms of money the partnership
organizations receive 43,1 M€ or 63%, NGO Foundations 3,3 M€, 5%, and NGO project organizations 22,2 M€,
32% of the total NGO funding. (Ref. TOR Evaluation of NGO Foundations 2008).

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1.2. Siemenpuu India Cooperation program


Between 2006 and 2008, SF started a new approach in development which was focused on developing
partnership programs. These programs are currently being implemented in India, Indonesia, Mekong
area, Mali in West Africa and Latin America. Within the same time there is a limited option for an
open call proposals from partners not currently within the partnerships.

Siemenpuu India co-operation programme is a new form of development co-operation for Siemenpuu,
aiming at more equal relations between the Northern and Southern partners of development co-
operation. This programme was set up with the aim of strengthening the options, rights and autonomy
of sustainable local, rural, urban and indigenous community life in India against commercial over-
exploitation of environment and livelihood sources.

Siemenpuu-India co-operation is thus committed to provide options and resources for:

• Dialogues, advocacy & campaign on ecological democracy, for local, national, regional and
global interactions to challenge and correct the adverse global structures which over-consume
the Earth;

• Sustainable agriculture and livelihood - People's local collective efforts to build self-reliant
and sustainable community-level use and management of land, water and environment;

• Adivasis & their rights, protecting, learning and sharing such ways of understanding wild
forest and environment with which people can live from the natural renewal of wilds.

These three dimensions of co-operation are considered to need each other to reach successful
realisation and thus complement each other in the context of Siemenpuu's overall strategy. The
realisation of the three dimensions is led by three corresponding networks of Siemenpuu's partners.

So within the India Programme SF has three sub-programmes and they are South Asian Dialogues on
Ecological Democracy (SADED), National Adivasi Alliance (NAAlliance) and Tamil Nadu Program
(TNP). Siemenpuu will provide under them options and resources for the Indian partners to fully
participate in shaping, planning, implementing and evaluating the co-operation programmes also by
grassroots-level mutual sharing.

1.2.1 TN Programme (TNP)


Tamil Nadu Programme aims to strengthen local communities' collective efforts to build self-reliant
and sustainable livelihood by community-level use, governance and management of land, water and
environmental resources.

Tamil Nadu, the southernmost state of the Indian peninsula, is spread over 130 058 Sq. km. (about
one third of the size of Finland). It accounts for about 4 percent of the total area of the country. The
topography of Tamil Nadu consisted of the coastal plains in the east; uplands and hills proceeds
westwards; the plains account for more than half the area of the state. Tamil Nadu has a number of
small rivers but not perennial rivers. The climate is semi arid tropic monsoonal. Tamil Nadu has only
17.5 % of the area under forest cover, of which a sizeable area is under degraded conditions.

Today, Tamil Nadu is facing a serious phase of desertification. The hills-forest faces deforestation
causing severe water scarcity for the plains and the coast; similarly industrialization and urbanization
have caused serious problems for all the three categories vis-à-vis Hills-Forest, Plains and the Coast.

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The changes/ill-effects that take place in any one of the three affect the others. Therefore,
understanding this inter-relationship is a pre-condition for any intervention.

The Tamil Nadu cooperation programme was originally founded by four networks whose
representatives formed the Core Team of the programme. This was agreed in a meeting in Madurai in
February 2006, where all the then supported organisations were represented, and where Kai Vaara and
Heikki Korhonen were representing Siemenpuu Foundation.

Within the TN programme Siemenpuu has been supporting state, regional and district level advocacy,
campaigns and direct field interventions. The support has been channelled through:

a) Activities of the four TNCT member-networks, which are:

− TNEC (Tamil Nadu Environment Council) - State level network addressing environmental issues
for ensuring ecological democracy
− JASuL (Joint Action for Sustainable Livelihood) – State level network addressing the issues of
water, land and livelihood.
− SINFPAD (Southern Initiative NGO Forum for Participatory Development) – District level and
regional network addressing the issues of livelihoods)
− LEISA (Low External Input Sustainable Agriculture) – District level network; LEISA Erode and
LEISA Dindigul, which tries to ensure the livelihood and food security of marginalized
majorities.

b) Many individual NGOs and their different forms of cooperation in Tamil Nadu.
Some of the NGOs have been supported also to coordinate other network activities between NGOs,
action groups, etc., like for example TAFSC (Tribal Association for Fifth Schedule Campaign), which
works in state level to address the livelihood issues of adivasis (in concurrence with TAAK and TAI
tribal associations.

1.2.2. Siemenpuu support to Tamil Nadu to be assessed


Siemenpuu support to Tamil Nadu started in 2003. First organisations which were supported were
Peoples Action for Development (PAD; 6.2.2003) and Organisation of Development Action and
Maintenance (ODAM; 13.3.2003).

Since then, PAD has got altogether 68 000 Euros for two projects (02041AAS + 05003AAS) and
ODAM altogether 50 073 Euros also two projects of (02045 AAS + 05017AAS). The results of this
earlier work of PAD and ODAM are also reflected here below even though these projects took place
before the TNCT program started.

During the TNCT program cooperation, between the years 2006 and 2009, Siemenpuu funding has
been distributed within the program as follows:

CEDA TRUST/ TNEC 105 812 Euros (projects 06218AAS + 07063AAS)


JASuL/ PEAL 61 000 Euros (project 07045AAS)
LEISA/ REAL 54 179 Euros (projects 06137AAS + 08204AAS)
TAFSC 48 774 Euros (projects 05216AAS + 08006AAS)
LEISA/ Jeeva Jothi 37 045 Euros (project 06217AAS)
SINFPAD 32 000 Euros (project 08201AAS)
PEAL 22 000 Euros (projects 08195AAS + 07067AAS)
VCDS 9 300 Euros (project 08003AAS)
Y-NEEW 7 350 Euros (projects 05023AAS + 09002AAS)
WASA 6 950 Euros (projects 05065AAS + 09001AAS)
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Annai Mary Foundation 3 750 Euros (project 05096AAS)


PURA 3 750 Euros (project 05201AAS)

So some organisations have got and utilised remarkably more financial support than some
others. The budget variance is basically based on the proposals given by the networks. The
networks based on the existing practice, needs and policies, they have applied to the
maximum funding level set by SF. Some networks submitted proposal based on their
minimum needs hence got less.

1.3. Historical background of SF in Tamil Nadu:


From 2003 to 2006 Siemenpuu has thus given grants for 19 different institutions working in diverse
sectors and focus themes. After 2006, under a programmatic approach, there have been more than 15
new or renewed grants.

There was an exceptional and accumulating amount of applications coming from Tamil Nadu in
2002-03 - more than from any other individual country in the world – and there was no opportunity to
focus to one special area without any good reason. Although the applications were generally fairly
good, they were very much in resemblance with each other, so SF had a difficulty to differentiate
them. The board decided to send a Siemenpuu representative to Tamil Nadu with the aim to create
cooperation between the applicants rather than support only a few individual organisations.

Mr Kai Vaara, as a Board Member, decided to take the job. In connection to the World Social Forum
(WSF) in Mumbai January 2004, he continued his travel to Tamil Nadu for February. Meeting
already in WSF several applicants connected to the SINFPAD network he encountered straight after
his landing 50 people in a meeting which was originally only intended to plan the tour among the
applicants. And these 50 people turned out to be representing an equal amount of different
organisations.

SINFPAD network had facilitated these arrangements. And the first group among them that
discovered Siemenpuu Foundation through internet was ODAM (Elango) which then forwarded the
information to the network, with help of PAD that was coordinating the network activities. PAD was
the second to send their application – and first to get supported.

During the visit many organisations were visited each day, several times there was more than one
organisation represented at one place. Three times a brainstorming workshop was organised to create
a joint cooperation project to be supported by Siemenpuu, instead of support to numerous
organisations from whom some most important seemed to be difficult to differentiate. This was the
origin for a campaign which later was supported with the name JASuL (Joint Campaign for
Sustainable Livelihood in regard to the globalisation).

But still during the year 2004, on top of this joint and cooperational project, more than 80 applications
arrived to Siemenpuu from Tamil Nadu – also because of the visit of the Siemenpuu representative at
place. And this created a still more difficult project identification burden to Siemenpuu Foundation.
So, the purpose of the visit was to decrease the flow of incoming applications but the result was an
increase of maybe four times more. But there was also another result – JASuL.

During the brainstorming sessions, it was several times noted that an interest from an outer actor
(from Finland) for creation of a joint cooperation or action cannot bring lasting results, that only an
inherent mutual process can produce that. But still, and at last, the most critical persons accepted to

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take responsibility for the joint action that was figured out through the process where common
concerns and views were summarised for an action plan.

1.4. Tamil Nadu Core Team (TNCT)


In 2006 the Tamil Nadu Core Team (TNCT) was constituted. It is comprised of representatives from
four NGO networks – Tamil Nadu Environmental Council (TNEC), Joint Action for Sustainable
Livelihood (JASuL), Southern Initiative NGO Forum for Participatory Development (SINFPAD) and
Low External Input Sustainable Agriculture (LEISA). The first funding was approved on 12 June
2006 with a total budget of 29,800 Euro for coordination and capacity building inside the programme
framework.

TNCT was set up to support the coordinated approach to grant making and a deeper engagement with
grassroots organisations and to amplify the impacts of Siemenpuu’s grants.

Mr. L. Antonysamy – TNEC, Mr. Y. David – JASuL, Mr. Martine – LEISA, and Mr. Rajendra Prasad
– SINFPAD were chosen to the Core Team. The consensus on the formation of the Core Team was
that the membership in the core team should be based on the existing networks.

The Core Team met in a series of meetings in Madurai and Pondicherry and drafted the ToR and
submitted it to SF, aiming to support “collective initiatives to bring in policy changes through
advocacy campaigns apart from supporting individual initiatives. Siemenpuu Foundation also expects
that the individual partners also become members of networks” (from the ToR of the TNCT).

The Core Team chose CEDA TRUST to be the authorized legal holder of the TNCT and to take care
of the programme coordination and administration. Mr Antonysamy was chosen to act as the first
Convenor of the TNCT.

The TNCT has defined obligations and has an agreement with SF to undertake some key
responsibilities that will help the TN programme partners in better implementation of the programme
and to assist SF in coordinating its work more efficiently.

The TN Core Team is mandated to assist SF and its working group called ‘India group’ in assessing,
processing and finalising the project applications from Tamil Nadu, helping in monitoring, reporting
and evaluation of the projects implemented and facilitating capacity building programmes for project
implementing organisations. It has also consolidated individual project reports, to give a more holistic
picture of the results of the project activities in Tamil Nadu, both for the networked organisations
themselves and the wider public in India and Finland.

TNCT has given key inputs in:


1. Processing of application: TNCT processed the application in a limited capacity by assessing
the legal status of the organisation, track record of the head of the organisation, the content of
the proposal etc.,
2. Monitoring, reporting and evaluation: Reporting was done on regular basis based on the
project reports. However, it was inadequate in explaining the process. We feel that the format
should have more room for process reporting. Monitoring was done at the time of partners
meeting. However, field visits did not take place for monitoring.
3. Capacity building to partners: Capacity building process took place on various thematic
topics, reporting and financial management skills.

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TNCT was formed with the idea that the Indian partners have a key role in negotiating the goals,
criteria, themes and conditions of the co-operation and to define and evaluate what is the aim of the
development, what are the modes of protection of environment and the funding and governance of
these, so that these could become more relevant for the context of life in India.

The initial duration of the cooperation programme between SF and TN programme, the TNCT was set
between 2-5 years with the funding linked to the funding agreements between SF and its main funder,
the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. In its first programme phase, the programme was to run
between 2006 and 2007 but was later revised to run until 2009, the continuation after that being
subject to a renewed cooperation agreement.

The TNCT members have more than 30 year of experience in the field of social action movements.
The social movements were created based on the issues affecting at the grassroots level, such as
landlessness, gender discrimination, undemocratic functions of the elected representatives and uneven
distribution of government schemes. The members of the action group did feel that they are part of the
victims in the society. Therefore every member of the movement/network had a feeling of ownership
in taking forward this movement. This force has become a threat to the government. Some of the
social action groups are as follows.
• Social Action Groups (SAG) – Tamil Nadu
• Federation of Social Action Groups - SAG
• Voluntary Action Network of India (Vani) - India

Before the advent of TNCT during the later part of 70s, there existed also peoples movements
initiated by Voluntary organisations, such as Samathuva Samuthaya Iyyakkam, Federation of action
groups, Landless labourers movement, and Liberation of bounded labourers.

Funding agency induced networks started emerging in early 90s. Before TNCT emerged SCINDA,
NEERA, ASW, LEISA, and NESA. The logic behind this development was mainly to reduce the
administrative responsibilities of funding organisations. Once the funding is stopped the networks
become ineffective.

The network functions in Tamil Nadu under the banner of Tamil Nadu SF programme is a donor
driven one. But there are two differences; (1) all the partners working towards for promotion of
ecological democracy, and (2) all the partners have equal say in the decision making process.

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CHAPTER – 2
Appraisal of TN Programme & Process

2.1. Context - Evaluations / Appraisal in SF:


Between May and September 2008, Siemenpuu was evaluated by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs
(MFA) in Finland. The MFA evaluation covered the activities, performance, and impacts of the three
NGO Foundations (Abilis, KIOS & SF) from 1998 until the time of the evaluation being conducted
i.e. 2008. This assessment is the first major evaluation of this particular NGO funding modality in
Finland. The MFA had also commissioned KPMG Finland to undertake performance audits of these
Foundations in 2004 and 2008.

The evaluation exercise itself was intended to be a capacity-building exercise resulting in improved
capacity of the Foundations, their partner organisations, and MFA, in terms of management and
administration of such support, and in terms of increased application of cross-cutting themes (i.e.,
human rights, disabilities, and environment) and options for the future in Finnish development
cooperation.

In 2005, Siemenpuu supported one of the India partners (SADED) to undertake a detailed self-
appraisal which was useful to both Siemenpuu and SADED and later formed a basis for formulating
their existing cooperation program.

The appraisal of TN Programme is perceived within the overall context of the SF programme. The
Terms of Reference (ToR) for the Appraisal were developed by the SF’s India Group in collaboration
with the TNCT. The implementation of the ToR is based on a joint approval by Tamil Nadu Core
Team (TNCT) and the SF Board.

2.2. TN Program Appraisal & Process:


The primary intention of the self-appraisal is to shed light on the impacts of Siemenpuu-TNP
cooperation. The appraisal will also seek to underline lessons learnt and good practice from the
specific projects and the general cooperation program. The aim of the self-appraisal is to help the
partners involved to further develop their work and cooperation both in strategic issues as well as
developing the administrative framework of the cooperation.
In the TN appraisal meeting with the partner organisations in Dindigul 20th January, it was
discussed (according to Kai Vaara´s notes ) that:
• “We are going to learn; not value statements.
• The purpose is not to evaluate but collect the positive cases...
• We are going to see what there is -> sharing the positive experiences
• What is positive, and what is for concern
• To find the significances of various projects...”

Please refer Annex-3 for more details.

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CHAPTER – 3
Findings and Analysis on TN Programme elements
In this chapter there is analysis based on the implementation of most of the projects falling
under the Tamil Nadu programme.

The criteria for selection of organisations for appraisal visits were:


• The organisations are representing each key ecosystems (coast, plain and hills)
• The projects implemented by on going networks
• The individual NGO projects have been completed

3.1. Organisation of Development Action and Maintenance (ODAM):


Organization of Development Action and Maintenance (ODAM) is a NGO working for development
of the women, children and marginal farmers in Virudhunagar and Ramanathapuram districts of
Southern Tamil Nadu. The head administrative and operational office is in Tiruchuly village,
Virudhunagar district with field offices in Ramanad, Madurai and Tirunelveli districts.

3.1.1. ODAM Context:


Prior to the cooperation with SF, the focus of ODAM was on self-help groups (SHGs) but ODAM
started pioneering in social issues of ‘land alienation’, ‘environment issues’, ‘alternative dry land
farming’ with jatropha etc. Land alienation was reduced by ODAM, reducing the sale of lands in the
districts by making the arid and waste land into a productive land. In some villages there were
common decisions of not selling / alienating land and it gave good results. All these had to be done
against the constant pressure of real estate agents / middlemen like PGF Peers & PACL. According to
an estimation of ODAM, in about 230 villages the success of preventing land alienation was felt and
visible.

The team visited a farmer’s land closer to the model farm of ODAM in Anikkalakkiyendhal village,
Virudhunagar district, where about 2 acres of dry land has been cultivated with jatropha. It took 3
years to come to the yielding stage. There were indications of inter-cropping of food crops such as
groundnuts and gingerly seeds. Perhaps it was possible when the jatropha plants were small but after
a growth to about 4 feet tall with branches of the plant after 3 year period, it does not look possible for
inter-cropping anymore. The jatropha plants themselves look dried up and survival of many of the
plants seemed to be doubtful. However, according to ODAM, usually by the month of February
jatropha plants will lose the leaves and new leaves will rise in March and April and one could see a
green canopy.

In brief, the unsustainable uses of natural resources in the area has caused low income from natural
resources, a decreased productivity on farm land, increased soil and water erosion and seasonal
migration from the area. Depletion of the natural vegetation, insufficient extension services, expensive
ground water development and lack of funds for development have all contributes to degradation of
land which ultimately lying barren for twenty years. Surface water resources have not been fully
utilized because water-harvesting structures, water conservation measures etc are lacking.

3.1.2. Major Objectives:


‘Fallow land development through Jatropha and Tree plantation in Tiruchuli, Narikudi and Kariyapatti
blocks of Virudhunagar district, Tamil Nadu’

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Reclamation of fallow land through popularizing and planting Jatropha, bio-diesel production from
Jatropha seeds and promotion of bio-diesel utilization in local diesel motors

Agriculture based with the objective of discouraging farmers from selling their lands started with
Jatropha and tree plantation in Virudhunagar district

3.1.3. Major Activities:


The major projects and activities of ODAM are: (1) Special school for child labour & dropouts
covering about 53 girls in Virudunagar district under Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) or “Education for
All” scheme of the government, (2) Aforestation Management in 2 villages in Virudhunagar district in
collaboration with Forest Department of the Government. Income generation program and village
forest councils are part of the program to reduce pressure on the forest. (3) Disaster Management in
150 schools from 5 blocks / 33 panchayats in Tiruneveli and Ramnad districts. Training of panchayat
committee on ‘what is disaster?’, ‘how to prepare oneself and mock drill?’ and training children in
schools on evacuation procedures / drills. Also, has undertaken a study in Koodangulam &
Kavalkinaru on the issues of wage & health as negative impact of ‘migration’. (4) Health and
environment covering the concerns of anaemic, HIV/AIDS and training youth on such health
concerns. (5) Savings & thrift scheme – 850 Self Help Groups; income generation programs, bank
linkages etc. (6) Finally, the Siemenpuu supported activities during 2006-07 which are still being
continued by ODAM.

Project & activities in cooperation with Siemenpuu:


In cooperation with Siemenpuu, ODAM trained their staff on their capacity in development concerns
and implementation, raised jatropha nursery & model plantation, identified farmers and promoted
jatropha plantation in their lands, established bio-diesel production centre as model, promoted
confederation of producers and consumers, researched on potential bio-fuel seeds other than jatropha
such as pongamia, neem, silk cotton and researched on by-products after extraction of diesel from the
seeds.
• 1st Project – 2005-06: Undertook systematic training on ecology and gender for couples
(husband & wife) and women elected panchayat members respectively.
• 2nd Project – 2006-07: Campaign against land alienation; identified individual land issues and
resolved, raised nursery of jatropha in 16 acres of land. Subsequently planted jatropha in 350
acres in the first year and 250 acres in the second year. Trained 800 women, men and farmers
on jatropha and through the training interested farmers were identified for plantation of
jatropha.
• Experimented with organic farming especially the method of terra preta (mixing of a
proportion of powdered char coal with bio-mass) and ODAM has nurseries in their model
farms in Anikkalakkiyendhal village with experimentation on terra preta cultivation with
different combination; Charcoal powder (water saturated), Charcoal powder, Charcoal,
Charcoal and oil cake etc.
• Undertook ‘information dissemination’ on the fraudulent actions of real estate agents like
PGF Peers & PACL in the alienation of land from the rural farmers / communities.
• Inspired by the idea of bio-diesel, with the support of ICEF (India-Canada Environment
Facility), erected a model & demonstration plant and machinery for extraction of bio-diesel
from different oil seeds like jatropha, neem, etc in July 2007 in Anikkalakkiyendhal village,
Virudhunagar district. The total cost of the model bio-diesel unit was about Rs.1.45 million;
Rs.0.75 million for machineries and Rs.0.7 million for land and building. The plant is still
under process for legal sanction and license from the government for methanol purchase.

3.1.4. Relevance, Effectiveness & Impact:


ODAM has received since 2002 altogether 50 073 Euros of financial support from the Siemenpuu
Foundation for its two projects already before the TNCT program.

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ODAM experimentation on bio-diesel from Jatropha has lead to the general promotion of
multi-cropping as opposed to single cropping. Their work and concerns about mono-crops
has lead to the development of experimental trials on different sources of biodiesel for local
use and from non-edible sources. This work has broadened their focus to environmental
issues and no longer only focusing on self help groups.

The following were extracted from the focus group discussions and interactions with the staff
members as relevance & effectiveness of the cooperation projects of SF with ODAM.

• In order to encourage the farmers for cultivation of jatropha plantation ODAM meets the
cost of ploughing with the support of Siemenpuu and ICEF. However the whole scheme of
jatropha plantation was ruled out for lands belonging to dalits, the most oppressed
community. However, the scheme was applicable to them if the land was totally fallow and
not used for any cultivation. This seems to be bit tricky from the point of allowing conversion
of agriculture land of non-dalits for jatropha and not dalits?
• About 1800 house titles were changed from the ownership of men to women (husbands to
wives), which was considered an indication for gender equity. Women seemed to have
changed their traditional attitude to an extent of taking land or fruit trees under lease for
income earning.
• ODAM claims to be pioneer in promoting ‘pro-people’ stance on supply chain of bio-
diesel oil seeds and at the same time to ensure that there is land sustainability. In this line,
ODAM at a small-scale is trying to experiment multi-cropping in their model farms which is
adjacent to their model bio-diesel plant.
• About 265 farmers reported to have adopted terra preta method of farming though ODAM
is still experimenting with as indicated above under ‘activities’. It is also important to note
that idea / method of terra preta is originally from Amazon region and introduced to ODAM
by Siemenpuu. ODAM continued to experiment with it even after the withdrawal of financial
partnership from SF.
• Because of SF and the cooperation, ODAM is recognized by the government, NGOs and
private institutions in the area of bio-diesel.
• Even after SF partnership ODAM continued with the experiment on bio-diesel, terra preta
method of farming, information sharing, and tree and jatropha plantation because of its
relevance to the present situation. ODAM continues to collect jatropha seeds from the farmers
at the rate Rs.8 per kilogram and during competitive period the quality seeds fetches up to
Rs.15 kilogram.
• SF phased out of the project since 2008, but ODAM feels that there is still need for fund to
intensify the experiments on bio-diesel, organic farming and disseminate jatropha plantation
with mixed crops.

3.1.5. Project & Process Management:


ODAM’s office premise though old has sufficient space for meeting and administering its activities.
It is on a rented arrangement with a low monthly rent. The premise is equipped with necessary office
machineries and equipments; furniture, telephone computer, internet facility, etc. Besides it is
reported that ODAM has also its field offices in the field areas.

ODAM has presently a staff profile of about 25; 16 men and 7 women who attached to the main
program / projects. The staff members are headed by experienced Project and Block coordinators.
Other than this, it is reported that they also have specific project based staff members like 15 local
staff members attached to the project on special school for child labour & dropouts in Virudhunagar.

The coordinators have wealth of experience in the activities of the organization. The project and
block coordinators involve directly in the implementation, and play supervisory & monitoring roles,

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and reporting on the projects. They work under the policy and organizational guidance of the
President and Secretary of the organization.

The Founder and Executive Director of ODAM is Mr. Jeyaraj and his son Mr.Elango is the Secretary,
and the Secretary is a Headmaster in a Primary School. The Executive Director is quite active and the
Secretary is very insightful on the issues of organic farming or bio-diesel oil etc. These two are the
major force behind policies and program formulation of the organization, and the overall
implementation of the projects.

3.1.6. Learning and cooperation:


There has been a concern and issue on the ‘mono-cropping / plantation’ of jatropha; in order to
overcome one problem the mono-crop introduces the other problems of reduction in food crop
cultivation and sustainability of the land. It sounds like jumping from ‘pan to the fire’, however
ODAM indicates that they have come to a stance for ‘multi-copping’. ODAM is consciously trying to
ensure that there is supply chain for oil seeds and at the same there is assurance for land sustainability
as well, which it is important for a ‘pro-people’ stance.

Another learning is with the model bio-diesel plant using jatropha seeds; for small-scale the self-
sustainability remains a question. Jatropha cultivation has been a failure which many big companies
as well have also tried it out, as it is required certain rain fall and soil condition. Fortunately, jatropha
cultivation is not good in good land or else it would have led to rapid large-scale conversion of good
agriculture cultivable land into jatropha cultivation.

ODAM has constantly been experimenting with other oil seeds like pongamia, neem, pinnai, rubber
seeds for bio-diesel. Further, in future there is plan to take up research and experimentation to
determine bio-fuel in fish (sardine), animal waste etc. Refer the following Table-3 for more
experimented statistics in terms of bio-fuel potential from the seeds of Jatropha, Pongamia, Neem,
Silk Cotton, Cotton, Castor, Punnai and Palm oil. Still such experimentation seems to be on board in
different government, commercial institutions and NGOs. The waste or jatropha cake after extraction
of oil is not useful for cattle but experimentation is still on for production of bio-gas.

Table-3
Bio-fuel Potential

Source Oil Bio-fuel potential


content
Jatropha seeds 25 – 33% 76%
Pongamia seeds 30 – 35% 75%
Silk Cotton seeds 15 – 20% 94%
Cotton seeds 5% 90%
Neem seeds 20 – 25% 85%
Castor seeds 30 – 35% 40%
Calophyllum Inophyllum seeds 25 – 30% 80%

Palm oil NA 96%

Source: PPT – ODAM – Jan 2009

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3.1.7. Findings & analysis of Appraisal Team:


The following are the major findings and analysis of the Appraisal Team derived at the end of the
visit to ODAM.
• Capacity building training has been useful and yielded results at the level of the staff of
ODAM and women / farmers / communities to noticeable extent.
• Cultivation of jatropha is less profitable and failure so far given the present situation.
Compensatory and mixed crop would be helpful to prevent the farmers who involved jatropha
cultivation from loosing.
• Project on bio-diesel using jatropha is not a solution, and ‘mono-crop’ and ‘environment’
remains as a concern. It also remains a question / concern whether jatropha is suitable for
fallow-land and whether it will make inroad into agriculture cultivable land.
• ODAM has learnt from their experience and has moved from the stance of ‘mono’ to
‘multiple’ crop cultivation and this shift has come more from contextual compulsion. The
stance is changed also from the practical reasons and may move ODAM gradually to
convictions for multiple crop cultivation.
• It is because of SF’s cooperation the focus of ODAM on exploration of alternate energy has
come out. It is also the cooperation of SF has prevented ODAM from going with full gear on
promotion of jatropha cultivation for oil seeds. At another level, the cooperation has also
opened up discussion and dialogue on the issue between North & South.
• The cooperation of SF has also sparked and motivated ODAM to take up other environmental
projects such as ‘forestation’ while continuing with the experiments for alternate energy,
information dissemination, dialogue with other institutions etc.
• It was not visible in ODAM regarding any networking or advocacy work for macro focus
from the learning / experimentation and the ways to move further in the future.
• Recommendation:
o ODAM has to ensure that at all times eco-friendly energy sector and it would mean
continue the different alternatives for multiple bio-diesel plans and usage of the by-
products; use of the stems, leaves of oil seeds like jatropha for fuel or agriculture,
pesticides etc. In this regard, ODAM has to also take the learning from elsewhere in the
country.
o ODAM is not sure of commercial production of alternate bio-fuel in the next 5 years but
there are glimpses of ideas for the long-term measures to go about with the bio-diesel
production and marketing.
o Efforts to document the experiment on jatropha by-products is important and work in this
at a longer run may be meaningful. The initiative has to be supported in a sustainable but
with a critical collaboration.
o ODAM can be a learning place / model to the agro-diesel, eco-friendly alternate energy
and so on.
o Not necessarily one has to throw away the bio-diesel experiments especially in a context
where there is increasing depletion in the reserves of fossil fuels. However, the alternate
should encourage with the cooperation of grassroots people, rooted in the local economy
and community based approach.
o ODAM should take care and promote that the bio-fuel or organic farm / products should
be accessible to local market and the pricing plays a crucial ‘demand’ factor. There has to
be constant and concerted efforts for significant intervention at the ‘trade fair’ platform.
o ODAM has responded to constructive criticism which has to be acknowledged. They have
to be continuously conscious from the point of gender as well as caste (dalits).
o Organization or Foundation like SF should have ongoing partnership with organization
like ODAM who has different experiments going on. It will be useful for South & South
and North & South learning / dialogue.
o ODAM has to development measures on management of expertise / scientist in the area of
bio-diesel / multi crop for sustained experiments and for wider dissemination of the
results.
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o The farmers’ interests have to be studied from the point of their sustained interest. At
present, there is less attention in this area of concern.
o ODAM has the scope for environment and livelihood projects with schools but at present
the intervention in the schools is limited to disaster preparedness.

3.2. People’s Action for Development (PAD)

3.2.1. Operational Area:


PAD has its head administrative and operational office-cum-centre in Vembar village, Tuticorin
district. PAD works with both coastal and rural communities from Ramanathapuram and Tuticorin
districts of Tamil Nadu. Fishermen / women, agriculturists and palmyra (palm tree) climbers are the
major target sections of PAD. Their coastal target areas (about 125 coastal villages) fall in the coastal
lines between Rameswaram and Thoothukudi.

3.2.2. Major Objectives & Activities:


The overall objective of PAD is to strengthen communities; ensure communities (marine,
agriculturists & Palmyra) ownership on (a) natural resources, (b) human resources, (c) financial
resources, (d) social resources, and (e) physical resources.

The overall strategy was to do analysis of the people and context through participatory methods and
evolve interventions to strengthen all the five areas of resources indicated above. PAD evolved its
programs / projects gradually over a period as the process demanded.

3.2.2.1. Major Activities – Different Donors:


The following were the major activities undertaken by PAD with the support and collaboration of
different foreign donors (HIVOS, German Agro Action & TdH Geneva and CCFC), government
schemes and universities. It gives an overall picture of PAD’s projects and activities over a period of
6 years i.e. from its inception.

(a) Research activities: Marine is a difficult area and hence research takes important to
conserve the eco system of the community for sustainable livelihood. Crab fattening etc
could bring additional livelihood skills and it necessitates the involvement of community
participation, feedback etc.
• Completed study on mangrove and planted mangrove plantation with the
participation of the community. The community has formed mangrove
management community and they support the research work. They also help in
planting and taking care of the mangrove.
• Coral reef and turtle conservation – the Gulf of Mannar coast provides ideal place
for turtle hatching / nesting. The staff and community helped in conserving the
eggs from destroying and using it for food. Community participated in that and
the community helped with providing their boats. Regarding coral reef,
community was not involved but PAD took it up for conservation in collaboration
with government departments and universities. PAD helps in monitoring the coral
reef in the 21 islands situated closer to each other on this coast. PAD has
professional divers and marine biologists and works in collaboration with
universities. It has helped in the promotion of corals and seaweeds. PAD trained
24 divers and they are employed in wild life department and are watcher in the
islands.

(b) There are 4 ICT centres (coastal villages) and it is completely owned, managed by the village
development committees and it is self sustained, and PAD only gives training. The centre
provides proactive and demand driven based on the local needs (material training and linkages
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with government / institutions). The ICT provides information on local weather, market and fish
availability – fishery information. The Centre has local data base and it is in local language which
enables the locals to have direct access to these data from the computer. The ICT centre also
provides space for computer aid learning program for children.

The ICT also becomes the provider of information on the availability of government schemes.
There is community newspaper which has demand from the people to get such information. It gets
circulated among 24 villages and it is fortnightly.

(c) Livelihood for people depending on marine and palmyra: Both fishing and palmyra is
seasonal and this causes the people to borrow during off-season and normally they pay back only
the interests during the season but the principle loan remains the same. The PRA facilitated by
PAD created consciousness among these two sections of people and the process also opened up
livelihood options like cattle rearing. The PRA process led to taking up the following activities:
154 livelihood groups were formed and they involved in various employment activities such as
bare-foot veterinary, crabs and lobsters fattening, skill giving, nutritional powder based on their
traditional food, hygienic way of dry fish production and marketing, dosai flour making /
marketing, etc. They also involved in collective income generating activities like making of
fishing nets, managing grocery and cattle feed shop, extending revolving loan for income
generation. Besides the livelihood groups have involved in protesting against and stopping mining
/ selling of sand to foreign countries, see weed culture, ornamental fish culture and marketing
which are considered anti-conservation.

(d) Children: initiated child centred community development program like ICT centres used as
learning centre for children as well. Work with adolescent girls and train them in essential life
(decision-making etc) and health awareness. The mothers also are covered with ante & post-natal
health care – immunization, rearing of new-born child, and importance of breast-feeding.

(e) Disastrous Preparedness: It is for disaster risk reduction and it was undertaken by PAD with
the support of the government & UNDP. PAD trained rescue team, trained people on disaster
emergency response etc.

(f) A set of interested volunteers from the rural villages have been selected and trained on
allopathic cure to cattle livestock (chicken, cows, buffaloes, goats etc). The training was given 4
years before. Skill is updated through monthly meetings with the professional doctors, experience
sharing, online referrals. It is believed that the importance to allopathic cure because of new
disease that infects cattle and the people’s desire for immediate cure. Like anthrax there is sudden
death of goats and the cure is seen only from allopathic. The thrust of the training has been on
allopathic to immediately reduce the mortality rate in the livestock.

3.2.2.2. Major activities in cooperation with Siemenpuu:


1st Project - Jan 2003 to Dec 2004:
Siemenpuu came forward to partner with PAD first on ‘participatory economic education program’.
The focus of the project was to strengthen good governance and improve rural livelihood system
through people’s economy. The major activities of the project were - capacity building of staff and
volunteers on economic education, establishing and strengthening CB Interest groups, organising
economic education, relieving fishermen from the clutches of moneylenders with cooperative, live
stock development, sea based activities (crab and lobster fattening, indigenous sea weed culture and
conservation), marine eco system conservation - trained and involved in clean-up activities through
primary school teachers, panchayat presidents and youth.

2nd Project - Jan 2005 to Dec 2006:

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The focus of the project was enhancing the livelihoods of coastal poor and marine eco system. The
major activities of the project were - studying the impact of tsunami, establishing village knowledge
centres (ICT), CB to handle the issues related to sea, and training teachers, panchayat presidents,
social advocacy on land rights and housing.

3.2.3. Relevance, Effectiveness and Gross Impact:

PAD has got altogether 68 000 Euros funding support from Siemenpuu for its two projects already
before the TNCT program.

PAD community education and information technology support has contributed to


community empowerment. The communities are well organised to an extent they have
formed a cooperative with a revolving fund of 0.5 million INR. Even after the Siemenpuu
funding support was exhausted, they have still managed to continue with their activities and
create new linkages with other initiatives etc.

The following are relevance & effectives of the overall projects and activities of PAD over the 6 year
period, and the gross impact:
• People were able to come over from the status of ‘bonded / slavery’; reduced the middlemen,
generated environment friendly employment opportunities and credit systems such as LIFE
(Livelihood Initiative For Empowerment) card is a credit/security system distributed to 1000
women headed families. The concept: value of the card is Rs.1000 and it is tied up with a
system of providing loan during off season. At another level, developed waste land as useful and
cultivable land for additional income. Brought in more participation of women in the
developmental activities and most of the VDC the signatories are the women. Parents
Committee save Rs.10 per month and it is used for interested children for higher education in
the community.
• What was the difference the people saw from government and the barefoot doctors / vets? The
government doctors were not available immediately but immediate attention is given for a
reasonable rate. Secondly, the mortality rate has reduced and people think of immunization and
there is confidence in the people to save their livestock. Thirdly, it has become an additional
income earning skill for most of the trained barefoot doctors, who practice this as part time
vacation. The local doctors earn income from the service depending on the disease and who can
afford. Few trained barefoot doctors have taken it up as full time vocation.
• PAD has 48 Creative Learning Centres focussed on creative learning, cleanliness and health.
Child centred development program covers 27 villages and they have strengthened the children
by giving space for the children to learn creativity, crafts, discussion on marine life & resources
which is getting depleted and how children could get involved. Child Rights Protection Forum
(CRPF): works in 24 villages and 10-18 years old are members of children, covers right to live,
survive, etc….. All these have brought changes / impacted the children in the following ways:
- Children become more knowledgeable about their rights, marine and have been effective
in transferring the knowledge to their parents – usage of nets, leaving the sea turtles etc.
- Good number of children has gone into higher education. The awareness / consciousness
on child rights among the children and parents have increased.
- Trained so far about 1000 students and youth in computer. They work as operators in
different towns and cities. Their financial income has improved.
• Social resources: Organised community development groups, federation, people’s institutions
(Island Trust) covering the 21 islands. The federation worked with PAD – preparatory stage,
organizing stage, experimental stage, extension stage and phasing stage. The mechanism starts
with clear understanding of these five stages. Island Trust – Federation: it links the livelihood
groups among 154 members (94 women & 60 men). The federation and the livelihood group
elect its leaders and functions democratically. Works with PAD and manages the money and
provides revolving loan. The federation is linked with commercial bank and helps its member
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groups with the preparation for linkages with bank. So far about Rs.0.45 million has been
given as credit to its members. It helps with the livelihood and children development program
as well. This has brought changes in the following ways:
- Maximum use of government schemes, community based approach and resolved
financial related matters.
• Also started VDC in all the working villages – 11 members; 6 men and 5 women. VDC consists
from all the stakeholders from the community like Livelihood groups, micro credit groups,
teachers, panchayat elected members, traditional leaders etc are part of it. The VDC also
develops village plan and with the government and NGOs. It ensures no families are left out but
benefits individually and community as a whole. It has ensured no competition but cooperation.
It facilitates community conflict resolutions also.
• Created awareness and preparedness on disaster and helped in promoting mangrove on the
coast. Used locally available species like salicornia & sweda and promoted these species along
with mangrove plantation.

Direct impact from the projects supported by SF & difference to People:


• Emergence of Village Development Committee (VDC), trained and socially conscious youth,
better organized and supportive community, organized community groups like livelihood groups
etc. Youth have changed their attitudes and approach the government for access to resources /
support on their own.
• People’s awareness on the depletion of marine resources and the danger of the environmentally
unfriendly Sethu Samudram Shipping Cannel Project, avoiding of particular nets, unethical
fishing etc
• Started working with Gulf of Mannar earlier (a couple of years) and in 2003 the first support
came and it was from Siemenpuu. It seemed to have been a seed tree for PAD and PAD has
now grown as a tree. During the earlier time PAD was more in the dissemination of crucial
information through cultural activities for ‘economic literacy’. Siemenpuu’s cooperation has
helped to understand the local economy, and helped to come out with many additional income-
earning skills and to be environment friendly economic & livelihood activities. Further helped
in PAD in the tsunami rehab study, which helped to get the cooperation of German Agro Action
(Welthungerhilfe) INGOs.
• The PRA which was used by PAD for base line survey and became a tool of empowering the
participants in the process. This opportunity was provided by Siemenpuu. PAD had cultural
troupes and the help from Siemenpuu further strengthened the cultural troupe.
• Organized 70 NGOs and helped them with the ‘economic literacy’ and that became the network
called SINPAD. The network went to WSF with the support of Siemenpuu and the SINPAD
has been the base from which the JASuL was evolved and promoted. SINPAD did many social
advocacy campaigns on coastal and conservation issues; campaign against Sethu Samundram
Shipping Cannel Project, Coastal Management Zone, sand mining, and promoting traditional
water harvesting etc.
• The basic village knowledge centre – ICT centre took off mainly with the support of
Siemenpuu. Further the help of MSSRF & ISRO helped in strengthening the same.
• All the community based organizations, livelihood organizations, federations etc initiated with
the support of Siemenpuu.
• Researches and studies on livelihood options were supported by SF which was subsequently up-
scaled and it plays significant role in the household income sources; to cite an example, the
Fishermen Cooperative called FISHERR (Financial Initiative for Sustainable Human, Economic
Resource Regeneration) was started with the revolving fund supported by Siemenpuu. The
cooperatives are now self sustained and economically feasible even after the withdrawal of SF
and PAD.
• Environmental consciousness and marine conservation is strongly prevalent among fishermen,
women and children, and marine conservation, for instance, preventing plastic paper, nylon
threats etc.
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• Especially after the partnership of SF, PAD networked with TNEC, TNCT and other
environment forums on many marine related studies / researches.
• The intensity, extent and variety of issues related to environment and livelihood issues were
disseminated through regional daily newspapers and created public awareness. The
dissemination of information and analysis on issues ranged from destruction of traditional
palmyra climbers to depletion of groundwater3 etc.

3.2.4. Project & Process Management:


PAD is an established NGO with many years of experience. They have their own office and training /
meeting place in Vembar. PAD in Vembar is equipped with necessary office machineries (furniture,
computers, telephone, internet facility, etc). Vembar is a village and it is almost in the midst of their
target people and target areas and PAD has consciously taken the decision to be so.

PAD has a total of 75 staff members: Project executive, Coordinators, project managers / directors,
doctors, Marine biologists, Field coordinators, veterinarians, accountant etc. 30 percent of the staff are
from local villages and the team is a multi disciplinary. Mr. Rajendra Prasad gives overall support /
direction and fund mobilization. The management, planning, decision-making, monitoring and
reporting is decentralized.

There is good team working and the team has community cooking 5 days in a week. Almost all the
staff members stay during the week in the PAD’s centre in Vembar and during the weak-end the
members go home. There was a feeling of oneness and they complement one another. Though there
was specific designation, role & responsibility for each staff member but their commitment for the
cause was visible.

3.2.5. Learning and Cooperation:


There were concerns whether PAD has been co-opted by MS Swaminathan Foundation; the MS is
considered an ally of multinational companies and vested interests in the government. NGOs have
differences on ideologies and approaches from MS Swaminathan Foundation on crucial issues such as
ecological conservation, coastal zoning regulation and management and agricultural practices.
However, while PAD being conscious of the differences still used relevant project i.e. communication
technology for social development of MS Swaminathan Foundation. PAD also claims that they have
also provided the people with the critical difference in approaches in the areas of agricultural practices
etc.

Barefoot vet doctors: The apprehension however is whether the barefoot doctors become exploitative
force? In order to avoid such trend the barefoot doctors also teach some basic to the people in addition
to the ‘hand manual’ available in Tamil, which people can use easily. Secondly, vegetation, herbal
plants and rising of herbal nursery is possible in the campus of PAD. This could promote indigenous
knowledge on herbal cure for animals and human. Secondly, the disease comes mainly to the hi-breed
varieties, and hence need to promote or cross-bred as the indigenous ones have become obsolete in
being economically feasible. Need to think of indigenous varieties but at the same time ensure
viability; people prefer hi-breed and hence the attitude has to be changed.

3.2.6. Findings, Analysis & Recommendations:


The following are findings and analysis derived from the ‘focus group’ & ‘key informant’
discussions, interactions etc from the target communities, staff members, director, and from the

3
Articles appeared in regional newspapers over a period of 3 years have been on destruction of Palmyra
professionals, ocean marine, fishermen, migration for livelihood, safe water, waste from cities, destruction of
sea coral, gender discrimination, destruction of trees, sea erosion, community initiation on creation of pond,
sand mining, need for tree plantation, drought situation, struggle for drinking water etc.
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physical visit and verification of the claims. It has to be noted that the findings have focused largely
on the project activities and impact produced with the support of Siemenpuu. However, the
recommendations cover PAD as a whole and as an organization.
• It was important for SF that PAD had connectivity with plains and sea, and participatory
approach to development. Now it was also felt very interesting to see the growth and
community centred approach. It was very convincing and produced the desired result within
a short period of time; PAD has been action since 2002 only. Fisher people, agriculturists and
Palmyra climbers have benefited directly and it was visible.

The Cooperative Fishermen in Rochmanagar Fisher Colony is an interesting case. The


cooperative has 31 members and they have a revolving fund of about Rs.0.5 million in
operation. The condition to become a member and availing credit is that he has to sell his fish
to the cooperative and the cooperative after deducting a portion from the day’s catch towards
the loan & saving, pays the remaining from the sale. PAD has established 3 such cooperative
with a total of 82 members and it has been functioning successfully for the past 2 years. The
interference of PAD in the cooperative is insignificant. The impact from the cooperative has
been very positive; it addressed the indebtedness and provides relief during off-season or
during illness, reduced the bonded / slavery of the workers to middlemen and provided faire
price to the fish.

• Established very good models for sustainability; SF help for study to support the process has
been useful. It has impacted the target community positively and has sustained the same in
many cases through CBOs or local structures. A good case is the community drinking water
tank in Thangammalpuram villages which was reactivated and built with the initiative of the
villagers in 2004, in spite of the opposition from the government and local politicians. The
water tank now serves drinking water for two villages even during summer months. The
maintenance of the tank is totally under the control of the villagers and it is done very well.

The VDS, CBO plays important role in the sustainability. On the other hand, the drinking
water has reduced the number of health issues the villagers used to have including fatal ones
(kidney disease / disorder). People are very confident that they can manage their community
needs collectively.

Thangamalpuram panchayat has 5 different communities (Thevar, Chettiyar, Konar,


Arunthathiyar, Dalits) and there is good cooperation and understanding among them. It is to
the extent that they unanimously select the panchayat president on a rotation basis

• PAD has practically made the link with sea to plain; multiple concepts of community set-ups
or CBOs like VDS, Island Trust, VRC, VKC, etc. They also keep learning and correcting it.
Their collaboration with PAD has been minimum and on a need basis.
• There is no cribbing from PAD saying that SF has withdrawn after 2 years but it is very good
to note that PAD used it effectively and moved further to get connected with other resource
agencies. Thus PAD has been a learning organization, which keeps exploring other avenues
for the development process.
• ‘Close to perfect model’ of function – democratic, professional, top-heavy.
• PAD has been resourceful organization for PRA process and its application in the field. This
expertise has been helpful to provide services to organization like IGSSS for tsunami rehab
work and German Agro Action. It has also helped to practice participatory approach in their
organization.

• Challenges & Recommendation:


o More cohesiveness between the 5 resources and the connected results / concept and
this would have connected the concept with the activities and results. All the staff as

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a whole should be able to see the fullness. It would be necessary for such presentation
to the outsiders, which is important for learning by others. Secondly, veterinary
started as livelihood option but there were other concerns, and hence PAD has to be
conscious in the beginning itself on the possible unintended effects from the activities
undertaken.
o The balance between technology and community oriented approach has to be
maintained consciously at all times; computers, communication, advanced
information on marine, etc.
o Creation of community based cultural troupes is feasible and it can be made active on
local and current issues.
o The expertise in different technical fields like coral reef conservation, marine ecology
education, diving among others should percolate to the common man in the village.
Similarly, involve students as journalists in the village bulletin / newsletter.
o Inter-connectivity between activities, results, technology etc with the concept is the
need. Secondly, PAD may have to think of consolidating the impact created so far
which are left in different pockets of its target areas. This would require a well
planned consolidation process which would be a good stepping stone for PAD to
launch its next phase.
o PAD has many things as observed above, to offer to South-South & North & South.
A systematic documentation on different models of CBOs, sustainability factors, etc.
SF will be connected with PAD through SINPAD which is good for keep the mutual
learning and cooperation program.

3.3. People’s Education for Action & Liberation (PEAL)-Sustainable


Agriculture Practices (SAP):
3.3.1. Operational Area:
PEAL-SAP has its head administrative office in Madurai and they have their operational / project
areas in Virudhunagar, Madurai Sivagangai & Ramanathapuram districts, and it is now also extended
to Pudukottai district. PEAL has program promoting sustainable agriculture practices among small
and marginal farmers in South Tamil Nadu. The geographical area of the activity comprising of 44
villages from 4 taluk of 4 districts namely Madurai, Sivagangai, Ramanathapuram, and Virudhunagar.

3.3.2. Major Objectives:


PEAL has an overall emphasis towards “shift in the paradigm of development and would like to do
whatever is relevant to the process with or without money”. They have overall program components
of working with youth, unionizing unorganized workers, JASuL, CGP (Citizen Global Platform),
CAFAT (work among Paliar tribal community) and sustainable agriculture practice. PEAL under the
“Sustainable Agriculture Practice” has developed the following objectives:
• To organize 1000 small farmers and equip them with skills in sustainable agriculture
practice in 44 villages in Madurai, Ramanathapuram, Virudhu Nagar Districts
• To strengthen farmers group enabling them to fight for their rights and entitlement to and
bring about changes in government policy, programs, legal statute etc conducive for
sustainable livelihood resources protection and promotion
• To enable farmer group members to prepare agriculture inputs and to facilitate farmers at
field level activities to increase their soil fertility, integrated pest management, promote farm
bio diversity, crop rotation.
• To prevent land alienation

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3.3.3. Major Activities of PEAL-SAP:


The major activities under PEAL-SAP that were visible during the appraisal visit were (a)
organization of the farmers into sangam of small & marginal farmers and (b) field level
demonstration. About 1000 small and marginal farmers have been formed into village sangams. The
sangams becomes the village forum in which the information sharing and dissemination takes places
along with related trainings on organic farming techniques, leadership, etc. Through these sangams
PEAL-SAP identifies interested farmers for field level demonstration and encouragement to the
adaptation of organic / natural farming. Mr.Selvaraj who worked earlier with DSI extended his
technical support to SAP programme in this area whenever there is a need.

PEAL has a demo farm close to Madurai which was bought in 1983 and infrastructures were
developed with other supports earlier. According PEAL, they are now forced to sell the farm due to
water scarcity, lack of transport facilities and connectivity (road facilities) and due to upcoming real
estate business in the area because of IT Park. PEAL has decided to strengthen the sustainable
agricultural practices in Aruppukkottai Farm.

The other activities were training to youth from 20 villages around Madurai on environment and their
involvement, involved them in tree plantation in selective place like temples, schools during important
days every year to which PEAL supplies nursery and involve the youth in PEAL academy which
meets monthly twice in Madurai.

3.3.4 Regarding the Self-Appraisal visit


PEAL has noted that because the self-appraisal team visit was delayed by more than one hour, the
scheduled programmes of interactive meeting and the field visit got disturbed. Because of this, few
relevant persons could not be present in the interactive discussion session. While they were waiting in
the field the discussion had to be conducted. The farmers present were over anxious to go and irrigate
their field in time due to the power cut that was present at that time. Because of all these factors the
discussion did not reveal the real picture of the field.

3.3.5. Relevance, Effectiveness & Gross Impact:


PEAL has got from Siemenpuu altogether 22 000 Euros for its SAP projects during the period 2006-
2009.

The following are the relevance, effectiveness and gross impact that have taken place over a period of
time. PEAL's support has contributed to the gross impact and relevant organic activities that have
come into practice. The farmers on their own have got in touch with different knowledge source
(experiments of neighbouring farmers, mass media like radio, etc) on organic farming.

• It is reported that PEAL-SAP has organized around 1098 farmers from 3 districts. The
members are well aware of the effects of chemical intensive farming practices and listen
eagerly about sustainable agricultural practices.

• Secondly, from 44 villages, around 150 farmers started experimenting sustainable farming
practice partially in parts of their land. It is in essence returning to the earlier practice of
natural manure, silt, oil cake, etc gradually. The farmers started experimenting with organic
farming with their own initiative, but encouraged by PEAL. In other words the farmers’
awareness or knowledge or the practice of organic farming is with the support / intervention
of PEAL and beyond.

The farmers were well aware of the ill effects of chemical farming and were in search of
measures to revive the traditional system of farming. The intervention of PEAL through SAP
programme has contributed to the revival of the traditional / organic farming.

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Small farmer Goodalingam cultivated paddy as trial in half acre of his land and he used
mulching, neem cake etc. In another half acre cultivated tomato and he used vermi-compost,
char-coal etc. The yield has been better than using chemical and more importantly, the trial
runs have given Goodalingam the confidence to organic farming. The motivation to do that
was initially from neighbouring farmers but got strengthened with the exchange of
information from PEAL.

In another case, SP Balasubramani, a LIC Agent cum farmer practice organic farming in 3½
acres of agriculture land since last 2 years. He prepares his own organic manure, uses
mulching technique and prepares liquid nutrient4 and he has been very enthusiastic about the
practice and the result in terms of good sustainability of the land, pest control and better yield.
He adopted the organic farming with the information and knowledge acquired through weekly
magazines and daily newspapers. He collaborates with PEAL-SAP in organic farming and in
addition, he also takes support of consultants who are linked with District Science Institute
(DSI) which is committed to sharing of knowledge on organic farming.

Some farmers have adopted organic and natural farming in their plantation at a large scale;
Gurusamy, a farmer from Kavadipatti village adopted natural farming like mulching, inter-
cropping etc for his 10 acre banana plantation. He has been in such practice for the past 3
years. This has given him good yield and buyers prefer products from such farms though it
has not attracted special price. Another farmer from the same village Kavadipatti has adopted
natural farming in his 6-acre land with mango and guava plantation. According to the farmer,
the first year the yield was less and it picked up in the subsequent years.

The discussion and visit to Koraipallam village where a temple priest who tried out organic
and terra preta farming was rather in the learning stage. The vermin-compost pit in his field
indicated that he is yet to learn the technique.

• Thirdly, the farmers5 are aware that the present agriculture practice of using chemical manure
and pesticide has invited pests and eroded the soil fertility. Urea and DIP led to land
degradation and dehydration of soil with no moisture content. The whole cycle of cattle, cow
dung, natural manure is not available anymore. The cattle population has come down as there
is no more use of manual ploughing and tractors have taken over.

Such consciousness has led farmer from Nudunkulam village to raise more number of cattle
and it was mainly for manure and he uses no chemical fertilizer or pesticide. This village is
known for owning large number of cattle for their livelihood resources; they sold the organic
manure to people from Kerala and now, with the awareness on organic techniques, they use
all available organic matters for their land development.

• Fourthly, there is some exchange of ideas & experience among the farmers casually and it is
also taking place through their sangam meetings. The multiple sources of information and
encouragement through other sources or PEAL has enhanced the knowledge and affirmed
organic / natural farming. However, the organic techniques are still to be standardized and
documented for wider dissemination and practice.

4
Balasubramani has built a cement tank in the farm itself where a system is created to make water
nutrient through mixed essence of organic wastes like rotten fruits and waters the field where he cultivates
paddy and vegetables – tomato, egg plant, beans, chilly, etc
5
The ATM met the farmers from 6 villages (Keelaramanathi, Nedunkulam, Kamaki, Azhagarsami,
Chettikulam and Kavadipatti) at Keelaramanathi.
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• The farmers have developed receptive attitude towards organic / natural farming. And as
indicated above some farmers have experimented and succeeded in the organic farming.
However, majority is still in the ‘wait & see’ mode and is still sitting on the fence. They need
to be convinced for conversion and the means for their conversion has to be found. Secondly,
the information and knowledge has to find its way into the local structure of the governance
i.e. panchayat. The Panchayat President of Chettikulam is much informed and practitioner of
organic farming and he is also in the village sangams, but he has not taken any measures /
efforts to introduce officially into panchayat discussion. Such move could demand the
government to consider and respond with support or subsidies like providing subsidized rate
for the vermi-compost say Rs.2 per kg instead of the current market price of Rs.6.

PEAL has a role in the above situation and that would be the additional value which PEAL
can play and whereas PEAL is still trying to come to grip with the additional value they can
give to the already interested and enthusiastic farmers. The role and result so far of PEAL has
been more of bringing the interested farmers into village farmers’ sangams.

• The presence of women was not visible during the visit. But according to PEAL, they were busy
in the fields and participated in demonstrations, trainings, sangam meetings and organic farming
practices organized earlier by PEAL.

3.3.6. Project & Process Management:


As per the last report of PEAL (June 2008), Mr. Mani is Project Coordinator, Mr. Muniasamy is
reappointed as field coordinator and person in charge in Ramalingaswamigal farm, Aruppukkottai
area. Mr. Thavasi is in-charge of Sakkilipatti farm and he is in the PEAL farm and involves in all
activities in the farm from the beginning, Mr. A.Raja is field coordinator and Mr. Y.David is
continuing as the Director of the programme.

The status of the personnel during the appraisal was: The total number of staff members were 7 and
they were Mr. Muniasamy is recently promoted from volunteer to a staff member, Mr. Thavasi is
shifted from Sakkilipatti farm to the new farm, Mr. Raja is field coordinator, Mr. Selvaraj is a
consultant giving his service whenever it is needed, Ms. Jyothi is in-charge of Madurai office, Mr. Y.
David is the Director and Mr. Maria Selvam, a senior person in the field of organic farming and long
time board member of PEAL has been given charge to coordinate SAP programme.

3.3.7. Learning and Cooperation:


PEAL has certainly many learning especially from the point of challenges it has faced, weakness in
the closer follow-ups and for added values. It would be in the interest of PEAL, its future
interventions and its cooperation with Siemenpuu, PEAL requires to get into documenting the process
PEAL may organize assistance of volunteers for the documentation.

3.3.8. Findings & Analysis:


As indicated under the section ‘impact’ PEAL has been able to make their presence in the villages and
with the interested farmers. They have been able to form informal village sangams of the small and
marginal farmers which are base for any interventions and collaborations with the target people.

The experience gained in the Madurai farm is shared through training and demonstration conducted in
area meeting and grass root sangam meetings. According to PEAL, the decision of selling the farm at
Madurai has been arrived after several discussions in the General body and Executive committee of
PEAL. The difficulties experienced in Madurai farm has been reported to SF during the reporting
period Nov 2007 – June 2008 under the caption “Has there been any change in your organization”.

It is to be noted that the Madurai farm is not the major part for the project partnership between SF-
PEAL but the farm was used as demonstrative place for farmers who PEAL deals with. Now PEAL
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has adopted another farm in another district and it will take some time to develop this as demo farm.
PEAL may require to realigning their interventions from the absence of the demo farm in Madurai.

The three programs of PEAL, Network programmes – JASuL, and CAFAT are within larger focus on
the livelihood improvement of the poor and natural resource management. However, closer linkages
and interactions were desired for the future.

Conceptual clarity; PEAL is new to the concept on Sustainable Agriculture. PEAL and its personnel
require deeper understanding on the ground reality and the already existing information & knowledge
of farmers on organic farming. This will help the interventions of PEAL to pitch at appropriate level
added values and for better.

The targeted figures or claimed achieved figures of 1098 farmers or 150 model farmers were to be
substantiated with quality change for conversion to organic farming. As indicated above, there is
interest and potential in the farmers but they are at the cross roads PEAL has to be an effective
facilitator and guiding force to them.

More analysis and categories into the model 150 farmers the SAP is talking about is necessary for
appropriate interventions, for instance the attitude and approach of farmers with irrigated farming may
be different from rain-fed farming, or rain-fed farming may have different outlook / approach to
organic farming.

Though PEAL is not bringing anything new it is revitalising the knowledge system of organic
agriculture that existed earlier. Mulching system can be more useful and farmers have to be helped to
adopt into it.

Gender concerns and involvement of women in the project and development process have to be given
due consideration.

Ossi Kakko observed that PEAL had established the idea of their new model farm solidly on the basis
of the mulch farming with a purpose to demonstrate it to the local farmers as a new cultivation
method even though at the same time in the discussions with the farmers they tried to encourage and
empower their traditional farming skills and their ancient notions on cultivation. Ideal model of
organic farming was not found on the site, but they had already successfully explored these issues in
their earlier/first farm.

The new model farm was not however mere picnic in wasteland but they had already planted there a
lot of seedlings of trees to create a basis for a future mulch farming there to get the withering tree
leaves and hay for the mulch, which would decompose more rapidly due to the liquid fertilizer
fermented from cow-dung, urine, curd, jaggery and effective micro-organisms, which was diluted
with water and poured frequently on the mulch. At the same time they raise awareness on food
producing trees. Trees are thus the foundation for this cultivation method, which seems to have strong
potential to become a significant farming practice in drought prone areas, at least when its advantages
become generally understood and demonstrated. This was a unique approach.

Recommendation:

• There has not been any assessment of existing status and potential of farmers prior to SAP
intervening, and such assessment will help PEAL to be more relevant, systematic and effective
in its interventions or activities.
• PEAL-SAP has to derive or work out viable measures to provide close accompaniment as
mentor, guider, and technical expert to the 1098 farmers or the 150 model farmers who are
spread over 44 villages from 3 districts.

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3.4. Y-NEEW- Youth’s Network to Educate and Empower the Weak:


3.4.1. Operational Area:
Y-NEEW has its head administrative and field operational office in Dindigul. They have their field
areas in the blocks of Dindigul. Overall they work in 160 villages from Dindigul district. Every
village the people are categorized into 4 – one who involved farming and other non-farming; the
regular input on agriculture takes place through the association Sanjeevi. For school goers – there is
animation through association Bharathi and for adolescent – education in health aspects, character
formation etc through the association Ilaya Bharatham, and for women through SHGs.

The specific field area under the project partnership with Siemenpuu is 2 villages (Valakkaipatti &
Kallupatti) in Dindigul Block of Dindigul district. The target people are 40 herbal collecting dalit
families and 10 producers from the 2 villages.

3.4.2. Objectives:
YNEEW’s coming into herbal collectors was accident; in the process of Y-NEEW involvement with
organic farming came into contact with the herbal collectors seeking herbs which are grown in paddy
field. Subsequently integrated herbal and agriculture; many herbs depend on paddy field. Picking up
from the need, Y-NEEW promoted paddy cultivation and inter-crop system for the harvest of
balanced food grains / vegetable and herbs.

Then in the second incidence Y-NEEW came across the list of endangered species and suggestion
from herbal specialists the way in which the endangered species can be protected. This has led Y-
NEEW to initiate the project with herbal collectors.

The title of the one-year project undertaken with the support of SF is Ensuring Alternate Livelihoods
to Herbal Collecting Dalit Communities for the period from Dec 2007 to Nov 2008 with a small grant
of 3700 Euro (Rs. 210.000).

The overall objective of the project is to ensuring alternative livelihood to the herbal collectors;
livelihood of the herbal collectors is in danger, herbal habitat is decreasing, need to organize the
individual herbal collectors into collectives. This project is one of the four programs of Y-NEEW i.e.
sustainable agriculture, employment generation, education for youth / adolescents and health. The
focus of the project is
• Changing agricultural scenario vs. shrinking livelihoods of herbal collectors
• Lack of profitable markets vs. mediators taking the profit
• Non-functional herbal habitats vs. endangered herbal species
• Fading of oral traditions of grandma recipes vs. lack of documentation.

The other projects and activities outside Siemenpuu’s support are (a) Education First with the support
of Y-NEEW Sweden and they support 56 students from economically poor and there is preference for
dalits in Dindigul district. (b) Allucia Fashion House: started with tailoring with the support of an
individual and they are involved in taking order and giving employment to rural young women. So
far about 100 women are trained and around 25 have their own machines and make livelihood out of
it.

3.4.3. Activities & SF cooperation:


Y-NEEW has undertaken the activities of (a) organizing herbal collectors in 2 villages and organizing
into network; (b) training 40 women herbal collectors in handling hygienic methods in collecting and
storing of herbs and training them with skills of value addition in order to increase their income like
improving the methods of herbal collection; (c) providing external linkages with other NGOs &

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marketing agents and technological support in marketing and system standardization; and (d)
managing Grandma Community Herbal Medicinal Centre run with the help of the herbal collectors /
villagers

Y-NEEW has
 Provided community education; conducted awareness training, distributed pamphlets, written
wall journal.
 Facilitated group formation; identified herbal collectors, brought them together, sub-grouped
them as herbal collectors and valued adders. The group formation also included induction
training i.e. training them in home remedies, collecting, storing and marketing. Training them
in dosages and awareness on home herbal garden and emergency use. Established one such
model in each village and Y-NEEW raises nurseries in its office campus.
 Standardized herbal formulae - combinations of herbs for different common illness, altogether
Y-NEEW have standardized 15 herbal combinations. Also Y-NEEW has common
production centre in the office with basic instruments, and this helps in the maintenance of
quality of medicine.
 Initiated income generation from herbal products - making various productions through 3
outlets and participate in the exhibitions cum sale events. Invested Rs. 93.000 and out of this
43.000 is invested in the raw materials such as herbs, labels, bottles etc. The whole
transaction is done under a registered cottage industry. As of now the economics of the
cottage industry is “no profit or loss”. The cottage industry requires getting Good
Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certificate and at the moment.

3.4.4. Relevance, Effectiveness and Impact:


Y-NEEW has got altogether 7350 Euros from Siemenpuu during the period 2006-2009.

As indicated by the ATM and the founder of Y-NEEW elsewhere in the report, it is too early to assess
the impact of Siemenpuu’s cooperation with Y-NEEW, however, the project and the activities of
Siemenpuu’s one-year cooperation with Y-NEEW has been relevant and very effective.
 Worked with the dalit women herbal collectors and getting into the products of herbal was
with the support of SF and this gave space for Y-NEEW to concretize its plan on the ground.
 Helped to make greater impact in herbal collection, professionalism in collection / process
and systematic functioning. The cooperation has improved the presentation of the work or
plans of Y-NEEW.
 Given additional value to the herbal collectors and producers. The partnership has also
sparked other ideas like the greater plan for initiating a ‘company’.
 Y-NEEW has become “earth friendly” and there are many concrete expressions to prove the
statement - totally banning flex boards, encouraging wall writing / wall journals etc
 Initiated and strengthened linkages with TNCT, SF, SAM, Gandhigram and Arvind &
Nagarjuna Herbal pharmaceuticals
 The project was convincing and could see the impact progress indicators in the project of
Siemenpuu’s cooperation. Working with children and youth is added value to the project and
offer support system to the strength of the herbal project. It provides a discussion point among
the family members – women, youth and children. The participation of community is good
and there is ownership from the people.
 Traditionally the dalits are the healers and making them visible is important, and the project
has been trying in 2 villages. It should be perceived as a struggle against ‘globalization’ and it
should be projected and disseminated outside and it will be politically relevant. The future
plan should also have this dimension though there is a plan to cover both dalits and non-dalits
in herbal collectors & producers.
 Present work with herbal collectors etc and the partnership with SF have been effective.

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3.4.5. Project & Process Management:


Y-NEEW has established its own office and campus in Dindigul with sufficient space for different
experiments or herbal farm. They also have equipped themselves with necessary office equipments
and machinery.

The total staff of Y-NEEW is about 7 full timers and 3 on other arrangements; Director (on maternity
leave) – 1, Cluster coordinator 2, Project coordinator - 1, Secretary – 1, Office Sec cum sewing
teacher – 1 and Farm Manager - 1. Other than this, the non-staff (farm assistants) category is – 2 and 1
marketing person (on commission basis). SF partnership and project support only 2 staff members.

Y-NEEW has working area in 160 villages from Dindigul district with few staff members i.e. 6
program staff. All the villages have the 4 categories of working group – farmers, women, children
and youth. The staff have regular schedule of days, weekly, monthly and half yearly. They have to
cover all the villages based on the need basis.

The weekly meeting is the review of the work. It is reported that they were able to maintain the work
with fewer staff members because there is no closer hand-holding. Diraviaraj, the founder of Y-
NEEW is the face of the organization and he plays lead role in directing and supervising the
implementation.

Diraviaraj was working as Young Scientist / Young Professional with CAPART and has still active
linkages.

3.4.6. Learning and Cooperation:


Is there any scope of protecting the endangered herbal species?, a study undertaken by Y-NEEW
reveals that the herbal plants / species have come down i.e. from 82 to 60 and Y-NEEW plans to have
herbal farm to protect the species.

Why earlier failures by other NGOs? As per Y-NEEW’s experience and learning, there was more
focus on socialization and was no business focus. But the business aspect has to be activated and
focused. Require identifying herbal habitats / collectors, organizing and networking, up-scaling and
making a company and make it as business. Y-NEEW is clear and is confident to see this success
from 10 years from now. It is also perceived by Y-NEEW that the issue of globalization – GM seeds
on one side, every aspect of our life is globalized and it will be countered with people centred,
company with the demand for alternative like the demand for organic agriculture products.

It is anticipated that a company for collecting and marketing herbs and herbal medicines will be
formed and constituted by Y-NEEW and people leaders from the associations Sanjeevi for farmers,
Self help for women, Ilaya Bharatham for youth and Bharathi for children.

An organizational sustainability effort through milk cows is being tried out. So far there has been no
problem for Y-NEEW to pay back the bank loan for 22 cows. This experience has helped and decided
to replicate with the target dalit families with a grant from Sweden and Y-NEEW is confident that
they will make it success. It is for livelihood for dalit women from 8 villages promoting cow-centric
economic among dalit women. By the end of 3 years Y-NEEW aims for 8 villages with minimum 75
cows. Secondly, as part of this project Y-NEEW plans to have bio-gas and supply to the villagers, and
already there is a bio-gas unit in the campus of Y-NEEW and they seem to have got some experience.

Y-NEEW has had some experience and plan to implement yet another idea. Y-NEEW has established
mud block with the support of CAPART and it has been a model for cost effective, with no burning of
the block and use of fuel wood. Y-NEEW is planning to replicate and implement in 2 panchayats.
The objective is to disseminate the technology as cost effective.

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Another idea which is in the pipeline is the effective transfer of alternative technology for
employment / livelihood: thatched roof making, rope making with CAPART’s support.

There are too many plans / ideas are in the pipe line and there are too many experiments going to be
done by Y-NEEW in 2009 at one go or at the same time. How feasible is it going to be, is a question.
Y-NEEW has to be cautious and ensure successful trials.

3.4.7. Findings and Analysis:


The specific project partnership has turn out to be good and it is too short a period to see the impact or
changes. The herbal collectors have got the value addition in the collection besides the valued
addition in the production. The sustainability of the project is high and the small money of SF has
helped significantly.

Diraviaraj, the founder is a thinker, learner and visionary. He is clear in his conviction, plan and
articulates well. Diraviaraj is the face of Y-NEEW and the organization has taken on many
challenges. There is professionalism – one man at the helm with clarity and there are efforts to also
bring other staff members on board.

It has to be appreciated that Y-NEEW has undertaken wide range of activities but connected to one
another. They have been able to do so much with limited number of staff members with limited funds.

The support and cooperation of SF with Y-NEEW has made significant difference to the NGO and the
target herbal collectors and the 2 village dalit community. Support of SF helped to take up the
activities, enhanced staff capacity, accounting and management system with the material and
guidance provided by SF.

The support and cooperation has helped in the value addition to the products and that increased the
product value to additional 30%. Brought changes in the collection and storing of herbals in more
hygienic manner. Y-NEEW has standardized the formulas. Y-NEEW plans to scale it up to wider
geographical areas from the present 2 to 5 villages, and there could be also possibility to spread this to
the total working area of Y-NEEW in Dindigul district i.e. 140 villages.

Y-NEEW has already identified 112 villages where people are involved in herbal collectors and they
are both and dalits and non-dalits.nIt is reported that the next phase will have the coverage of
economic poverty. The expansion will have around 60 dalit villages. Y-NEEW is consciously doing
to go beyond branding of dalit herbal but focus on ‘herbal habitats’.

Y-NEEW has to eliminate certain words in the project title such as ‘dalits’ and ‘alternative’ as this
could go against its ultimate aim. The project will have to take an opportunity to bring both dalits and
non-dalit herbal habitats. There will be conscious efforts to give dalits the leadership and Y-NEEW
seems to be confidence from its earlier experience.

Recommendations:
 It is good idea to make the federations of CBOs into one and to make the CBOs into business
collectives (‘people-centred approach’) with the aim to bring fair-trade and equitable resource
management. It is important that Y-NEEW consciously works on the people-centred and not to
turn out to be a “buyer and seller of herbs”.
 SF-TNCT could cooperate in the future to disseminate the learning of Y-NEEW at the wider
level and at this point it is limited. Y-NEEW has the capacity to document systematically.
 “Business” thrust of NGOs needs to be analyzed and studied more from the experience on
sustainability, social, possible growth of inequality between different sections, culture of NGOs,
capacity etc. There is unresolved question whether NGO should be promoting business?
However, Y-NEEW is confident that their plan for people-centred herbal business is an outcome

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of 7 years of experience in community trade and 2 years of experience in herbal processing and
herbal economy. They would like to take the learning further with legal registration under TIN,
CST and Licensing. On the whole, the purpose is to make business a reachable commodity for
the grassroots community.
 There are good examples among the SF partners of livelihood support that sustains the efforts of
strengthening the indigenous people’s culture. It all depends on the energy of Y-NEEW and how
will they make the business succeed in herbal production.
 For wider dissemination; an article of this experience with herbal collectors can be in the North-
South booklet, and Y-NEEW has to take conscious efforts to link with other networks,
organizations and institutions as well.
 SF support has been relevant and timely. Y-NEEW now on should work out a 5-year plan and
approach other resource agencies for support. It should be possible. There may be possibility of
more support and appreciation but Y-NEEW should not be carried away by that, and it should
not turn out to be one of bureaucratic set-ups.
 Herbal collectors are already approaching old age (all are 40 years and above) and the children
are not motivated to give continuity. There has to be efforts to keep the continuity. Y-NEEW
seems to have observed this right from the beginning and something has to be done for
continuity in the practice. One way is also to encourage backyard garden. Already the families
have the habit of having kitchen garden or multiple trees etc. However, herbal has to be natural
habitat and cultivation in lands with manures etc will have less effective and it has to be taken
care.
 It would be a need of the hour to initiate and activate network of Herbal Health and Economy.

3.5. Tribal Association for Fifth Schedule Campaign (TAFSC):


TAFSC is a consortium (Network) of 36 voluntary action groups working among Tribal communities
in Tamil Nadu. Village Reconstruction and Development Project (VRDP) is the convening
organisation and legal body of the network under the leadership of Mr.Renganathan. VRDP has its
head administrative and operational office in Salem, Tamil Nadu.

3.5.1. Special context and Geographical Area:


The proposed project intends to cover 17 districts of Tamil Nadu and support its 25 NGO member
organizations and grassroots tribal associations covering about 250 tribal villages spread over the 17
districts in the state. It is estimated that the project will cover 25% out of the 6.53 lakhs tribal
population in the whole of Tamil Nadu state.

The adivasis population in TN is 0.65 million as per 2001 Census of India but it is estimated that the
adivasis population is more than 1 million. The adivasis in Tamil Nadu are scattered over 17 districts
both in hills and plains. While the issues of “self governance” and rights over forest as enshrined in
the “Forest Rights Act 2006” as the macro issues there are other specific / micro issues such as culture
alienation, lack of basic amenities (health, communication, medicine etc), atrocities on tribal’s, land
alienation & non implementation of different govt schemes like non issue of patta to revenue lands in
the hill areas, non implementation of 2-acre land scheme, education (single teacher schools, no proper
infrastructure), development of tourism, hydro power projects etc.

3.5.2. Major Objectives:


The overall objective of TAFSC is to strive and empower tribal communities through awareness
generation and organization building and enable them understand their socio-economic-cultural-
political situation critically and analytically and act upon them to bring about desired changes in their

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communities and keep them sustainable, self reliant and self governing. It is in effect “Tribal Self
Rule under 5th Schedule”.

The title of the cooperation project with SF is “Bottom-up empowerment of the tribal communities in
Tamil Nadu for demand and implementation of provisions under 5th Schedule for Tribal Self Rule and
Self Governance” (Panchayat extension Act 1996 in TN). The cooperation period is from 01/11/2006
to 30/6/2008.

The specific objectives of the Project are: (a) to identify committed Tribal associations/ people’s
organizations and give orientation to them in support of 5th schedule campaign in 15 districts of Tamil
Nadu where tribal people are living in good numbers. (b) To capacitate the tribal leaders /
representatives in the activities of campaign and lobby, (c) to conduct seminars / workshops /
conferences to enlighten the public and opinion makers to become a supportive force in the campaign,
(d) to motivate the tribal communities to adopt and implement the privileges enshrined in the
constitution, (e) To prepare a campaign team and undertake campaign activities with relevant policy
makers / government authorities, and (f) to publish and disseminate information related to tribal
policies and programs.

3.5.3. Major Activities:


The major activities under taken in 2007 under the project: Conducted and organized national and
state seminars on land rights or forest rights act; agitations for implementation of existing provisions;
capacity building for TAFSC members; yatra for land rights under Forest Act 2006 with the
participation of about 1200 adivasis leaders covering 1500 villages with a population of 150,000; state
& district level workshop on land rights for tribal leaders; state level workshop for the elected tribal
panchayat presidents explaining the roles & responsibility of panchayat members/leaders; and
organized visit from National ST Commission on special issues like Suriyur.

The major activities in 2008 were: Dissemination of Land Rights Act 2006 – more specifically the
Claim petition; district level seminar on land rights for 150 members; organized a dialogue over land
rights act with environmental conservationists wherein environmental groups, advocates and tribal
leaders participated; distributed (1000 copies) Tamil version of forest rights act 2006 and government
notification; organized state level agitation to call back the stay on Forest right Act 2006 wherein
1130 tribal members from TN participated; organized public meeting for the implementation of FRA
wherein 1000 members attended; and continued the lobby and advocacy with MLAs and state
Ministers. Besides collectively opposed the mining plan of the government in the hilly region and
organized demonstration supported by other children as well in Salem district in support of adivasis.
Protested against the alienation of forest land to the Zindal Company for iron mining and involved in
the enrolment of tribal into Tribal Welfare Board.

3.5.4. Relevance, Effectiveness & Impact:


TAFSC has got from Siemenpuu altogether 48 774 Euros for its projects during the period 2006-2009.

The following is an account of individual benefits obtained through the NGO members / partners with
the support of TAFSC and the cooperation of SF. The NGO partners of TAFSC have already been in
existence working for the causes of tribals and their livelihoods.

• Land: Identified and processed claim petitions from 6040 tribal households for 11,182 acres
under Forest Claim act. Secondly, the other type of land is purampokku land petitions processed
for 1815 households for 3152 acres. Other 2077 landless households claimed land for land under
2-acre land.
• Govt schemes mobilized were: Old Age Pension (OAP) – 490 got benefits out of 1063 who
claimed for the benefit, community certificate – 4246 obtained out of 6463 claims, family cards
/ ration cards – 403 households obtained out of 627 who claimed, voters cards – 403 households
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obtained out of 1386 who claimed, house titles – 513 got out of 1377 who claimed, MADA
(Modified Area Dev Approach) – 257 got out of 847 who claimed, ST welfare board members –
2257 became members out of 48775 who applied, bank loans – Rs.7.7 million mobilized for
591 households, and other benefits for handicapped, pregnant women, children, last rites etc
Relevance and progress towards V Schedule & Implementation of FRA 2006:
• Strengthened the Tribal Resource Centre and review of the NGO members of the Network.
• TAFSC is conscious that most of the influential sections like politicians, corporate, miners,
etc have vested interests but not interested in preserving the forests or protecting the forest
people. Such vested interests have prevented TN State from including the forest region into
V Schedule, which would benefit the tribals immensely. It has been a political issue. It is in
this context TAFSC was born to bring V Schedule.
• TAFSC is a NGO forum and the focus is on the issue of adivasis. TAFSC believe that
adivasis have to take the leading role and hence the parallel organization called Tamil Nadu
Adivasi Amaipukali Koottamaipu (TAAK) which is an organization of the tribals is formed.
Both TAFSC and TAAK function in parallel and the planning, reviewing etc is done in close
cooperation. Whatever TAAK decides TAFSC takes it in its fold. It gives a special strength
of sustainability to the activities of TAFSC.
• TAFSC took the initiative to form South Asia Adivasi Front (SAAF), however due to
financial constrain the SAAF could not sustain too long. In this gap, NAA takes a role in the
South.
• What TAFSC has taken up is a long-term objective and there is necessity to take the efforts
collectively further at the local, state and national levels.
• TAFSC has taken the issue of national attention, is able to understand the intensity of the
issue at the national level, exchanges / disseminates the issues of adivasis, conducted statistics
of different land categories, ownership held, etc.
• The adivasis at the grassroots were given opportunities to understand the issues and to
become aware of the different legal provisions and the scope for them to raise their voices.
• Adivasis have been able to get land rights at a bigger level as it is stated above in the statistics
• Adivasis have been able to protest and resist the harassment of the forest department.
• TAFSC’s continued efforts and involvement through rally and filing / contesting cases in
High Court has stopped the eviction of tribals from their land in Kodaikanal, Valparai and
Jawathu hills.
• The progress is to the extent that the government has agreed that the adivasis have the rights
over the forest through the FRA. The different benefits obtained so far, government’s
acceptance of the ‘rights issue’ and continued efforts have created confidence in the
movement. The 2000 community certificates in one district (Vellore) have given great base
for the people to ascertain their accessibility to education, welfare benefits from the
government.
• The adivasis have come up confidently and contested panchayat elections and become
members & presidents.
• TAFSC is considered a leading network / movement in taking the demand for V Schedule and
implementation of FRA 2006.

Added Value of TAFSC:


• Provided timely advises and guidance.
• Has been able to link NGOs, CBOs, and other activists, bring in the issues of different groups
of adivasis and take their / agenda demand further.
• TAFSC provides a platform for bringing CBOs, NGOs, and activists together from different
levels – district, state & national, and raising collective voices.
• TAFSC also provided different practical skills and capacities to strengthen the individuals and
take the collective demand further.
• TAFSC is a recognized as a representative body of adivasis by the government.

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• TAFSC has given platform for individual adivasis, small NGOs and localized networks to
learn and voice their concerns in a wider platform.
• TAFSC has been a protective body when adivasis are harassed by forest or police officials
• TAFSC is not only a campaign body for self-rule but also helps the adivasis to practice self-
rule at the grassroots by exercising their rights; in many adivasi villages they have their own
flags, tax collections, bureaucrats / police have to go through the gramasabhas etc.
• The training of TAFSC has been useful to upgrade the skills and capacity of NGO staff. The
seminars, conferences and workshops have been helpful to get insights into the issues of
adivasis.

3.5.6. Project & Process Management:


As indicated above, VRDP is the legal body for the adivasi network TAFSC and VRDP has its
administration and operational base in Salem town. VRDP as a NGO has its other programs &
projects supported by other resources organizations. They have long standing commitment and work
among the tribals .

Mr. Renganathan, the director of VRDP is the convenor of TAFSC and the activities of TAFSC are
planned, implemented and monitored through different committees. The following are the major
components related to project and process management.
• TAFSC is a network with informal structure but believes in the principle of democracy and
transparency. Helps in promoting in collective ownership of NGOs and through TAAK
ensures that the adivasis have ownership over the movement.
• TAFSC and TAAK plan collectively for the TAFSC as indicated elsewhere in the report.
• TAFSC has a Core Team and they are convenors of the 4 committees and there is also a
central convenor. The 4 committees are (a) documentation committee, (b) advocacy & lobby
committee, (c) training committee and (d) monitoring committee.
• The functions of the committees are
o Documentation Committee as the name denotes gets involved in video
documentation, compiling paper clippings, documenting different cultural aspects in
VCD, recording human rights violations and different occupation skills). Also
documenting the regular reports of the different member NGOs; network members’
reports are sent to TAFSC headquarter regularly.
o Advocacy & Lobby Committee organizes meeting with officials, meets officials,
policy makers etc.
o Training Committee takes responsibility for formulating posters, training panchayat
members / leaders, providing information on the availability of different govt
schemes, etc. The committee facilitates training with the help of resource persons
outside the network as well.
o Monitoring Committee involves in the ongoing checking / monitoring the activities of
the NGO members and guiding wherever necessary.
• The network members focus at the level of field actions. But the TAFSC is informed
regularly of their ground actions.
• TAFSC organizes quarterly meeting wherein the project activities are reviewed and planned
for the next quarter or half yearly. All the TAFSC members and TAAK members participate
in the meeting. The fund allocation for activities and the nature of activities are planned in
these meetings.

3.5.7. Learning and Cooperation:


When issue of land is taken up in one area / village and the struggle can be strengthened with the
support of the other groups from other villages. The annual cultural festival of adivasis has been a
learning process and has been affirming their traditional folks, arts, music etc. 25 ethnic tribal group
from different districts of Tamil Nadu participated in the cultural festival of 2008.

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• Provided links with wider forms and information on different issues. TAFSC has been a
resource centre for not only its network members but also to other networks, NGOs, activists.
• TAFSC is in support of the ongoing demand to include several sections of adivasis
(Malayalies, Lambadis, Kuruvukarar and Pulaiyar) into the Scheduled Tribe (ST) list of the
government in order that they become eligible for many government schemes and benefits.
However, TAFSC is careful not to include any communities into the list like TAFSC opposes
the move of the community called Padukas to include in the ST list.
• Dalits who live in the forest also enjoys the forest rights but they are in the Scheduled Caste
(SC) list of the government. There was apprehension whether there is any dispute between
dalits and adivasis? Does the dalits participate in the collective struggle of adivasis? In most
hill areas the dalits are minorities and there is no scope for dispute. The problem of dalits who
object to the total rights to adivasis through Forest Rights Act (FRA) is in Kodaikanal &
Cudalore areas where the dalit population is more though it is not a major issue. TAFSC
recognizes the dalits rights as well and demand for amendment in the FRA.
• There was a concern as to why there was no collaboration in organizing annual of tribal
cultural festival like there were two events in 2008; one organized by TAFSC and the other
one was by CAFAT. On the other hand, few also felt that why it has to be always in one
platform as far as there is sharing and mutual learning at different other levels. What was felt
important was that it is good as far as there was no feeling of ‘competition’ but was
‘complementing’ one another to strengthen the adivasi movement towards the ultimate goal.

3.5.8. Findings & Analysis and Recommendation:


• Very extensive and impressive activities over the period of 2 years with the support of
Siemenpuu in information dissemination, agitation and submission of demands to the govt. It
has been done at different levels; local, district, state and national, more at the state level.
Secondly, TAFSC has networked with NGOs, community leaders, panchayat leaders, other
networks from other states & national level effectively.
• The financial support SF for TAFSC is limited but the commitment of the network and its
NGO members has led the network to undertaken extensive activities and has been taken up
movement further ahead.
• The movement is committed enough to continue even without the support of Siemenpuu. But
certainly a continued support from Siemenpuu will enable TAFSC to move ahead with its
agenda further in the future. The activities have been slow in the past year due to less
financial support and the support to personnel is only on minimum and ‘survival basis’.
• The activities undertaken and process facilitated during 2008 evidenced without doubts that
TAFSC had the focus and importance given on the FRA 2006 for reasons that the demand for
proper implementation of FRA 2006 seems closer and feasible than the struggle for inclusion
of the tribal in TN under V Schedule.
• TAFSC kept the collective demand for the implementation FRA 2006 and V Schedule alive
and vibrant. They realize it is a long term objective and in the process the immediate needs of
people have had to be met, and accordingly through their network members mobilized
significant material benefits as reported under the above section “impact”.
• Facilitated focussed group discussions with the tribal communities (men & women) from
Osapalayam and Attanai villages in Kadapur Block. These villages are under the animation
of CEED-Sathyamangalam a NGO member of the network TAFSC. Orali and Malayali tribal
communities and most of them do not own land especially the Orali tribals, no easy access to
health care etc. But they have a long way to reach the destiny of obtaining their rights and
welfare.

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Both the villages have been very recently hoisted with the tribal flag symbolizing that they are
members of TAAK / TAFSC and believe “self rule & self governance” (control over forest
and the produce) as prescribed under the V Schedule.

Many of the tribal members / leaders both men and women were participants in the annual
adivasi cultural festival, district or state collective events of conference, demonstrations,
rallies organized by TAFSC / TAAK demanding implementation of FRA 2006 & inclusion of
V Schedule.

They are engaged with savings and thrifts, linked with commercial banks for credit and they
are engaged / linked with Village Forest Service (VFS) a recognized body which acts as
mediator for the forest produces collected by the tribal.

 The tribal communities less harassment from the forest officials and they are aware the basic
features of their rights prescribed in the FRA 2006 and they are interested in being members
of TAAK. However, the tribal’s enthusiasm and interests may have to be activated further.
• There has not been any visible cooperation and collaboration between the three networks
namely TAFSC / TAAK, CAFAT and NAA which are within the cooperation of Siemenpuu.
Siemenpuu has to play a role in bringing the linkages since they were not able to come
together. NAA as a national body has a role to play and similarly TAFSC has a status &
recognition in Tamil Nadu and has a role to play.

3.6. LEISA-Erode Network:


LEISA-Erode is a district network of LEISA which has its network members in Erode district. Jeeva
Jothi (JJ) is the lead and convenor NGO of the network. Mr. Perianayagasamy is the founder of JJ and
District Convenor of the LEISA Erode network. The first project by LEISA-Erode funded by SF was
convened by another NGO called WORD.

3.6.1. Context and Geographical Area:


The key problems in the villages (a) are increasing pest and diseases and high external dependency for
agriculture, (b) lack of soil moisture and depletion of soil health, depletion of Natural Resources and
deterioration of agro bio diversity, large-scale migration and threats of GMO.

The network covers 16 villages of the 8 NGOs in Erode district and the target communities are the
resource poor farmers and women.

3.6.2. Major Objectives:


The first project in cooperation with SF was titled “empowerment of dry land farming communities
through sustainable agriculture alternatives” during the year April 2004- March 2005. The ongoing
project is titled “creation of pesticide free bio villages” and it is a network project consisting of 8
NGOs. Besides Jeeva Jothi, the lead NGO, the other members are CEED, NEW ERA, SERSA,
WORD, HILLS, EWD & NAMMALVAR TRUST.

The major objectives of the project are (a) to reduce the dependency on external inputs in agriculture,
(b) to establish pesticide free bio villages and (c) to establish self supportive sustainable agriculture
systems and to create models.

3.6.3. Major Activities:


The major activities of Erode LEISA are (a) organising capacity building programs on preparation
methods of Vermi-compost, Herbal pest repellent, Panchakaviya, Amirtha Karisal and other bio
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manures, (b) establishment of seed banks, grain banks and organic inputs shops at the project villages,
and training on nursery raising, tree plantation and increasing water table, (c) facilitating participatory
farmers field experiments, (d) facilitating participatory learning processes such as ToT, FFS,
Exposure visits etc., and (e) campaign against GMO and policies affective farming communities
(Seed Act, Bio diversity act etc.,)

3.6.4. Relevance, Effectiveness & Impact:


LEISA Erode/ Jeeva Jothi has got from Siemenpuu altogether 37 045 Euros for its projects during the
period 2006-2009.

The following are the relevance, effectives and the indicators for the impact at the field level. The
progress towards achieving the stated objectives of the project is very much on line.
• Got encouraged to continue the work of LEISA, trainers team evolved, succeeded in lot of
innovations, etc
• 10% yield increase, 30% reduction in fertilizers input, created interest in the SRI methods,
30% farmers shifted over to organic farming
• More number of farmers involved in vermi-compost production; more collective actions
among farmers on common pond de-silting etc.
• 145 farmers practiced 6 different types of LEISA technologies and controlled the pest and
diseases in 207 acres, and the organic pesticide used were herbal pest repellent mixture, bird
perches, intercrop, border crop, neem cake.
• There was reduction in the use of chemical fertilizers and more specifically about 553 farmers
practiced 11 different types of LEISA technologies like summer ploughing, compost, vermin
compost, bio fertilizer etc to improve the soil health in 507 acres. It is estimated the reduction
of 30% chemical fertilizers in the land.
• The farmers benefitted with water conversation techniques and about 108 farmers practiced 6
different types of LEISA technologies (drying, wetting, mulching, drainage canal clearing,
percolation ponds, check dams and par formation to conserve the water in 123 acres.
• In another case, the farmers shifted to SRI method of paddy cultivation and about 72 farmers
practiced System of Rice Intensification methods in 84 acres. This has reduced their seed,
water and other agronomical practices.
• 5 model farmers (completely converted in to organic methods) have emerged in the process
from the project activities and they act as opinion makers in each of the 8 project villages.
• Farmers’ collective actions brought changes from fallow lands to cultivable lands and
increase of water table in wells. Increased cultivation of inter-crops.
• The change or shift has rather been easy even in the context of aggressive marketing of agro
industries but the change has been slow and gradual.
• Erode-LEISA has been able to create trainers team at the district level and networked with
different organizations like SAGE, IOAM, JASuL and TNEC.
• The strategies adopted by Erode-LEISA are very relevant; participatory planning exercises at
the project villages with the communities for rapport building and identification of issues,
organization of SHGs and social mobilization, farmers field experimentation and exposures
and demonstration of sustainable agriculture technologies and exposure visit to organic
farms.. The strategy also included the periodical review and evaluation process which was
very much part of the project.

3.6.5. Project & Process Management:


Erode LEISA is an informal structure and it is led by District Convenor and is supported by full time
District Coordinator in coordinating the activities with the 8 member NGOs and Farmers Societies at
the village level in collaboration with the member NGOs.

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The District Coordinator plays key role in providing on-site inputs or transformation of information or
knowledge to the member NGOs or the farmers’ societies or individual farmers. The coordinator also
plays the role of monitoring the activities promoted by the network with the NGO partners.

The convenor, coordinator, NGO members and the representatives of farmers’ associations play role
in planning and reviewing the network activities periodically.

3.6.6. Learning and Cooperation:


From the point of farmers – what difference the achievement of LEISA has made to the farmers? First
the farmers did not believe in the practice of SRI for paddy cultivation. They experimented and all did
not succeed too in the first attempt. But some farmers continued and in one case of 3 acres Mr.
Murugesan, a farmer from Pallipalayam, Namakal district succeeded. Murugesan narrated that the
economics of earlier method of paddy cultivation used to be breaking even or loss. But for SRI there
was less labour input, less input on pesticides since it was bio-pesticide, etc. Finally, he got a gain of
Rs.8000 per acre compared to the loss every year. Many farmers around are interesting in learning
from his experience and many more will be following in the forthcoming season. Murugesan has also
become expert in giving training to other farmers. According to Murugesan the neighbours now
provide less water for paddy cultivation after seeing his experiment and success. The farmers also
have realized if you put vermin compost there will be less weeds. To control the rat, the local organic
method is formed and controlled. The sangam has also started shop for organic methods inputs like
organic manure or pesticide. In the future, according to Murugesan, from his village 20 farmers have
decided to continue the SRI methods and organic and they have a farmers sangam called Sakthi
Vinayakar Organic Sangam.

In another case, Mr. Sivalingam had a success with organic manure and pesticide and he has found it
be effective on pest control, yield, water consumption and sustainability of soil fertility. He is now
familiar with the methods to prepare different organic pesticides. He has made this organic
experimentation with his banana plantation and gingili crop. It is his recent experimentation and in his
villages there are about 10 farmers are gradually getting converted / transformed.

The challenges in the process have been very important to the future interventions and the major
difficulties or challenges have been (a) breaking through the farmers and convincing them to believe
in organic farming techniques, (b) fulfilling the immediate expectation of the farmers for better yields
/ results, (c) threats from politically backed up officials when approached for subsidies to schemes
like SRI, and attempts of muscle power mafias or religious fundamentalism to disintegrate the groups.

The other learning and difficulties were in the collection of cow urine and azolla cultivation,
transferring the knowledge on organic techniques into application in the field.

How govt will respond when the changes take place at the ground level to organic farming? Will there
be indirect force or temptation from the govt? The role of the government has to be looked to this
question. There are also scientists recommend for organic farming, on the one hand, as the mood of
the people is changing. On the other hand, they cannot say no to corporate like Monsanto. The govt is
playing double role. Therefore the approach has to be simultaneously both at the grassroots and policy
level.

3.6.7. Findings & Analysis and Recommendation:


• The up-scaling of the successes in the 18 villages to a wider scale would be relevant and the
ways to go about. This requires continued commitment from the network partners and enhanced
and sustained (minimum for a period 5 years) financial support from the cooperation of
Siemenpuu. This need is found to be applicable to all the cooperation partners of Siemenpuu in
the TN Program.

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• Though LEISA-Erode has developed linkages with other likeminded networks like TNEC,
JASul, SAGE but the outcome has been insignificant. There was no visibility of macro level
campaigning, networking and advocacy for favourable policy changes for alternate forms of
cultivation and organic farming. Need to pressurize the state for democratizing agriculture
research, subsidy for organic farming and maximum support price for organic produces.
• The project or the cooperation with SF has not facilitated bringing out the different experiments
and related documentation for dissemination at a wider level beyond the district. The usage of
electronic media which is the in-thing for wider dissemination and communication has been
absent. With the wealth of experiments that are going on with the organic farming can very well
worth to have a website for effective dissemination.
• It may be good to have demo plots, video documentation of the process of preparation and
posters to support the dissemination. Organizing and marketing the organic produces for a better
price is important and that will further encourage the farmers to follow organic farming.
• At ground level there is change towards organic farming, but how far the policy changes are
happening and what the network is doing or has achieved for that? The policy makers have very
little understanding like on GM seeds etc. The TN policy makers take very little interest in
changing the status quo though certain ministers are in favour. To influence policy changes it is
difficult and takes time. However, it may be good in the future to come out with specific
alternate agriculture policies. There is a move of different agriculture and environment groups to
oppose the government policies and agriculture colleges / universities who promote GMS. It has
to be taken up at macro level and network like LEISA has to join hands. The LEISA state unit is
reported to have played role in campaigning but has not gone too far. The farmers’ federation
has also put up demand that the subsidy should be given to the farmers instead of to the
fertilizers industries. At another level, the rapid changes at the farmers’ level and at the village
level can force the policy makers to come to alternate agriculture policies. Hence, the
intervention and change at the grassroots level are equally or more crucial than work at the
macro level changes.

3.7. LEISA-Dindigul Network:


The state network of LEISA has been functioning more than a decade at the TN State level. There was
restructuring and decentralization of state network into district ones two years before and LEISA-
Dindigul is the decentralized district level network and it mobilizes its own resources. At the central
level the LEISA works on advocacy & lobby.

LEISA Dindigul is a district network of LEISA which has members / partner NGOs in Dindigul
district. They are: REAL, CEDA, Y-NEEW, POPE, ACT, CIRHEP, SIMCODESS, REDA, RASI &
RWO.

REAL is the lead and convenor NGO of the network. Mr. Peter is the director of REAL and Convenor
/ Coordinator of the Dindigul LEISA network.

3.7.1. Context and Geographical Area:


The key problems identified from the local context and being addressed by the project are (a)
mechanization of Agriculture leading to loss of employment, (b) unemployment forcing to migration,
(c) lack of marketing facilities with fair price, (d) lack of control over seeds, (e) increase of fallow
lands and the process of desertification, (f) the 10 blocks of Northern Dindigul district the situation of
water shortage and environment is critical, and (f) threat to the livelihood sources of the small and
marginal farmers.

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The project partnership of Siemenpuu with Dindigul LEISA Network began from April 2005. The
present phase (Phase II) of partnership is from Nov 2006 to January 2009 and the title of the project is
“Promotion of Sustainable Agriculture to Ensure Food Security of the Marginalized People”.

The LEISA Network in Dindigul has its geographical coverage of 15 villages from 10 Blocks in
Dindigul district. They have a collective of 290 small and marginal farmers but in total they cover 206
are organic farmers and 142 are agro-forestry farmers.

3.7.2. Major Objectives:


The major objectives are (a) to ensure food security for the marginalized farmers by promoting
alternative land use system and sustainable agriculture, (b) to combat land desertification process by
introducing the participatory management of the alternative interventions including agro-forestry and
marketing means, and (c) to establish viable LEISA model farming in 200 acres of land belonging to
200 farmers with the possibility of replication in similar climatic zones

3.7.3. Major Activities:


The major activities of Dindigul LEISA are categorized into five: (i) Promotion of organic farming,
(ii) alternative land use (agro forestry), (iii) capacity building, (iv) campaign and advocacy, and (v)
promotion of marketing facilities.

In other words, the activities at the ground level are promotion of traditional seeds, training farmers,
supporting to prepare organic farming etc and the culmination is organic shop. The second set of
activities is sustainable agriculture – agro models with dry land farming and thereby preventing the
alienation of the land to the multi nationals. It also involves cultivation of fallow land; in each block
about 20 acres of land is identified and promoted. The third set of activities is campaign for water
resource, subsidies for organic farming etc.

The major ground level activities implemented were: Completed 197 acres of land with soil and water
conservation, about 600 tons of compost was prepared and applied by 206 farmers, 100 tons of vermi-
compost was prepared and applied by 45 farmers, about 120 tons of green leaf manure was collected
and applied to the soil of 31 farmers, prepared 502 litres of bio pesticide and applied by 110 farmers
(herbal pesticide, pancha kavia, palakavia, EM solution, egg fermentation solution, fish amino acid).
Traditionally collected 9000 kg of seeds were distributed for cultivation and an estimated around
11000 kg of the seeds were obtained back from the farmers every year.

9798 pits were dug for the fruit seedlings in fallow / dry land, and 10763 fruit seedlings were planted
(mango, sappotta, tamarind, amla, cashew nut). Out of which 7387 plants were pot irrigated, 10000
seedlings were of drought tolerant. The multipurpose trees of Neem, Siris, Glyricidia, and Sesban
planted in agro forestry area and they were planted along the bunds of experimental fields.

The concept and techniques of agro forestry inculcated to farmers and staff. Farmer's capacity training
was conducted through Farmers Field School on sustainable rice and vegetable cultivation practices.
Technical orientation on IPM relating to paddy and vegetables and organic/ sustainable agriculture
was conducted as well to the farmers.

Campaign and Advocacy: 1223 participated in awareness and Employment Guarantee Scheme (EGS),
brought together 835 farmers in national farmers awakening conference against spread of GMO seeds,
2325 school students were given awareness and education on sustainable agriculture, post card
signature campaign against the use of genetically modified seeds and alternative model book.

3.7.4. Relevance, Effectiveness and Impact:


LEISA Dindigul / REAL has got from Siemenpuu altogether 54 179 Euros for its projects during the

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period 2006-2009.

The highlights of the impact were converting 290 farmers into organic and agro-forest farmers, and an
estimate of 13 tons traditional seeds are transacted. 112 farmers have replicated organic farming.
Agro model: 206 acres of fallow dry land is brought into cultivation under agro model and around
20,000 seedlings are planted, and thereby increased the value of the land. Other farmers are trying to
follow it up in their own lands.

The support of Siemenpuu helped in scaling up the long period experiments in organic farming and
helped in entering into marketing though it was still at the infant stage. Further the cooperation has
helped with the “alternative land use” and the farmers have gained confidence and skills to cultivate
dry land.

206 farmers undertook organic and sustainable agriculture practices; increased soil moisture storage
from the initial of 4,5% to 18,5%; realization of average additional income of Rs. 6811 per acre per
farmer, enhanced food security for 136 days per year and a total income of Rs. 2759440 for 206
farmers.

205 acres of unproductive lands brought under productive use. Agro forestry has prevented
displacement of farming community. The land has created sustainable and enhanced income and the
land value has increased. Enhanced the use of organic manure, pesticides and the farmers have
become trainers of training. Students and farmers have become aware of organic and sustainable
agriculture.

The farmers’ conversion into organic farming has been gradual but sturdy and sustainable; the
farmers’ sangams endorsing the organic farming has increased or doubled in two years. The farmers
are very enthusiastic about the change and committed to disseminate what they have learnt widely.

The contribution and support of SF has been the major source to the achievements of LEISA Dindigul
network from 2005 i.e. subsequent to the decentralization of the state network. The farmers’
contribution has to be recognized and it has been crucial contribution to the achievements in the 15
villages.

SF has also helped in expanding and rooting the different experimentations held in the earlier period.
The decentralized Dindigul-LEISA also took on the focus on agro-forestry subsequent to the
decentralized set up.

The network realizes that though the money support was important the real power was knowledge,
skills, understanding and the belief of farmers. Without this there will be no success.

It is very positive the farmers within a village meet regularly (fortnightly) besides they meet regularly
as a cluster of say 10 villages. Secondly, the farmers have become ‘trainers’ and it is good and
relevant.

3.7.5. Project & Process Management


The Dindigul LEISA network is organized into a structure of District Level Organizing Committee
(DLO) and REAL is the Lead NGO and Coordinator. The network members are partner NGOs and
Field Staff. The partner NGOs have organized and have access to 15 village level sangams wherein
290 small and marginal farmers are members.

LEISA-Dindigul emphasizes and follows that the projects are implemented through the participatory
method of constant consultation with village committees and CBOs. Beneficiaries were brought under

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a network or federation for collective approach and sharing. LEISA-Dindigul network believes in
sustainability at the farmers’ level and hence has taken up leadership qualities to promote decision
making among the beneficiary community, reporting and evaluation of the programme.

Planning and implementation: Monthly project activities were planned and implemented by the
technical staff and coordinator of the project in time. Secondly, the monthly plan of activities prepared
by the technical staff was implemented through farmer's sangams and problems raised out of the
activity were resolved at the sangam meetings. Thirdly, monthly staff meetings and district level
meetings were conducted once in six-month period to assess the earlier work done, problems faced
and to find ways to resolve the issues and also for planning the activities during ensuing periods

Monitoring: Periodical monitoring and internal field evaluation of the project activities was done once
in three months with the involvement of partner NGOs in the network, staff and coordinator of the
program. Field investigation was done by the technical staff during the monthly farmers’ meetings,
and generated information and data indicating the progress of the implementation.

3.7.6. Learning and Cooperation


It is also quite interesting to note the impact in income difference in rupees per acre from organic
farming. The experiments with maize, sorghum, millets, oil seeds, rice, vegetables and pulses
indicates that the farmers have realized additional income per acre of cultivation by using organic
farming. Please refer Figure-1. It also indicates the relevance and effect of organic farming (sanga
farming) in comparison to the conventional farming with chemical fertilizers / pesticide use.

Note: The Figure-1 indicates a negative figure for ‘rice cultivation’. Discussion with the network
pointed out that during the period of experiment there was unusual rain which affected the rice crop
and hence the negative figure, and hence it should be noted that the negative figure is read under
abnormal circumstances.

Figure – 1
Income Difference in Rupees per Acre

Source: REAL-LEISA PPT-2009

The 45 farmers who are members of the farmers’ sangam in Vangamanoothu village claimed that
though the help from the network partners POPE was not huge they have been able to do so much
because of their conviction and at the end they have been able to enhance their income marginally
from the dry land. The farmers were unanimous in stating that the soil fertility of the dry land has
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increased. The 45 farmers have totally stopped chemical fertilizers and pesticides and they largely
preserve and use their own seeds. Nevertheless they are yet to get special or better price for the
‘organic produces’ which is becoming the market practice elsewhere.

The initial support provided by POPE was in ploughing, seedlings such as mango, tamarind, teak, etc
and basic materials for organic farming. What was also important was the training the farmers got on
organic manure, pesticide, seed preserving etc.

Learning from the experience, LEISA-Dindigul has planned to include terra preta method of
cultivation and promotion of agro forestry method for alternate land use.In addition, they feel the
importance to strengthen the marketing facilities and providing linkages for the organic products.
Further, the network has planned to focus on lobby and advocacy with duty bearers for promotion and
expansion of organic farming

3.7.7. Findings & Analysis and Recommendation:


The ATM is impressed with the fast growing changes in the agriculture with organic farming and the
good result. It is also impressive that all crops except rice were proven profitable economically with
organic farming.

The LEISA-Dindigul network has produced tangible results even though it was a difficult task to
convince the farmers; the farmers believe only after seeing and that too they would like to have
positive yield or result in a quicker time.

The change is happening at the ground level and to some extent it is also responding positively to the
issue of ‘climate change’ and signs to reverse the process of desertification. This way the SF
contribution has been meaningful and requires to be continued.

SF’s support has been helpful to continue the momentum of sustainable agriculture after LEISA who
went into decentralization.

Good initiatives at the ground level were evident from the ATM’s visit to Vangamanoothu village
which is one of 15 target villages of the project. The agro-forestry work in this particular village was
implemented by POPE, the partner NGO of LEISA Network-Dindigul. It was good to see the green
trees in dry land and there was improved opportunity to make the land better. It was also very
interesting to see very little water was used (pot irrigation) and it also raised a realization that how
much water was getting wasted in some places. There was spill-over effect; after having seen success
in the village in agro forestry the neighbours have also started agro-forestry in their dry lands.

In the Vangamanoothu village, the seeds of maize cultivation in one of the farmer’s field were bought
from outside and such trend will make the farmers depend on outside market. On the other hand, the
ATM witnessed the situation of the villagers preserving the local variety of maize. Perhaps, there can
be more awareness to avoiding dependence on outside market for seeds. Secondly, there is a need for
marketing organic produces, LEISA-Dindigul has made small initiative (with one shop) but it has to
be strengthened. Thirdly, it is also important to strengthen the change at the grassroots for sustainable
agriculture and this in turn will be a form of resistance to the chemical use. Fourthly, there is a need to
widen the experiments at the grassroots level.

The budget seems too little for a network of LEISA. Secondly, it has to be also noted that supporting
of networks are proved effective rather than individual NGOs and there is healthy learning and
enthusiasm in networks.

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Fifthly, it is important go for multi species in tree plantation and to protect the native species and
animals. Finally, it is important to keep the macro level pressure for polices such as integrated
agriculture policy, subsidy for organic farming, etc.

3.8. Tamil Nadu Environment Council (TNEC):


TNEC as the name indicates, it is a Council of members or associates from all over Tamil Nadu State.
CEDA TRUST is the lead NGO and Mr. L.Antonysamy alias Tony has been the Convenor of TNEC.

CEDA TRUST, lead NGO and legal body of TNEC works at both micro & macro level and it has its
head administrative and operational office in Dindigul. It extends direct and support service to CBOs,
NGOs and Donors. CEDA TRUST is committed to the vision of equity and justice and is with the
mission to facilitating people organizations, networking and building alliance among civil society
organizations. The overall goal of CEDA TRUST is to create a culture of equitable human rights.
CEDA TRUST fulfils all the legal sanctions of the State6. CEDA TRUST takes lead role for TNEC
(environment council) and plays as Convenor of Siemenpuu-TNCT Cooperation.

CEDA TRUST also has publications and many of them have environment focus: Naalai (child right
issues), study & publications on the issues of children, Agonizing Angels (gender issues), Tourism &
Women (environment), Status of Tamil Nadu’s Environment (environment), Status of Tamil Nadu’s
Rivers(environment), Bt. Brinjal (environment), Environmental Activists Handbook (environment),
Chutruchoolal Seithigal (environment), Nizhal (environment quarterly).

3.8.1. Context and Geographical Area:


The Western and the Eastern Ghats have already faced severe deforestations and deterioration of the
hill ecology and bio-diversity. Mining in the forest areas is another area of serious concern. This is
affecting the eco–system especially the bio-diversity and seriously affects the livelihood and the very
existence of the tribal communities. Forest remains the major source for the plains both for irrigation
purpose and for consumption purpose. But the efforts taken to preserve forest resources remain
inadequate and there is a lack of understating about this phenomenon both at the civil society level
and at the policy level.

Tamil Nadu has 17 Major River basins and all are polluted by untreated industrial chemical effluents.
All water catchments areas are facing severe extinction due to deforestation, urbanization resulting in
desertification. Tamil Nadu, which is known for its tank irrigation and had more than 39,000 tanks
(ponds, lakes) and is now facing severe water crisis due to improper maintenance of water bodies, and
industrial pollution. The irrigation tanks are encroached and converted for constructing buildings etc.
Water marketing by transnational corporations, sand mining, contract farming and cash cropping
patterns also affect the eco-system seriously in Tamil Nadu. Industrialisation and urbanisation have
made great changes in the land use pattern affecting the very vulnerable eco-system in the plains.

6
CEDA TRUST works at the micro level with children, women, sustainable agriculture and Tsunami
response. At the macro level, CEDA TRUST has wide alliance and is lead NGO for some of the forum or
network of children, women, tribal, environment and civil societies / NGOs. They have alliance with
campaigns of children namely CACL, CRC-TN, CASSA. On the issues of women they have alliance with
MAPOVI, for livelihood resources they have alliance with TAFSC and CAN, and for sustainable agriculture
they have alliance with LEISA.

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Present Trend in ‘water’: Water is a ‘need’ and ‘not rights’. There is provision under article 21 of
Indian Constitution saying water as part of livelihood and as rights. However, the government has
signed up with World Bank to get aid for projects on water and under that there is a move to charge
price for the water and make it commercial. There is a gradual shift from ‘rights’ to ‘needs’ which is
not good sign / trend.

Mr. Natarajan, Engineer, Ex-Public Works Department (PWD) official: “There was a plan to get the
river Cauvery water to benefit several others with an estimate of Rs.500 crore7 but the government
and political leaders were more interested in finding out how much money they can get out of it than
the real benefit reaching the people. There were also efforts on experimental basis by the government
to get drinking water from seawater but it has been not successful. Hence, it is important that govt
takes up projects, which are sustainable. I am eager to take on environment issues in collaboration
with TNEC and I have contributed to the Status Report brought out by TNEC”.

Mr.Amalraj, Engineer, ex-PWD official: “I have involved with the fact-finding mission of TNEC to
search for the lost river – Kirudumal River. There are 39202 open tanks in Tamil Nadu and it is equal
to minor dam and good system for rain harvesting. The urbanization has destroyed good number of
open tanks and government itself has destroyed the open tanks. Secondly, improper maintenance of
tanks and encroachment of river bed areas. Thirdly, the traditional tanks have become dumping
ground of garbage”.

Dr.Santhanakumar – Environment Scientist & Professor (State Convener of Environmental Scientists


Forum, ESF): “The scientists’ forum has provided basic studied data through fact-finding on specific
cases and in generally proven environment related data. TNEC has a greater role to play in finding out
the lost rivers. The scientists’ forum along with TNEC has provided data for advocates to fight cases
like Dalmia Cement. The policy makers or ministers for pollution may have no idea of the pollution
and its ill-effects”.

Dr.Jayakumar – College Professor (and Tuticorin District Convener of Environmental Scientists


Forum (ESF)): “I have helped TNEC for taking up the development of mangrove in Kayalpattinam in
Tiruchandur. I have come to realize the effluents from DSW Chemical Works and went ahead with
the mangrove plantation and it is coming up well but there was opposition from the industry to
prevent the plantation as they had the fear whether forest dept will come in and interfere in their
interests”.

TNEC through its 950 associate organizations or lawyers’ forum or scientists’ forum and individual
associates reaches the whole of the State Tamil Nadu. TNEC has established its associates in every
district of the State.

3.8.2. Major Objectives:


The past two years the Council has been focusing on the issues of water and climate changes. SF has
been supporting the projects of TNEC since 2004. The present phase is from 2007-2009 with a total
grant of Euro 101,912. The current project title is “Addressing and Monitoring Environmental Issues
Affecting Livelihood Resources of the Marginalised Communities w.r.t. the hills-plains-coast”.

3.8.3. Major Activities:


The following were the major areas of the activities that were undertaken and facilitated by TNEC
since the cooperation with SF from 2004.
a) Participatory Research Study and Publication on the Status of the Tamil Nadu Environment,
Rivers and Tanks.

7
One crore equals to 10 million.
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b) Publication of Environmental Activists Handbook with Environmental Legislations and Some


Judgements and Mechanisms
c) Facilitating the Environmental Scientists Forum and Environmental Lawyers Forum
d) State Level Yathra Highlighting the Environmental issues of the hills-plains-coast
e) Fact Finding Missions on environmental and livelihood issues
f) Organizing press meetings, public hearings, networking, advocacy and lobby.
g) Supporting grassroots initiatives and struggles
h) Documentation and Publications like “Nizhal”, “Suttrucholal Seithigal” etc.
i) Coordinating SF-TNCT Cooperation and Editing North South Perspective

3.8.4. Relevance, Effectiveness and Impact:


CEDA TRUST/ TNEC has got altogether 105 812 Euros from Siemenpuu for its projects during the
period 2006-2009.

The added value and difference the cooperation of SF makes to the process is that TNEC has extended
its base to people’s organizations and scientist & lawyers’ forum, and enhanced the cooperation
within the country and outside. Secondly, it has influenced the agenda of environment concerns into
NGOs in TN. Thirdly, the state network has changed the perspective on Mullai Periyar issue thereby
TNEC could mobilize the farmers from neighbouring areas and got the support to the Mullai Periyar
issue. Fourthly, the fact-finding has created impact on several cases and in some cases it has
influenced immediate response from industries by clearing or preventing the waste or pollution into
rivers or underground water. Fifthly, the environmental activist campaign has empowered the
panchayats and they were able to mobilize compensations from the industries which were polluting
the water and land. Sixthly, TNEC has promoted and strengthened the struggles of the people against
environment pollutants and forcing the attention of the government or Pollution Control Board.
Seventhly, the efforts of TNEC at the education institution / college level changed the syllabus in the
colleges on the subject of environment (Holy Cross College). Newspapers have used the material
from the publication of TNEC and used it for wider dissemination. Finally, the recognition gained by
the Council from the public has led to attracting more and more environment and livelihood issues
reaching the Council for collective actions, ongoing support and solidarity to the local struggle of the
affected sections of TN State.

TNEC has been vibrant at the TN State level and especially in the areas / districts where environment
issues are taken up by the district division of the Council. This has led to recognition from the public,
university, socially conscious lawyers, scientists and civil societies. The following individual cases
are indicative of the recognition the Council carries and the impact it has created. The Govt
recognizes that the awareness of the public on environment has been considerable and hence it feels
compelled to respond to the different environment issues in the State.

The TN Govt has decided to consider the demand for separate ministry for water due to the constant
lobby and advocacy. In another case, the different district authorities have changed their attitude and
brought in thinking on environment. Similarly, the Govt has taken efforts to charge illegal quarrying
in Krishnagiri district. Govt has sanctioned and allocated budget to deepen the tanks in Kodaikanal
and the Kodaikanal administration has declared Kodaikanal as “plastic free area”.

There was proposal and plan for licensing for about 12 paper industries in Namakkal district and the
govt has now stopped the plan due to the lobby and advocacy of the Council. In Namakkal district the
Govt also has taken initiatives to understand to what extent the land encroachment has occurred.

TNEC provides scientific data on specific issues related to environmental like status on water bodies,
climate change etc through expert forum. TNEC members have access to provide such data in their
sharing or presentations in different other forums.

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TNEC may not have resolved all the environment issues but certainly have made efforts to highlight
the issues and it has given confidence in the people to take up and continue the struggle. The efforts
with and through TNEC have succeeded in preventing many environment hazardous industries or
projects.

Whenever there are environmental issues the district convenors are approached by the mass media for
opinion. The following were the cases where the District Convenors and Zonal Convenors of TNEC
have taken up the local environment issues in collaboration with the other civil societies that affected
people. The District Convenors have been relevant and effective in taking up the issues in proper
procedure and strategies to ensure success. At district level several environment issues are taken up
and depending on the situation the issues are approached – some are taken up at the level grama
sabha meetings for solution. The handbook for environmental activists produced by TNEC has been
of great guidance to the district activists, its associates and district convenors. There have been many
major issues that were taken up district level and the following were few of those issues.

• Convenors have played role in the organization of the people around specific environment
issues. In Nagapatinam, there is reduction in the prawn cultivation, sand mining, increased
awareness to govt officials, school students, Mahalir Thittam. Govt officials have come
forward to say ‘let us do together’ on environment concerns.
• In another case, the districts convenor of Thiruvannamalai along with their organization took
up awareness campaign and organized the people under Goundhimalai Protection Movement
against the move for mining by the company Jindal and saved thousands of trees which
otherwise would have been felled creating environment hazard.
• The Thiruvalur district convenor and TNEC has taken up the issues of three major Rivers in
Tiruvallur which face sand mining, Pullikat lake which face pollution from the industries of
Ennore (thermal power station and other industries), and pollution caused by Kingfisher
breweries which creates damage to the agriculture land which uses the Koovam river to let its
effluent.

TNEC has been helpful in bringing out the issues related adivasis and forest related mining &
environment issues. One section perceives environment from the point of wild life but TNEC gives
and supports the perception of human rights and at the same time preserving the environment issues,
and similarly with the fisher people.

The ATM met, heard and discussed with the district representatives who in collaboration and
solidarity with TNEC fought and continues to fight on different issues. These representatives were
from the districts of Tamil Nadu – Krishnakiri, Kanchipuram, Dindigul, Tuticorin, Karaikal,
Virudunagar, Namakal, Cudalore, Theni, Sivagangai, etc. The representation also included the
neighbouring Puducherry State Environment Council, which has taken up and challenged many
environment & livelihood issues. The following briefs the different cases from different districts and
how the support and solidarity of the Council has been:

• Case 1: Kanchipuram district – pollution from breweries and it has polluted the water and
thereby the agriculture land from 2 panchayats. The issue was taken up and submitted petitions
to govt officials. The breweries have even made the local people drunkards and alcoholics by
providing free or subsidized liquor to keep the people quiet. TNEC has made fact-finding on the
issue and there is plan to file a legal case against the breweries. At the moment TNEC and locals
are in the process of strengthening the case by producing linkages between health hazards and
the polluted water. The case was presented by the Ozhalur Panchayat President Ms. Easwari
herself.

• Case 2: Kurumalai, Tuticorin district – 18 villages, 30,000 people with 12060 dalits. The people
depend on the local tanks for irrigation thereby the livelihood. The nearby hillock is now taken

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over by a company and it is being mined. The hillock used to be the source of herbs for
traditional home or herbal medicines for the villagers. TNEC has gone to the area on fact-
finding mission and conducted capacity building for the people to sustain the struggle against
the mining.

• Case 3: Vilampatti from Dindigul district – the pollution of private paper industry has spoiled
the drinking water and agriculture land in the area. TNEC has gone to the area and helped to
study the water and soil. The victims and TNEC have approached the govt officials and
published the issue in paper. Still no proper action is taken against the pollution. The local govt
officials have been influenced by the company and the govt is claiming that the land is not
spoiled and asking the farmers / villagers to prove that the land is polluted. The case was
represented to the Loss of Ecology Authority, Chennai and a Team of Experts visited and
recommended for compensation for the affected farmers, and other farmers have also come
forward to take up the issue in a similar way.

• Case 4: Denkanikotta, Hosur – the Sanathkumar rain-fed river has been almost blocked and
filled by the stone quarrying and stoner crushing. There has been demand to block the license
for stone crushers and submitted petition to the govt officials with the support of TNEC. The
govt pollution control board is trying to avoid the issue and not taking it seriously. The local
forum has filed writ petition and contested it further legally. It is important to make it mandate
that the stone quarrying should also be under the pollution control. So far the local forum with
the support of TNEC has conducted studies, signature campaigns, photo documentation and
submitted petitions and filed cases.

• Case 5: Kabilarkuruchi, Namakkal district – pollution from the paper industry has caused severe
damage to the agriculture land and the ground water. The villagers have been organized and
demonstrated several protests collectively in front of the factory, govt officials. Women from
MahailarThittam and children from the schools have organized protests repeatedly. Studied the
pollution and submitted the statistics to the Pollution control board with the support of TNEC,
the factory was temporarily stopped working for 15 days. However, it was revoked the order and
the factory started working again while the case was being contested with legal procedures.
TNEC should help with this case and get compensation for villagers who lost their livelihood.

• Case 6: Vaduvarpettai village, Trichy district – pollution from Dalmia cement factory affecting
the surrounding villages with the population of about 70,000. The struggle against the pollution
has been going on since 2006. TNEC has supported with several studies and these are the base
document for the support of the struggle. First the people approached the govt dept (from
tahsildar to district collector), and subsequently the government formed a peace committee
between the locals and factory, but nothing was happening in favour of the people. The pollution
control board has given certificate that there is no pollution from the cement factory. TNEC
organized a press meet in Trichy and disseminated the findings of the fact-finding study. Even
now the struggle is going and the govt officials are avoiding the issue. Recently organized a
protest rally and there was opposition from the govt officials in conducting the protest meet. The
police did not give permission for the meet. It was after persistent struggle the police gave
permission for the meeting. The local people would like to adopt a new strategy and they want
help from TNEC to seek vital information regarding the factory licence under RTI Act.

• Case 7: Karaikal, Puducherry Union Territory – coastal area, the industries have taken away the
livelihood of the people from the coastal region with the pollution from the industries more
specifically 7 big industries (Kothari & Chemplast are two of the 7) in to the Pravadayam river.
The people from the area have been made aware and organized to understand the negative
effects (health hazards – kidney failure, jaundice, etc) caused by the pollution. The people have
been demanding the removal of the industries. On the other the local politicians have

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manipulated one section of local people saying the industries were providing employment to
them etc. The struggle against the pollution has taken in the form of mass protests, petitions etc.
TNEC has linked the lawyers’ forum to take up legally and organized Public Hearing.

• Case 8: Alathur panchayat – Kirudumal river (lower portion) flowing through Madurai,
Sivagangai & Virudunagar districts – feeding a number of water tanks in the region which has
lost its right to get the ‘water right’ and link with the Vaigai river, and this causes to suffering of
about 1 lakh8 people from the region. The locals have taken up the issue and in the process
TNEC has been ongoing strength with advocacy, lobby and networking for the issue.

• Case 9: Kodaikanal – Hindustan Lever Ltd (Unilever), which uses mercury and produces
thermometer. The pollution from the mercury causes environmental pollution and health hazards
like affects the central nerve system, kidney etc. The pollution has even entered into the water
lake and killed the fish in the lake. There is a struggle going against the Hindustan Lever and the
struggle against the industry has successfully stopped the industry from functioning. The
struggle has even forced the industry to take the mercury waste back to America. At the same
time there is demand to compensate the workers who are about 1000 in number. The struggle
has also taken measures with the support of TNEC, to plant trees in big number and bring about
good environment.

Interviewing with key informants indicate the following in terms of the issues and the contribution
of TNEC.

• Dr. Margandan, ex-vice chancellor – Gandhigram Rural University: “The struggle for good
environment has been going on for long and the politicians and government has been the biggest
obstacle. The industries have all the support from the government and on the other hand, there
is no one takes the side of the people, and that is where the stance and role of TNEC comes in.
He has been part of the fact-finding missions from TNEC and the experience has been risky. He
has been part of the different struggles as part of TNEC and struggle against GM seeds. The
work of TNEC is ‘swimming against the current’ and requires strength to continue the swim”.

• Mr.Martin, Advocate – State Convenor of Environmental Lawyers Forum (ELF): convenor of


Lawyers Environment Forum: “Collective struggle is important in winning over situations and
hence the lawyers forum or scientists forum are crucial for fighting the issues of environment
and livelihood. It is important to have forum or lawyers and scientists wherever there are issues
of environment. The present situation is such even there are justice who can give verdict / clean
chit to worst polluting industries due to vested interests. The forum (TNEC) assures whatever
they can do within their capacity to support the environment protection movement”.

• Mr. Gnanasekaran, Advocate – Hosur, Krishnagiri District Convener of Environmental Lawyers


Forum (ELF): “Mostly the judicial courts review only the statistics and only few judges look
from the social views. The government officials change their policies or views on the procedures
according to the interests of the political leaders. I have taken up cases and TNEC or the
convenor’s guidance has been very useful to contesting cases. TNEC provided also contacts and
links to the lawyers and activists to participate in conferences like the conference on water in
Vardha from Maharashtra state. They were resource persons and TNEC provided documentation
to their sharing”.

3.8.5. Project & Process Management:

8
one lakh equals to one hundred thousand. So, 100 lakh equals one crore.
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TNEC‘s base is the TNEC Associates; forums, NGOs, professionals (lawyers, scientists, university
professions) and activists. As on Dec 2008 there are about 950 members or associates have written
their willingness to be part of the Council and would involve in environment & livelihood issues
voluntarily. The word ‘associate’ is used consciously to indicate their volunteerism & independence.
Again TNEC does not want to call their associates as ‘members’ as it carries certain characters which
is kept consciously away. There is an associate (membership) format which confirms the associates’
commitment to the issues and willing to support the environmental causes.

There are district level convenors (associate and on voluntary basis), 5 Zonal Convenors and State
Secretariat. CEDA TRUST is the State Secretariat and Tony is the Convenor. The district convenors
have to work with the associate members in the respective district. Besides there Environmental
Lawyers Forum and Environmental Scientists Forum at the district level and they work in parallel
with the Council.

Like TNEC in Tamil Nadu there is also Puducherry Environment Council and there are State
Convenor, State Secretariat and District Conveners. Both work in close collaboration.

There has been 4 paid staff members under the TNEC with the support of SF and they are Coordinator
(Tony), Documentation Incharge (Ms. Backiam), and Field (Annadurai and Mathivanan). They have
worked more of peer groups and there has been lot of sharing among the four members. The field
members travel frequently to the field areas.

Half yearly the committees (district, zonal & state convenors which is about 40 members) meet for
planning and reviewing the activities, and it normally happens in the beginning and in the middle of
the year. It is normally a one-day meeting but at the Secretariat the 4 members meet monthly. The
agenda of the meetings are derived from the 4 members from the Secretariat.

The structure of TNEC is a liberal one and it provides scope for all sections who are interested in
environment to come and to be part of the struggle. The district and zonal convenors and the structure
provide a link to the whole of the state. TNEC follows a strategy of networking with other campaigns
or forums or networks like LEISA or farmers movements. It is because of the open and positive
structure TNEC has been able to create significant positive results and impacts.

There is also coalition among different communities like coastal people, farmers; for example when
Puducherry wanted to do a study on coastal environmental issues the different communities like
scientists, lawyers are brought for consultations. There is always mutual help between local
organization / associates or TNEC; bring out the local issues; strengthen the struggle process, etc.

TNEC is a large, democratic and vibrant forum in TN, which works for the environment concerns. All
the major decisions are taken in consultation with district and zonal convenors.

3.8.6. Learning and Cooperation:

There is a realization that there should be more support service from TNEC directly to the grassroots
or victims of the different environmental issues in the State.

The environment concern and its awareness have been spreading among children especially school
children. There is enormous interest generated among the children. It is also important to focus this
section from the point of sustainability to the ongoing struggle and it is the children who will have to
give continuity to the struggle. It is in this line of thinking, undertook yatra on water conservation
Kanyakumari to Madurai which involved the Green Army (PasumaiPadai) from the school children

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There is ongoing request and learning from the process that it is crucial to have forum of medical
doctors, retired govt officials, for wider mass base and solidarity to the initiatives of TNEC.

TNEC has learnt that more and more local people come forward as volunteers to take lead role. The
struggles and campaigns taken up by TNEC are with the mass support, linking with other NGOs,
activists and professionals. The affected people have felt that there is a forum TNEC to address the
issues. This has given a red or warning signal to the government and pollutants that there is a forum to
take up such issues.

The issues are largely taken up by the affected communities / people with the local NGOs and TNEC
provides strength and support to strengthen the struggle. TNEC consults and finds out the needs and
supports and accordingly it intervenes and that is how it has learnt to go about.

3.8.7. Findings and Analysis:


The differences made to interventions of TNEC with the cooperation of SF are: TNEC has been able
to succeed in extending the focus/base from NGO to People’s Organisations and Professionals like
Lawyers, Scientists and Engineers etc. Secondly, the Cooperation had enhanced the credibility of
TNEC and its associate organisations. The associate organisations have included environmental issues
for their interventions as one of their focus areas with confidence.

ATM is quite impressed with the success of TNEC, deeper knowledge of different people and good
network of professionals linked to the network. TNEC may not have resolved all the issues taken up
but kept the support alive and the momentum of the pressure on environment violators.

The local problems are well connected with the wider (macro) levels. Good progress is going on at
wider levels but also at the grassroots level it is going on. Lot of success recorded which is very
crucial.

There is good information dissemination through different media – print media, radio, television,
documentation & publication.

How much ordinary people know about TNEC and campaigns? What is clear is when local issues are
going on in a particular area or district and the people from that areas are aware and get involved.

How people contact TNEC when they are not aware of TNEC? The cases like Dalmia Cement, the
locals came on their own hearing about TNEC and got linked with the service & support of TNEC.
There are magazines like Pasumai Vihidan (Green Vihidan) giving information indicating “for any
environmental support please contact TNEC”. What is interesting is that TNEC is not going about
propagating about its existence but other magazines, which is unique.

The structure is quite effective and it might be bit simple. It is very good to have the forum of
scientists and lawyers separately or it might give problems. Each individual ‘associate’ is independent
and the professionals are coming together with scientific analysis for people to act. It is also
impressive to see that there are people willing to contribute their time and energy instead of counting
their time in terms of money / material benefits they get out of it. It indicates the commitment for the
issues and the community at large.

The community at large is taking up for ‘community rights’ and it is important for the sustainability.
The individual right oriented approach can be broken and go without sustainability.

There is total relevance of the services of TNEC; there are growing environment concerns and there is
no support for marginalized communities. Secondly, TNEC is considered a credible state forum to
highlight environment issues and provide linking forum.

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TNEC has been providing additional value of organizing fact-findings, providing back-up supports,
linking the professionals, and being a credible forum present ion Tamil Nadu. There is remarkable
change from 2004 to 2008 and the support of SF has been very meaningful. For instance, there was no
environmental lawyer or scientists’ forum or Puducherry chapter of the Environment Council in 2004.

The event of the appraisal visit to TNEC was organized well in a professional way. There was a good
learning atmosphere not only the Appraisal Team but also for the participants of the day. The display
of accounts and membership, project funds received year-wise was creates new positive culture
among the civil society.

Recommendation:
• The environmental issues cannot be resolved in short times and it is long term. In that sense, it
is importance children become aware and get involved in the project and process.
• It might be important that grassroots people or farmers become aware of the aspects of
‘rights’.
• It would be good such a model of TNEC of networking is shared with the people / forum in
other States.
• There should be linkages beyond TN – at present it is very minimum level like with
Equations in Bangalore, Centre for Science for Technology in Delhi. Other forums beyond
Tamil Nadu are South Asia Genetic Engineering (SAGE), World Social Forums, Campaign
on Agro Fuel, RIOD, however the link and sharing of information sharing is occasional and
inconsistent.
• Strengthen the district level support system through district level lawyers and scientists
forums for closer accessibility to people who are in need.
• TNEC has to reach out to more and more people’s organizations and local panchayat bodies
in the future phase.
• It is very crucial and strategically important for Siemenpuu to continue its partnership with
TNEC.
• Conducting / facilitating meeting or event such as the one organized for the appraisal, it
would be good to have the “stick method” which is effective in ensuring participation of all
the participants.
• TNEC can think of organizing a conference for South-South dialogue where NGOs /
networks from the other Southern states and resource organizations could participate. It will
be an opportunity for interactions for cooperation beyond Tamil Nadu.
• Siemenpuu could also organise or facilitate a Conference of North South NGOs to share the
ecological issues, interventions, successes and challenges in the context of globalisation.
Donor Agencies could be invited to participate and a Dialogue session between them and the
South NGOs.

3.9. Joint Action for Sustainable Livelihood (JASuL):


JASuL is a network of NGOs spread over 29 districts in Tamil Nadu State. Out of the 29 districts, 19
districts have the main concentration of the World Bank funded irrigation project / scheme
IAMWARM (Irrigated Agriculture Modernization and Water Bodies Restoration and Management)
which is being implemented. PEAL is the lead NGO and legal body of the network and according to
PEAL, there are about 510 NGOs from the 29 districts are members.

3.9.1. Context & Geographical Area:


There were the unsustainable practices in water, land and agriculture; exploitation of water resources
through the encouragement of bore wells coupled with bad management of water in general, the
deforestation, land alienation, contract farming practices. The erratic rainfall during recent years has
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led to severe drought and cumulative effect is the pauperization of the rural masses and large scale
migrations to cities.

In 2004, TN faced a severe drought and it was immediately after WSF in Mumbai. Mr. Kai Vaara / SF
visited Madurai during this time and held discussion on the situation, and the idea of forming JASUL
reported to have emerged then. A core committee was formed (Y David as convener, Mr.Rajendra
Prasad etc) and it was decided to study in 80 villages prior to undertaking program. The study process
had zonal and district meetings and 80 villages from 25 districts were studied excluding Dharmapuri,
Krishnagiri and Tiruvarur. Participatory tool (PRA) was used for the study. Subsequent to the study a
state review meeting was held and it finalized to focus on ‘water’.

Major findings related to water were: government schemes alienated people from water resources like
the well irrigation etc. Findings regarding the land were: land ownership, deteriorating farm lands,
land rights of women and so on. Also exposed the shift in the practice of agriculture; people to the
companies, organic to chemical fertilizers, healthy food to poisonous food etc.

The findings reported to have derived the vision for JASuL: Just, participatory, eco-friendly, gender
just and equitable society. The mission of JASuL is empowering local communities’ command over
the local livelihood resources, in terms of protection, promotion and management.

At present the World Bank scheme called IAMWARM has become a major issue for the farmers who
have realized the thrust behind the scheme which is commercialization of water. The farmers could
already see that they will have to purchase water for irrigation and drinking. An absolute need is
emerging from the farmers in the districts to protect them from the commercialization of water which
would inevitably make the farmers inaccessible to water.

At present JASuL have its NGO members spread over 29 districts in Tamil Nadu as mentioned above.
The secretariat of JASuL is attached to PEAL’s office in Madurai. PEAL has its own office premise
with necessary office equipments and machineries.

3.9.2. Major Objectives:


“Campaign for Restoration of Water bodies and livelihood resources (land, agriculture, livestock &
forestry) in Tamil Nadu” is the current three-year campaign project under JASuL. The partnership and
cooperation between JASuL and SF began in 2004 and it has continued till date.

The specific objectives of the Project are (a) to restore and manage the water bodies or village ponds,
lakes, tanks and similar water bodies, (b) to build up a wider people’s movement with sensitised civil
society members and strengthen the alliance in Tamil Nadu and beyond and (c) to pressurize the
governments (State & Central) to prioritise livelihood issues especially the restoration of water
bodies, review and reformulate the existing policies in favour of poor and marginalised with
ecological perspectives.

3.9.3. Major Activities:


The report on the status of rural livelihood situation in Tamil Nadu – a study on the Endangered
Livelihood Resources of Tamil Nadu was facilitated in 2004, which subsequently gave focus areas for
JASuL.

Participated in Social Forums and organized a seminar on Sustainable Livelihood with special
emphasis to Water in Indian Social Forum (ISF).

Organized communities and people and campaigned on issues related to land encroachment, water
ponds / lakes etc. Used the means such as pada yatra (rally), vehicle yatra, agitation, demonstration
and protests collective to pressurize and get the attention of the government authorities on the issues.

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JASuL by virtue of being State wide campaign took efforts to establish linkages with other
organisations / NGOs and movements at the wider level such as CGP (Global Climate Campaign),
WSF and ISF, etc.

Organized and conducted regularly the Steering Committee meetings and zonal & district level
meetings of JASuL at the respective zone / district. As per the statistics of JASuL, between August
2007 & June 2008, JASul has organized 261 District Committee Meetings, 52 Zonal Committee
Meetings and 17 State Steering Committee Meetings. It is indicative of the decentralized level of
functioning and of facilitating participatory process at all levels.

Besides, the district and zonal level units of JASuL organized studies and trainings / information
dissemination on issues such as IAMWARM.

JASuL and its different units took up, organized grassroots farmers into associations and facilitated
actions against land, water and anti-poor irrigation schemes / projects.

3.9.4. Relevance, Effectiveness and Impact:


JASuL has got from Siemenpuu altogether 61 000 Euros for its projects during the period 2006-2009.

NGOs and CBOs have been organized at the district level on the water and land issues such as
encroachment of riverbeds, World Bank project for irrigation water etc. More particularly in the
recent years the district / zonal convenors actively involved in Hogkenakkal project campaign work,
impacted on awareness among social action groups regarding the IAMWARM scheme of the World
Bank which is expected to come as a bang for “commercialization of water”, and organized farmers /
CBOs for collective actions.

ATM met, interacted and discussed with the Zonal convenors of JASuL and the interactions have
recorded the following as the relevance, visible intervention process of JASuL, its effectiveness and
its progress towards results:

• Trichy (Pudukottai&Perambalur) Zone: It is one of the districts where the project


IAMWARM is being implemented. The zonal convenor got involved with the projects of
IAMWARM and it was observed that there was lot of corruption and it was not delivering
what is expected. He got involved in educating the people leaders and collected information
regarding the project. He motivated local people to become aware and motivated to take up
the issue of the project.

• Kanyakumari (Tirunelvel & Tuticorin) Zone: Study Circle for NGOs members of JASuL has
been functioning and it has been useful. Secondly, the zone took up the issue of sand and
organized 5 agitations aligned with JASuL, SAM & NAPM. Thirdly, protested the felling of
trees on the coastal area in alliance with other networks. Fourthly, organized a rally with
students & public highlighting issues of water which is bottled and sold on high price,
pollution of local ponds with the feed for fish cultivation, etc. The rally focused on the
encroachment of the 230 water ponds in Kanyakumari district. The other issues were protest
against the liquor shops that were closer to schools / collages or religious places and
awareness / petition against pan parag which contains harmful ingredients like powder of
lizard.

• Cudalore (Villupuram-Tiruvallur) zone: Organized NGO members and talked about


IAMWARM project, and land encroachment. Similar training was given to farmers and
encouraged to approach govt authority for proper use of water projects. Used the meetings of
SHGs and brought the topic of the World Bank scheme, importance tree plantation etc.
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Organized meetings of the farmers and submitted petition to the officials of World Bank
demanding them to withdraw the conditions that are against the farmers. Also demanded the
scheme to have assurance for the water users association to have role.

• Coimbatore (Nilgirs& Erode) Zone: Conducted zonal meetings, took up the water pollution
issues and depleting forest in Nilgiris. Farmers try to be critical of their participation in the
IAMWARM.

• Salem (Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri&Namakkal) Zone: Persisted on the issue of Okannekal water


project for continuity. Also participated in the ‘fast unto death’ and at the end there was a
promise from the government to resume the project work soon. Secondly, the issue of Special
Economic Zone in Krishnagiri district was taken up; organized a meeting with the local MLA
and in fact the small and marginal farmers were in favour of selling their land. The study
findings revealed that the main vegetable supply to the nearby Bangalore was from these
areas. Though the ongoing protest may not bring much success but the struggle continues to
avert the SEZ. Thirdly, the PWD scheme of using excess water for irrigation in Salem is to be
benefitting people and hence organized a rally in alliance with political parties in favour of a
water canal project. About 10000 people and political parties (left) and NGOs attended the
rally. JASuL provided information on the scheme and supported with pamphlets and material
support. Fourthly, Vasista River –the IAMWARM project was being implemented but the
local farmers were not properly informed about the project. JASuL took efforts to disseminate
the experience on the implementation of IAMWARM from Anumanathi. From this the local
farmers association is well informed. Based on that the farmers demanded for de-silting &
deepening the lake instead of building only bunds. However, the project continued its work of
strengthening the bund and not taken the people’s demand into consideration.

• Madurai (Dindigul & Theni) zone: In Theni & Madurai districts the IAMWARM project is
being implemented and 28 NGOs from the districts as part of JASuL is involved. Information
provided to the farmers of the pros and cons of the project using the Anumanathi experiment
has encouraged the farmers to be critical of their collaboration in the scheme.

• Conducted a pilot study on IAMWARM project in Anamanathi in Theni. The farmers want to
implement the project with some conditions; the farmers users associations to be strengthened
so that the failures will not be repeated in other places. The study revealed that 70% of the
IAMWARM project money is already spent in short span during the rainy season and it has
had negative effects. The ownership goes to the government and farmers have to depend on
govt. In-appropriate technology like supply of drip-laterals, solar dryers which are lying idle
with the farmers. Subsequent to the study JASuL decided to provide the information, motivate
them to get involved in critical manner, and strengthen farmer users associations.

• Thanjavur (Thiiruvarur & Nagapattinam) zone: 42 NGOs are members of JASuL from this
zone which includes 3 districts. The zonal convenors conducted training for NGO members
with the help of a PWD engineer on water concern in a particular canal in (Kadaimunai area –
last area of the Cauvery River) in Thiruvaur district. There is an association of the local
people to demand for measures to make use of the water which otherwise reaches the sea.
Secondly, in a situation of flood, the affected people were given immediate relief with rice,
clothe and relief materials collected from other districts. Thirdly, to respond to the
encroachment of all the 7 lakes in Tanjore city, undertook training and awareness on the
importance of water and the ill-effects of encroachment of the riverbeds.

• Kanchipuram (Thiruvallur& Vellore) Zone: Formed a district committee in Kanchipuram and


in the other district. They conduct study circles regularly.

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• Tiruvannamalai District: Conducted training in 2007 for the NGOs of the district on water
management and IAMWARM project. Met the farmers from the area / basis of Varaganathi
River. At the initial stage, the farmers felt that this project was totally useful but JASuL took
efforts to explain the pros & cons and informed that the project is taken up on a loan from
World Bank. Also disseminated the study findings / booklets on Anamanathi, Tirunelveli Dt.
The farmers were also given the exposure to the areas where the scheme was being
implemented. Secondly, organized the farmers to submit the petition to the government
demanding that the canal must be deepened, food crops should be prioritized, no tax
collection should be enforced from outsiders but local panchayat, the scheme should be
discussed at the local panchayat level, etc. They have farmed a SLFA (Sustainable Livelihood
Farmers Association) committee to support and continue the struggle. JASuL has been
offering support in all the activities.

• Pudukottai Dt: 22 NGOs are part of this zone and the meetings are regularly conducted. In all
the meetings, livelihood resources, water etc were the main thrust. IAMWARM issue also
became an issue for discussion at our meetings and invited the officials to talk about the
project for explanations. After hearing from the officials people indicated their liking to the
project. However, it was decided to do a field study with the representation from the villages
of the project area. Learnt the issues involved in the water tanks and the politics & vested
interest in the projects. Also realized that farmers were willing to sell their lands. JASuL was
helpful in getting the contacts and links with other NGOs and forums. The govt officials were
unwilling to give more information on the project but JASuL was helpful in getting that
information. Realized the importance to organize the farmers continuously train them on the
project with the help of other experts on the projects. Finding of this area study was published
in North & South.

ATM met with the farmers who were the representatives of SLFA (Sustainable Livelihood Farmers
Sangam) Adhoc Committees9 from Pudukkottai, Madurai, Theni, Pudukottai and Tirunelveli districts.
There were also 2 engineers who took part in the meeting. One was Engineer Chelladurai, Panchyat
president – Ellathur, who actively took part in our Hanumanathi Model project study and continousely
supporting JASuL with his time and travelling arround Tamil Nadu and giving lectures on
Hanumanadhi model project. The second one was Engineer Balasuberamniyam – Union Counseler,
Manamadurai. He is considered to be a real asset to sensitizing farming community and involving in
his own council areas. The following are the findings from the interactions:

• Witnessed different committed actions of farmers like shaving off hair in protest against the
un-cared attitude of the government on common property or defunct open water ponds / lakes
in Theni district, or declaring their panchayats as ‘model green panchayat’ - Mr.
Jeyachandran, Ex Panchyat president, during his denure at village panchyat, he decleared his
panchyat as “Model Bio Village”.

• The farmers strongly feel that in all the schemes IAMWARM, the projects have to be planned
and decided with the participation and consensus of the farmers.

9
These Ad hoc Committees were formed during the 4 regional level farmers’ consultation cum
training about World Bank involvement in TN water sector in relation to IAMWARM project and globalization.
From the Ad hoc Committees consisting of 45 members, JASuL is reported to have invited only 15
representatives to the self-appraisal meeting, who could also give leadership in feature as well as who
understand the fund based work.

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• A Case in Sivagangai: According to the farmers, what is important is to de-silt to the original
depth of the pond, not merely strengthening the bund. The local panchayat presidents or
counsel members or even MLA are not aware of the details and the district collector claims
that it is not necessary that they should know the details. Such ignorance can only create more
scope for the district authority to manipulate and corrupt practices. Shifting of one measure
mud and putting it on the bund costs only Rs.3000 in normal case whereas the PWD with the
IAMFARM scheme charges Rs. 16000. The authority says that it is internal matter and not for
the local president to know. The people are angry and want to do something to put the scheme
correctly. There are many contradictions in the scheme and there is manipulation at every
stage finally towards privatization of water. The government on the other hand is not bothered
and promising all free schemes like delivering ration rice to the door steps of the people
indirectly making the people totally dependent. According to the farmers, even the govt
officials are not aware of the total scheme.

• Another Case in Pudukottai: Last 3 years since they first started with building the channel and
the scheme has not touched the water tank so far. So far no result has been delivered.
Secondly, the election held for the users association of farmers was not transparent and the
powers of the selected association farmers are not clear. The farmers are not given the
information properly yet. The users association is basin based and there is utter confusion in
the members of the users’ association. The officials are not able to complete the job. Now the
water users’ associations have been formed and if there is will at the level of implementers
the association members can be used to strengthen and to ensure the project comes in favour
of the farmers. But that was not happening. The work is being done bit by bit based on the
responsibility of each department (PWD, Fisheries, and Irrigation) involved in the scheme.

3.9.5. Project and Process Management:


JASuL has a Steering Committee which is a decision-making body and consists of 15 members from
the partner NGOs and JASUL has its presence in 19 districts of Tamil Nadu. The State steering
committee members are from zonal committees (9 zones) and district committees (29). There are
about 216 NGO members are part of JASuL.

The membership criteria of JASuL are that the NGO should be involved in livelihood issues and
should be willing to do in collaboration. It is restricted to NGOs during the current 3-year phase.

JASuL facilitates quarterly state and zonal level meetings and monthly district level meetings to
review the activities and to plan for the next quarter. There are also opportunities for interactions
between all the layers of the structures (district, zonal & state levels). State level plan is different from
the zonal and district level. The district may have different plans but it has the overall state issue as
focus. The zonal plan contains the common activities in the zonal districts.

The budget is discussed in steering committee and allocates district level allotment of Rs. 20000 per
year. In general terms, most of the activities are done at the voluntary level. The zonal level budget
allotment is Rs.30,000 per year. The zonal budget comes in handy when particular districts needs
more budget. The district and zonal budget is used for snack expenses, actual travel for zonal. The
budget is also spent on training. Some of the training activities are conducted from the central budget.

Local contribution is collected for yatra, and farmers meet their own travel if it is within the district.
Zonal convenors have to guide and monitor the district convenors. The convenors have to take the
travel expenses from the zonal budget. Since they are all part of the NGOs they have salaries from
other sources excepting the ones which do not have any other resource partners.

Zonal Coordinators are based in Madurai, Trichy and Tanjore and they are given specific
responsibilities: Each zonal coordinator covers about 9 districts and they ensure district meetings in

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all the districts, emphasis for study circle, assess the training need and participate in the district
meetings. He / she plays as a resource person.

The Central office of JASuL is with 4 coordinators (1 State and 3 zonal coordinators – 3 men & 1
woman with a salary of about Rs. 6000 per month), and 1 accountant. Central budget is about Rs. 10
lakhs for 2 years (63,029 Euro).

3.9.6. Learning and Cooperation:


The learning in the past has influenced JASuL to focus on restoration of water bodies, and Tamil
Nadu has 39366 small ponds and lakes. Secondly to campaign against the privatization of water and
ensuring Community Rights over the water. Thirdly, lobbying and advocacy with governments for
enacting people centred policies on water issues and promoting broad based mass movement for water
justice and justice in other livelihood resources.

JASuL has gained significant knowledge, understanding, insights and implementation aspects of the
World Bank’s project IAMWARM. However, the dissemination of the experience has been confined
to the grassroots people or CBOs or NGOs from the particular areas / districts where the scheme is
being implemented.

3.9.7. Findings and Analysis:


As it is seen from the interventions and the progress as reported under 4.9.4, JASuL has collaboration
with their zonal and district convenors and they have been facilitating activities of awareness on the
issues of land, water and environment. They have also been able to come together as CBOs and as
farmers with their consciousness on the issues raised by JASuL. However, the process or the
interventions are yet to yield concrete visible impact and it could be a possibility at the longer-term.

As indicated earlier IAMWARM is a World Bank loan scheme and is being implemented in 19
districts of Tamil Nadu state. A closer insight into the scheme on Irrigated Agriculture Intensification
Program (IAIP) – Hanumanadhi Model Project indicates that it is with a budget of about Rs. 120
crores. The main activities are building supply channel, strengthening the bund and slice repairing.
The schemes cover about 10000 water tanks in 19 districts out of the total of about 36000 tanks
accounted in the whole of TN. JASuL has identified this as an issue to be taken up collectively and
accordingly it is aligning its intervention plans.

JASuL’s present position on IAMWARM project of the World Bank: “We can not stop that
programme. Next alternative is to capacitate people for critical participation. Transparency from the
government side (RTI act) and critical participation from farmers' side and our role will be to facilitate
the critical participation from the farmers’ side. Though we accept the physical implementation of
IAMWARM, we are not in favour of the conditions dictated by the World Bank and the final goal of
privatization. Our role is to help the people to understand the World Bank involvement and to stand
against the privatization”.

Members of the Centre for Development and Communication Trust (CENDECT), a quasi government
setup, support JASuL in conducting studies such as the one on IAMWARM. Dr Pachamaal who is
also the founding member of JASuL is a board member of CENDECT, and he provides the working
link between the two organizations. Subsequent to the studies, JASuL gets involved in disseminating
information to the NGOs and become link for NGOs. As mutual support, the network NGOs of
JASuL participates in CENDECT’s projects in the rural areas. From CENDECT, Dr. Marimuthu,
(who took part in the Self-appraisal meeting at JASuL) involved in JASuL studies both Endangered
Livelihood Resources in Tamil Nadu and Hanumanadhi model project as the member of JASuL on
behalf of Dr. Pachamaal not from his institutional capacity.

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Farmers are now aware of the IAMWARM as the instrument for water privatization and thanks to the
contribution of JASuL to the information dissemination process. JASuL involvement has created
enthusiasm on the concerns of IAMWARM. The question is what JASuL should do? JASuL is
grappling with the concerns. According to the farmers, JASuL should continue and should take
concerted efforts to disseminate information on the scheme as still a good portion of the people in the
villages are not willing to listen to the critical areas of the scheme, and hence awareness creation is
very crucial. The information should reach the panchayat presidents, members and existing people’s
associations as well. Secondly, people should get involved in the planning and implementation of the
scheme, and that involves collective demand from the people to the government.

So far the farmers have participated in meetings but not planned out the actions for this particular
IAMWARM. So far there were 4 regional level meetings but all the farmers may not have participated
in all the meetings. From these 4 regional meetings, JASuL has formed State Level Farmers
Associations' (SLFA) Ad hoc Committee at state level.

State level Ad-hoc Committee has met first time during the appraisal meeting, but JASuL has a plan
aimed at one Farmers consultation about SLFA formation and another big event (one day conference)
at state level through mass mobilization for raising JASuL's demands to the state, central government
and World bank. Still SLFA is in the beginning but it is a ongoing process for unifying farmers
against neoliberal policies in the local context.

It is important for the Farmers Associations to take position on the issue. But the farmers feel that it is
difficult to get the party oriented farmers’ associations to come in support. But what is possible is to
bring the non-party farmers associations from the regions / districts where the scheme is being
implemented. There are 3 such farmers associations and they can be brought together first and plan it
or strategize the future actions with the NGO partners and JASuL. There can be joint and independent
decision between farmers associations and JASuL.

ATM is impressed with the wide number of NGOs working together and the voluntary work provided
by the NGOs or the CBOs for taking up the local issues. There are committed members in JASuL and
in its partner NGOs.

IAMWARM has been the focus of JASuL during the last two years. JASuL conducted a study on the
issues of IAMWARM and CENDECT members who are involved in JASuL have participated also to
the study team. Subsequently district and state level discussions / consultations, trainings and
awareness activities have been carried out based on the findings of the study. It has become clear to
the farmers that IAMWARM is an instrument to the privatization of water. It is important task for
political party too including the rightist parties to take up the issue. JASuL has attempted already to
include the political parties in the process. But the political parties have their own vested interest. The
major political parties seem to be taking the opposite side of the peoples’ interests.

Though JASuL started is interventions with broader objectives but it has been more relevant on the
issue of IAMWARM. The emerging SLAF can have focus as forum for small and marginal farmers
and not be swallowed by the interest of the large farmers.

JASuL has to be cautious and has to become clear with the concept or stance prior to approaching the
people or govt and World Bank representatives.

Recommendations:
• It is important to analyze the crucial aspects of networking that have worked effectively and
document them so that others can use this experience.
• JASuL has to consolidate the awareness and enthusiasm created among the farmers & CBOs
in the issues related to the World Bank Scheme, IAMWARM. If it is not done properly and in
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time the people’s confidence in JASuL will fade away. Such a situation will make no
relevance anymore for the network to exist.
• JASuL has to continue focus on awareness on the issue of IAMWARM.
• Need to review the contribution of the staff members (4 members) and how it can be handled;
salary, manageable work etc. The coordination of JASuL has to be strengthened for effective
delivery of results.
• The presentations (slides) should have data and more specifics, and should not be in general.
Secondly, it would be good to have time limit and plan the presentation before the meetings –
some took too much time and some little. Perhaps the meetings should be planned out with
more breaks in between.
• The appraisal team observes the involvement of very few women in the whole process,
activities and in the NGO partners. The self-appraisal process witnessed scanty representation
of women. There has to be conscious efforts in the future for the involvement of women10.

10
In an e-mail JASuL has sent a resposnse to this gender question:
Special attention has been given to promote women leadership in decision-making structures of JASuL
at District level. Usually, if the convener is a mal,e the co-convener will have to be a female and vice versa.
Women Leadership constitutes 40% of the total leadership. Elections were already held in 29 districts. As
per the last report (Jan – June 2008) Annexure A, From district committee leadership, 15 women represent
either as convener or co convener
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CHAPTER – 4
Overall Analysis

4.1. General Impact - TN Program:


The following are the significant indicators to the impacts of the Tamil Nadu Program generated with
the support and cooperation of Siemenpuu during the last 5 years (2004-2008). Please refer Chapter-4
for more details on the impact indicators.

The impact has been largely with the support of SF but there might have been contributions from
other sources in some places, and the SF support has been helpful to scale up the impact in many
cases. The contribution and cooperation of SF has helped to look at issues according to geographical
situation and connecting them as a whole. The money contribution might have been limited but the
cooperation or support of SF other than of money, has been very helpful as well. The grassroots
groups have also contributed to the strengthening of the process and the impact.

What is the level of intensity in the different impact created?


The finding from the appraisal is that the impact or intensity of interventions may not be spread at
same intensity at wider level in the state of Tamil Nadu but “it is happening significantly across TN”.
The support in the Northern Tamil Nadu has however been less extensive than elsewhere.

Good numbers of farmers now come forward to adapt sustainable agriculture practices in the project
areas of the partners. There is growing awareness among the farmers and the momentum is created at
the grassroots level and there is large scope for more farmers to adapt sustainable agriculture methods
in the following years. There is reduction in the use of chemical fertilizers. In the same way the
farmers also now practice organic methods in pest control in the project areas. Practical demonstration
of SRI has brought about attitudinal change among the farmers about the cultivation. (See LEISA-
Erode in the previous chapter.)

Good numbers of acres of fallow lands have been converted to agro farming in the project areas.
Considerable profit has been earned by the farmers. Farmers’ collectives have been formed and
farmers’ families have adopted alternative livelihood in the project areas of the partners. Techniques
of organic farming such as mulching, vermi-compost, and organic pest control have been widespread
in the project areas. Water conservation, green coverage has been adopted in the villages covered by
the projects. The replicability of the practice is quite large and is spreading considerably. (See LEISA-
Dindigul in the previous chapter.)

Beneficiary families from 2 villages in Dindigul district or the 42 dalit women herbal collectors
themselves have added value to the herbs process, preparing medicines and selling on their own as
against selling raw herbs. Many people have become aware of the various types of herbs and know
the techniques of preparing medicine. Income has augmented to the families from the 2 villages.
Value added in the production process, standardization and quality control in production has been
enhanced. (See Y-NEEW in the previous chapter.)

Land alienation has been prevented and the rate of alienation has been reduced in Virudhunagar &
Ramnad District. The panchayats have been motivated and they have resolved not to sell the land to
outsiders. Drinking water problem has been solved by the panchayat by demarking one pond for
drinking water purpose and another pond only for cattle. The villagers themselves maintain and
upgrade the system further. (See ODAM in the previous chapter.)

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The casualty / mortality rate of cattle has been very much reduced to about 30% in the project area of
a partner through the Bare-Foot Veterinarians which increased accessibility to medical attention to the
cattle. In all it has increased the income of the households and the bare-foot veterinarians income
increased. (See PAD in the previous chapter.)

The usury system has been stopped by provision of loans to the fishermen. Now 37 Vallams covering
185 families have been redeemed from usury. Fishermen Cooperatives have come into existence with
family membership. (See PAD in the previous chapter.)

Environment campaign has strengthened 30 districts through campaign and advocacy efforts through
lawyers collective, environmentalists’ collective, and scientists collective. Members have been
enrolled throughout the State and each district has about 50 activists. Besides, more and more
grassroots people from the districts come forward to join the campaigns. (See TNEC in the previous
chapter.)

Created good number of activists in 29 districts across the State through Study Circles, and they are
made politically sensitive to the issues of livelihood, environment and development schemes / projects
that are anti-people and anti-environment. (See JASuL in the previous chapter)

Members are enrolled and networks / forums of farmers are established; organic farmers associations
in 3 districts, district level organic farmers associations in 3 districts, Sustainable Livelihood Farmers
Associations (SLFA) in 19 districts where IAMWARM project of World Bank is being implemented,
and network / state level ad-hoc committee of SLFA. The project IAMWARM is taken up at a wider
level to make it favourable to the farmers. Farmers associations have been formed in villages where
the partners have their field base and have planted good number of fruit and timber trees. Thus the
people’s local collective efforts in the level of their communities, at the level of districts and state
have been able to guide the program in line with the crucial objectives of the TN Program of “self-
reliant and sustainable community-level use and management of land, water and environment”. (See
JASuL in the previous chapter.)

Similarly, many of the tribal villages in Erode and Salem district where network partners have their
field base hoisted Tribal Self Rule Flags, and grama sabha has been formed in about 250 adivasi
villages. The concept and practice of “self rule” has been spread. The rights of grama sabha have
been written in tribal village that are practicing self rule concepts such as selling the NTFP on their
own, demanding the government schemes, safeguarding their culture and tradition and taking up
efforts to claim their entitlement under the new forest act 2006. As is indicated under sub-sections
3.5.3 & 3.5.4 of this report, good number of tribal families was able to reclaim their land for
livelihood with environment friendly cultivation practices. Thus the practice of “self-rule” has helped
the tribal communities to be a collective force in solving, clarifying and correcting the adverse
impacts of global structures on village life reality and to enable the communities decide about the
sustainable use of their local environment. (See TAFSC in the previous chapter.)

The activities are not stagnant and they are progressively producing results and some of the
progressive indicators towards generating impact are: (a) regarding the herbal medicine production,
the process moves into getting license for marketing the medicines in the open market. (b) People take
their own initiatives in addressing the local issues motivated by the NGO partners. (c) The adivasis
are convinced of their land and forest rights and constantly make collective demands for ensuring
their rights. (d) Demand for a separate Ministry on Water and Water Resources Protection is on its
way. (e) 5 organic food and input shops have been opened in Dindigul, Erode and Madurai. Farmers
are gearing up to get better prices for organically cultivated vegetables. It also helps the promotion of
awareness among the consumers. Out of the five, 2 shops are in the beginning stage and are still in the
process of being established.

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4.2. What difference SF’s Cooperation has made to the Partners in TN


Program?
There has been a wide diversity in the amounts of financial support which different partners have
received from SF. The results of the work of different partners naturally reflect quite well the different
amounts of financial support which they have got. 11

Difference from Cooperation:


The following are culled out as the difference in projects or programs before and after the cooperation
from SF. In other words, the following are the differences made from the distribution of funds from
SF and succeeded in realizing self-reliant and sustainable community-level use, governance and
management.
a) Earlier, due to paucity of funds, the reaching out was very minimal. Now, they could take up
and address wide variety of issues in all parts of Tamil Nadu. Secondly, earlier network like
TNEC focused only with the people who are affected by environment issue. Now, they have
made links with intellectuals like lawyers, doctors and scientists to make them also feel
responsible for the social issues.
b) With SHG growth and Tsunami programmes, the NGOs in TN had a shift moving away from
‘rights based approach’ but the continuous voices of SF partners in livelihood issues and with
‘rights perspective’, now it is found that lots of other NGOs in TN also have started focusing
on livelihood issues with right perspective.
c) There is good documentation of issues, research findings and experiences in the
implementation which helped for wider dissemination. There is wider sharing, looking into
the new dimensions of issues and addressing them in strategically planned ways.
d) The space for livelihood has been increased and introduction of diversification in livelihood
options.
e) Working space is created in herbal collectors Network. Earlier it was an idea for seven years
and now it is realised. Earlier the herbal collectors were individual collectors but now as
collectives which has increased their bargaining power. The herbal collectors now have value
added market.
f) Types of programmes, the partners address have changed from one single focus to wider
livelihood issues. There are new initiatives like ‘zero budgeting’, ‘very low external input’ etc
in sustainable agriculture practices.
g) Take up wide variety of issues; from mere dalit or environment to multiple approach or
integrated issues / approach. Documentation and creation of data based documentation
through researches, economic income and depletion of income in poor households,
environment, traditional medicines, etc.
h) Partners have learnt a lot in different aspects related to environment such as water, forest,
land, bio fuel techniques. The relationship with Fair Trade practice has begun after the
cooperation with SF.
i) Earlier individual farmers focussed in sustainable farming but now widened their initiatives
and have come together as network. With the base work from LEISA support, the timely
support from SF has helped LEISA to consolidate and strengthen the earlier work and move
towards the next phase. Along with the focus on collective usage of land, seed purchasing and
marketing the campaign mode is adopted subsequent to the partnership with SF.

11
see the section 1.2.2. above and Annex-2 for details of grant decision and distribution from SF to
TN Program / Partners.

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4.3. How has the Siemenpuu support affected the local power structure between
the (a) different NGOs, (b) networks and (c) project partners?
Relationship at different levels:
a) The formation of TNCT has helped a lot in understanding the SF process. There is
transparency and quick communication which makes the partners feel comfortable.
b) Partners do not feel the presence of SF as threatening but consider as a collective on equal
planes. The partners’ meeting makes the individual partners feel the space for sharing
experiences and learning from each other rather than mere reporting. The relationship with SF
is mutual with comfortable feeling of articulating oneself. Among the partners, there is a
sense of solidarity to support the issues addressed by other partners.
c) TN is known for networks and only selective NGOs come together on issue based. Given this
situation, it is good to see the solidarity among the TN Partners of SF.
d) However, difference of opinion comes up in SF partners too, which is natural, but there is a
healthy effort to live with differences. There is a common understanding to cooperate with
each other in spite of the differences.

Regarding the “power sharing”:


There is clear channel of communication at different levels (TN Partners & TNCT, TNCT & SF).
After the TNCT was formed the partners were able to accept and understand better the other partners
& partner networks, by
• discussing with the partners the need for regular and systematic reports was emphasised.
• reports were collected consolidated and sent it to SF on time.
• during partners meeting we get to know better each other.
• whenever a state-level activity is launched by one network other networks also join – such as
cultural yatra on environment, campaign for water ministry, campaign and agitation to put
down zindal iron industry, agitation against CMZ etc.

Nevertheless, there are different needs felt by different partners on that how the Core Team could be
widened in some ways to include different new members in a balanced and equal way. Inclusion of
woman representation was another concern. It is recommended that TN Partners and SF come to a
decision on this concern soon.

Secondly, there is an outstanding concern in the relationship between NAA, TAFSC & CAFAT, and
also in the relationship between TAFSC & CAFAT. It is recommended that the concerned members
sit together and resolve the conflict of interests at the earliest. It would be important to communicate
to SF as well the understanding and resolutions arrived at.

4.4. How relevant and what is the effectiveness of the program or cooperation
of TN Program & SF?
There is growing anti-people and environmentally un-friendly policies and tribal lands are being taken
over by the multi-nationals. There is a need for a radical shift and alternatives; from market force to
people centred. Isolated activities may not be sufficient and there is relevance in terms of networking,
alliance at the macro levels including political parties, church organizations etc. Community based
initiatives is very crucial at the present time / context and in the era of globalization where the local
communities are gradually losing control over their local resources. The decisions of adivasis or
farmers are normally made based on the values and culture but it is now done elsewhere and it goes
against the traditional system which protected the local resources.

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The TN Program has responded keeping the above as their basic understanding. The following
examples are indicative of the relevance and the effectiveness of the efforts in favour of better
environment, sustainable agriculture, rights of tribal etc.

The ongoing struggle for the implementation Forest Regulation Action (FRA) has been strengthened
with the cooperation of Siemenpuu. This helps 30,000 tribal families with traditional and customary
rights who otherwise have no supporters.

The thrust for sustainable agricultural practices helped 2400 families to get shifted from inorganic
farming to organic farming. Their family income has improved, external input has decreased, land
alienation has been checked and converted barren land into cultivable land. Farmers’ technical
knowledge on organic farming has increased and there is gradual policy change in agriculture sector
towards organic farming.

Advocacy campaign for coastal rights involved about a population of 125,000 into collectives and
fisher cooperatives.

It is relevant to use the existing legal provisions and accordingly 131 villages were sensitized on Right
to Information Act, National Rural Employment Guarantee Act or PRI Act by providing information
and strengthening the peoples struggle.

Campaigned on restoration water bodies by creating mass awareness and campaigned against surface
water privatization policies of the World Bank. Without such resistance the people at the grassroots
will be taken for granted and exploited to the core.

Established various dialogue forums such as advocates, environmentalists and scientists, in a situation
where the onslaught of industries and multinational companies in collaboration with the local
governments is high. This way the different sections of the public were offered common platform to
express their solidarity and concerns.

Promoted and strengthened Farmers organizations in 63 sub basin areas in Tamil Nadu responding to
the vested interests of the World Bank’s irrigation scheme. Thus the grassroots are organized and
helped to work collectively with more vigour.

These kinds of efforts have been crucial to promote the essential objective of the program, “people's
local collective efforts to build self-reliant and sustainable community-level use and management of
land, water and environment” (see above 1.2.1.).

It is important in this respect however to reflect how has this focus of communities' local collective
efforts been able to guide also the decisions of the program itself.

According to the ToR of the “Appraisal of the co-operation between Siemenpuu Foundation and
Tamil Nadu India Programme” the scope of the appraisal will be guided also by “a learning process
linked to sustainable local community self-rule as defined by those living within sustainable
communities”, helping also “in solving, clarifying and correcting the adverse impacts of global
structures on village life reality” to “enable the communities decide about the sustainable use of their
local environment.” (2.1. and 2.3. of the ToR)

TNCT encourage the partners to involve the people in planning, shaping and formulating the proposal
and implementation and evaluating the project. Most partners follow the participatory approaches in
planning and implementation process and it should be integrated in the regular work.

The “Agreement on goals and general nature of Siemenpuu India Cooperation Program” says on this

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that:

“Tamil Nadu Core Team strengthens local communities' collective efforts to build self-reliant and
sustainable livelihood” so that the Core Team works also “by community-level problem solving also
to clarify and correct the adverse impacts of global structures on village life reality.”

Therefore, while we are pleased that many of the supported groups are based on community level
work, it would be important for the program to consider and assess also how do all the Core Team
members and other partners see the way how the funds have been shared and how could the
cooperation empower community level decision making within the program and its management.

4.5. Project & Process Management:

How the project level management is being practiced?

a) Planning: The partners keep the global and national context in mind while planning. They
consult the CBOs, conduct random survey with the active participation of community and
staff / organization, and involve the chief functionary of the organization. They facilitate
participatory methods of setting the goal, objectives and activities for the interventions. Most
often, the process may not happen as strictly as described but there is a process in which all
the stakeholders are consulted.

The Chapter-3 has dedicated a section for ‘Project & Process Management’ under each of the
project. They amply indicate the formal & informal ways in which the planning is done at the
project level.

At the level of Siemenpuu the planning is carried out by the India Group consisting of
members within SF and members from cooperation program at Finland level. The India
Group has sub-groups on the 3 specific themes and they are (a) dialogues, advocacy &
campaign on ecological democracy, (b) sustainable agriculture and livelihood and (c)
Adivasis & their rights, protecting wild forest and environment with which people can live
from the natural renewal of wilds.

b) Monitoring: Based on the plan, there is ongoing check to finding whether the plan is achieved
or not and undertake course corrections depending on the findings.

Some of the partners have fixed formats through which the information / data on the
happenings & results are collected & collated periodically. The collection of periodic data on
the happenings differ from the ‘project activities’ and ‘campaigns’. The project activities
provide more quantity data whereas more quality data from the campaign activities.

Monitoring and collection of data is done through formats prescribed by each organisation
and analysis is done. Almost 30 to 40% organisations are using this method and based on the
analysis, the plan restructuring also is done.

Half-yearly mid-term assessment & internal assessment, review at a higher coordinator level,
at village development committees level. Monitoring is happening at the project level but
again it is quite informal and there is less systematic documentation of the monitoring
activities & findings.

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c) Evaluation: So far no external or internal evaluation has taken place to the project supported
by SF. This appraisal is the first one which is being done with external team of facilitators.

How the program level management is being practiced at TNCT?

a) Planning: At the TNCT level (i) it is in the form of consolidation of the planning which
comes up from the project level planning; (ii) TNCT prepares context paper with focus on the
program priority of Siemenpuu; (iii) context paper is consulted with the networks and
consolidated; and (iv) facilitates pre-planning process which involves capacity building of
partners. It is felt collectively during the discussion with the partners of TNCT that the
planning in the future has to be more interactive and systematic involving all the stakeholders.
Such process could involve the community in the planning thereby in the management at the
TNCT level.

b) Implementation & Monitoring: In order to strengthen the implementation process, TNCT


organized a workshop titled Perspective Building for the partners of TNCT.

It might be relevant that monitoring can be done in the future phase periodically and on need
basis.

In the ToR of the TNCT there is written that TNCT can “help Siemenpuu Foundation in
monitoring, reporting and evaluation of the projects” and that there is mandate for:

“Evaluation (to evaluate the realisation of the objectives of the project), only if felt by
Siemenpuu Foundation... once in three years or five years, evaluation could be conducted” so
that “a team of evaluators both internal and external would evaluate the projects.”

With TNCT's future mandate to appoint external evaluators, Siemenpuu and the whole Core
Team would need thus to participate to define how can the externality of such evaluator be
ensured to have an equal neutrality towards all the partners and towards anybody responsible
for negotiating the contract on payment/employment of the external Lead Author.

In the implementation process TNCT also takes the responsibility for organizing partners
meetings and coordinating the visitors from SF. TNCT also plays another important role of
compiling and providing articles for publication in North-South magazine.

In terms of applications for partnership or decisions on inclusion of potential NGOs or


Networks in the TN Partners are left to SF. So far TNCT received no application directly
from NGOs or Networks but they are directed via SF for studies & recommendation. SF does
the preliminary study and scrutiny prior to sending the applications to TNCT. TNCT prefers
this way in order that TNCT does not play a role of “donor” which has certain dynamics and
danger, and it is not healthy for the effectiveness of the TN Program.

In relation to the new project supports of 2009 there has been some obscurity regarding this –
still after the Self Appraisal tour. There has been insufficient information sharing in inviting
the concept papers/ proposals by the TNCT conveners' side and by the Siemenpuu office.

What would be exactly SF responsibility in 'preliminary study and scrutiny' is left quite open
in the program ToR but in reality it depends crucially on practices organised for that how the
concept papers are invited from the Indian partners.

As far as one person/organisation acts as the only one who decides which are the groups to be
informed how or when concept papers or proposals to apply funds can be sent, one adopts a

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problematic position in relation to playing a role of “donor”. (Especially as far as Siemenpuu


and most of the Core Team are not even aware of the practice and criteria how, and which,
groups are invited to send concept papers).

On the whole, TNCT plays a coordinating role and being liaison between SF-Finland and TN
Program. However, there is a need to make the role and responsibilities of TNCT clearer
with more specificity.

A special attention has to be provided in specifying the monitoring role of TNCT as it is bit
tricky and dynamic. However, it could be made in such a way that the monitoring or internal
evaluations are done periodically and on need basis with or without external consultants. But
there has to be well articulated purpose and ToR to the exercise of monitoring or internal
evaluations which could be a “regular occurrence”. TNCT should play an objective mediatory
role in this process.

The external evaluation is something which occurs during the end of a program period of 3
years or 5 years where a team of members and external consultants are brought in. These
evaluations should give role for the representatives from the community; practically
community representative can also be in the evaluation team.

According to the ToR the assessment which happens “once in three years or five years” would
be made by “a team of evaluators both internal and external” and as agreed by the whole of
the Core Team and Siemenpuu Foundation.

c) Reporting: collects the periodical report from the partners, consolidates the report and shared
it with SF and all the partners of SF. There is no scrutiny of the reports in comparison with
the proposed project plans of individual project.

It is recommended that TNCT plays a role of facilitator. It would mean that the reporting has
to be made not just mandatory but has to be made more meaningful and user-friendly at the
project or TNCT level. The reports of the partners have to be scrutinized as well in relation to
their proposed plans within the TN Program.

d) Feedback: Response to the report submitted to SF has been in the form of clarification from
the SF Desk and during the visits to the partners from the SF representatives. The feedback on
the report is also shared during visit of representative from TNCT to SF / Finland and TNCT
members are given opportunity for interaction with the staff of SF and Finland government
officials. There was also opportunity created by SF for wider dissemination of the report in
Finland. In fact SF uses some models of TNCT for wider dissemination and published core
studies from TNCT in North-South magazines.

e) Funds Sharing: The over-view of the grants (Refer Annex-2) decided and distributed
indicates two patterns; greater share for networks compared to the share to individual NGOs.
It is quite understandable as the networks have wider geographical area, cover more member
organizations and undertake more number of activities in comparison to the individual NGOs.
The TN Partners feel the funds given to individual partners or district level networks are
insufficient.

f) Gender Balance: TNCT has to ensure that in the Core Team and in the project level
management there needs to be a gender balance / equation maintained consciously. At
present, the Core Team has only male members though there are efforts to resolve the
concern. The same concern is extended to the TN partners as well; how many of the TN
partners are headed by woman? How many of the NGO partners of the networks are headed

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by woman? These are some of the questions. The answer is that it is a ‘serious concern’
which has to be resolved gradually with serious efforts at all levels.

g) Overall Governance: Thus far the governance of the TN Program with the facilitation of Core
Team and the Convenor has been quite good and effective. But it also belongs to the TN Core
Team's tasks to strengthen local communities' collective efforts to build self-reliance so that
the Core Team works also “by community-level problem solving”, “also to clarify and correct
the adverse impacts of global structures on village life reality” (“Agreement on goals and
general nature of Siemenpuu India Cooperation Program”).

The Core Team members have collectively wide and multi-dimensional experience in the
governance of networks and community-level practices, and they have used their experiences.
However, areas as indicated earlier (monitoring, interactive / participatory planning and
scrutiny of reports / consolidation of reports of the partners) require attention in the future and
TNCT has mandates in these areas.

It would be thus particularly important basis for this that all the Core Team members will
consider, assess and give their views on that how do they see the way how the funds got
shared and how the program administration works in this regard and also in other respects.

It would be also good that TNCT has a clear list of ‘dos’ and don’ts and decentralized
responsibilities within its overall objective of guiding the program. As a first step, TNCT can
initiate interactions among themselves and come out with a detailed list of roles and
responsibilities in the background of their past experience and the recommendations of the
‘appraisal’. It can subsequently be discussed with SF and decided upon.

How do the alliance between project at the partners or networks level and program at the
TNCT or SF level takes place?
The individual NGO partners either fitted their projects into SF program or joined the program of SF
or shared with the SF program. The question of ownership for the total program by all the program
and project partners has to be felt. The ‘ownership’ for the three program objectives of SF is blurring
and it has to be strengthened with conscious efforts at all levels and especially at the level of SF. To
start with SF has to involve members from TNCT to be part of the planning of the next phase.

To have program we have to have projects. There has to be balanced importance to networks and
NGO partners in future, whether it is for creating models or campaign activities. Otherwise there
could be artificial creation of networks.

All the major impact indicators have come up from the partner organizations. Need to develop
political conscious / position and should be moving out from ‘a political’ positioning.

4.6. Learning and Cooperation:

Four charts with questions12 were presented by the ATM for participants to respond on the ‘learning
processes’ in the co-operation between TN partners, TNCT and SF. The following is the outcome
culled out from the response and discussions with the partners.

12
1. What has been the learning process? (for the whole partnership, relationship, programmes,
India-programmes, partnership Fin-India etc)
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a) What has been the learning process?


Moving towards collective functioning (agree to disagree but live with it and work together),
enriching perspective in the collective process, collective perspective & group learning,
collective responsibility, democratic functioning, on equal platforms – sharing and teaching,
joint action, different activity and group sharing, process between the present situation to the
desired situation. The other learning from the process was issue-based solidarity, giving
importance to CBOs, collectively sharing, supporting, co-operating and consistently giving
solidarity. The examples are: the solidarity during the CMZ protest, Sedu Ship Cannel Project
protest, and campaign against Zindal company mining, sand mining etc., To work towards a
‘change’ common understanding and common action is essential. Program level planning and
implementation and monitoring needed as they are in ‘project level’. The “success” of
cooperation program is fitting well to a ripe base/situation in TN for a movement & NGO co-
operation towards better environment and livelihood sources of people.

b) How has the learning process been shared with wider circles?
The sharing of ‘learning’ has been through reports, perspective building meetings / workshops
/ seminars, newsletters & books, research & report publications like North South
Perspectives-magazine, Wild Forest (publication). It has also been through other forums like
WSF, e-forums, Web pages, and YouTube. The sharing of learning has also been with
CBOs/focus group, ‘people for self development’, through network, e-mail campaigns,
discussion with partners/network meetings, and joint planning.

c) How has the project /program contributed towards mutual learning?


The mutual learning has been through Partner's meeting / workshop, participating in others'
programs (networks), records / reports / management system, study circle, etc.

After the formation of TNCT in 2006, many opportunities were created for the partners to
come together at Tamilnadu and India level towards mutual learning. On an average, yearly
two times this sort of mutual learning takes place. This process should be intensified in the
future.

d) How has the partnership contributed to the co-operation on development between:


(i) North and South? Global issues have gained local faces, focused intervention & state to
state collaboration, made state an active partner, networked, and publication of NSP &Wild
Forest.
After formation of TNCT, the Tamilnadu partners have participated at least at WSF Nairobi,
ISF at Delhi, UNFCCC Bali. This has developed south-south cooperation between Sri Lanka
and Tamilnadu towards addressing the Sedu Shipping Cannel Project issue. The process is
still going on.
(ii) Within South? Co-operation between TN and Sri Lanka on Sedhu Samudram Shipping
Canal Project, sharing TNCT’s experience with Indonesia SF partners, and SF co-operation
partners’ sharing meetings. It is important to note that TN co-operation is regarded as a
fruitful model for other areas / countries.

2. If there has been learning, how has it been shared between a wider circle/network? (shared
with e.g. a network, national level, how has learning been shared?)
3. In terms of project/program, what has been the mutual learning? (from a network to other,
from you to NAA, SADED or vice versa..)
4. How has the partnership contributed to the co-operation on development between:
(a) North and South? (b) Within South? (c) Within North?

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(iii) Within North? SF works with many likeminded activist organizations and the co-
operation is seen as a valuable approach to be implemented by others. The co-operation
program has opened other new exchange and learning opportunities and understanding the
reality of the South and extending solidarity

4.7. Analysis on ‘Strengths and Weakness’:


In order to analyze the ‘strengths and weaknesses’ of SF-TN Program co-operation each participant
was given chance to make his or her individual opinion on separate sheets of paper, then the sheets
were collected, clarified, analyzed and summarized.

a) Strengths:
Democratic and clear power structure, state level solidarity, mutual commitment, cordial relationship,
regular meetings among the partners and transparency & cohesiveness take the top rank in the
strength. Next in the rank are that the state networks have wider coverage, common goals, address
environment and livelihood issues, dissemination of materials & knowledge exchange. Third in the
rank are organizing, guidance and capacity building, evolution of partnership structures, recognizing
individual partner’s capacity, research and documentation capacity, dialogue / sharing or coordinated
efforts and maturity to work with differences. The least in the rank of strength are timely and unique
support, participatory partnership model, quick conflict resolution, understanding the global context,
following systems and procedures, North-South cooperation, people centred approach / right based
approach or perspective, conceptual clarity and collective decision.

b) Weaknesses:
Insufficient fund and lack of assurance for continued funding was on the top rank of the weakness in
the SF-TN Program cooperation. Next in the rank of weakness were the approach is project oriented
than process-oriented, lack of process oriented project planning, lack of coordination among the
partners and short notice for meetings. The other weak areas pointed out by the partners, which rank
the last in the importance were support to similar projects, tendency for individualist approach,
domination of established NGOs, lack of common planning, lack of support for reporting, non-release
of funds in time, lack of monitoring and evaluation, creating more networks, lack of activities to
strengthen convergence between different networks, lack of opportunities to enhance S-S and N-S
cooperation, lesser importance to North part of Tamil Nadu and lack of regular partners meetings.

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5. Recommendations:

5.1. SF Level:
As it is apparent from the findings and analysis of the individual and network partners of TN Program
the cooperation of Siemenpuu has contributed to impact in the three areas; (a) dialogues, advocacy &
campaign on ecological democracy, (b) sustainable agriculture and livelihood and (c) Adivasis & their
rights, protecting wild forest and environment with which people can live from the natural renewal of
wilds in Tamil Nadu.

The cooperation of Siemenpuu has made visible differences (i) to the interventions of the partners, (ii)
to the continuity of the development process – ecological democracy, sustainable agriculture,
livelihoods & adivasis rights, (iii) to taking side with the specific sections of the society (adivasis,
small & marginal farmers, dalit women herbal collectors, fisher people, etc) who are vulnerable in the
onslaught of globalization, (iv) to dissemination and exchange of learning and (v) to providing added
value to the development thinking and approaches to pursue.

The cooperation of SF needs to be continued in stronger ways of financial support, North-South


exchange and including TNCT in the planning process of SF as a whole.

5.2. TNCT Level:


TNCT has been playing an important role in facilitating the TN Program in a proper stream of
thinking, supporting the partners in their capacity, linking them with the TNCT, supporting SF with
required documentation & organizing / coordinating the visits of SF, conforming potential partners
and consolidating the reports of TN partners. The role of the Convenor and the Core Team Members
have been visible and in a congenial way towards achieving the program objectives of Siemenpuu.

However, it is felt collectively during the discussion with the partners of TN Program that the
planning has to be more interactive and systematic involving all the stakeholders in the future. The
next phase is an opportunity to demonstrate a better interactive planning process for TN Program.

On the whole, TNCT plays a coordinating role and being liaison between SF-Finland and TN
Program. However, there is a need to make the role and responsibilities of TNCT clearer. A special
attention has to be provided in specifying the role of identifying potential partners or monitoring role
of TNCT as it is bit tricky and dynamic.

However, it could be made in such a way that the monitoring or internal evaluations are done
periodically and on need basis with or without external consultants. But there has to be well
articulated purpose and ToR to the exercise of monitoring or internal evaluations which could be a
“regular occurrence”. TNCT should play an objective mediatory role in this process.

The external evaluation is something which occurs during the end of a program period of 3 years or 5
years where a team of members and external consultants are brought in and TNCT plays a facilitating
role.

Conscious efforts have to be taken to ensure there is gender balance in the membership of TNCT and
in the leadership of TN Program partners. There has also been commitment to some kind of rotation
inside the Core Team and its Convener and to possible expansion of the Core Team.

The Core Team has not in practice had so much work than originally planned in assessing and
processing beforehand diverse applications from Tamil Nadu. This is due to that the amount of
support has not increased in any significant way from the start of the program. So, the support has
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covered mostly projects and organisations that were already supported during the start of the
cooperation program instead of allowing space for new projects or approaches in a significant way.
TNCT could thus focus the work further on activating the community-level governance practices as
the essential commitment within the program.

The Core Team members have collectively wide and multi-dimensional experience on the
community-level governance practices. This diversity of experiences should be utilised in relation to
how the funds are shared, in program and project planning and implementation etc. And it would be
crucial that the TNCT as a channel for empowering the community-level self-governance can start to
utilise better also other community life's own experiences of its processes in guiding the program.

All Core Team members should consider, assess and give their views on that how do they see the way
how the funds are or should be applied and shared and how the program administration works also in
respect to the following questions:
- How are the aspects of the community-level governance/decision-making present and empowered
within the TNCT program governance?
- How could different communities, partners and decentralised community processes
participate/contribute to plan, guide and decide the distribution/allocation and use of program's
resources in future?
- How far has the current overall distribution of Siemenpuu funds by TNCT been adequate to enable
communities to decide over their sustainable use of environment through community-level problem
solving?
- How can the experience which exists in the Core Team on different areas of Tamil Nadu and on
their different types of communities be utilised in planning, selecting and managing the work and
projects to be supported?

For realising the important role of the communities' self-reliant decisions in the program, there might
be needed in TNCT more decentralised responsibilities and more participatory planning regarding the
various dimensions of the community life and its processes and how can these be better supported by
that how the funds are shared.

The TNCT members feel that the functioning of the Core Team has become excessively convener
centric over time. The responsibilities of TNCT have not been adequately shared among the members.
All the reports of TNCT were not jointly studied in the core team meetings and rectified. The TOR
was not referred time to time in the core team meetings.

5.3. TNCT Partners’ Level:


Recommendations to the partners at the individual NGOs or Networks level are already reflected in
Chapter-4 in details. The details provide the relevance, effectiveness and impact generated by the TN
Program partners have been significant and been in line with the overall program objectives of
Siemenpuu.

On the other hand, there is tendency among the partners to be more project-oriented than process
oriented especially the individual NGO partners. This may suggest that in the cooperation in the
future there could be given more importance to equal partnership with and between the networks.

Their learning and cooperation has been sufficient enough to make themselves relevant - however the
learning and sharing has largely been limited within the project areas and the State Tamil Nadu.

The project and process management of the partners has been both informal and formal ways, but it
would be necessary to make more systematic management of planning, implementation and
monitoring.

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Appraisal of the co-operation


between Siemenpuu Foundation and Tamil Nadu India Programme

Terms of Reference (TOR)

December 2008

1. Objective and purpose of the appraisal


The primary intention of this self-appraisal is to shed light on the impacts of Siemenpuu Tamil Nadu
cooperation programme. The appraisal will also seek to underline lessons learnt and good practice
from the specific projects and the general cooperation programme. The aim of the self-appraisal is to
help the partners involved to further develop their work and cooperation both in strategic issues as
well as developing the administrative framework of the cooperation.

One of the operational objectives of Siemenpuu is to be innovative in the evolution of democratic


solutions that define new ways of mutual learning, understanding of development and formulating
ways of engagement that are meaningful not only to Siemenpuu and her partners but to the wider
global society.

This appraisal mission is one such attempt where we endeavour to combine an evaluation perspective
to a participatory appraisal process that reviews the different levels of engagement (Siemenpuu to
partners, partner to partners, partners to local communities etc). It is hoped that this process will
enrich our understanding of the north-south civil society cooperation and open up new ways of
assessing the impacts of development.

The self-appraisal will specifically;


Appraise the relevance, effectiveness and impacts of the specific projects and the Tamil Nadu
cooperation programme;
Appraise the management processes of the co-operation programme and the partners both in
Finland and India
Appraise how the cooperation programme has managed to progress towards achieving the set
goals of the cooperation partners and their planning of development processes.

It is anticipated that the findings of the appraisal will contribute to the strategic development activities
and processes within the Tamil Nadu partners, the Tamil Nadu Cooperation programme, Siemenpuu
Foundation and others outside of this cooperation.

2. Scope of the appraisal


In the appraisal and evaluation process, the scope of the exercise will be guided by the Tamil Nadu
Cooperation Programme goals as expressed in the official documentation and contract which are;
• To develop a mutual partnership that allows for autonomous but complementary work that
creates and reinforces synergies between the three Siemenpuu programmes under the India
Cooperation Programme in order for them to fulfill and achieve their set objectives. The
objective of this being to contribute towards correcting the Northern global structures which
endanger the sustainable life of rural, urban and forest communities in India. The work in the
North will be through the Siemenpuu India group working with Indian partners and will take
the form of dialogues, publications all contributing to a learning process linked to sustainable
local community self-rule as defined by those living within sustainable communities.
• To evolve a mutual equality of the cooperation partners where partners have an enabling

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environment that allows them to participate in planning, shaping, negotiating, evaluating and
further redefining the programme. This should also be reflected at the grass roots level by the
mutual sharing of the themes, content, goals and criteria of development or environmental
protection. It also stresses on the need for reporting implementation to be relevant and in
context to the life on location.
• The work of TNCT to help in solving, clarifying and correcting the adverse impacts of global
structures on village life reality. It is also designed to inform and improve the understanding
about the Northern unsustainable global impacts on communities in the South and the
required changes that would enable the communities decide about the sustainable use of their
local environment.
• TNCT has a Finnish partner group and contact person within Siemenpuu's India group which
aids in the communication, documentation, inter & intra cultural local and global dialogue,
learning and exchange. The cooperation will be for the benefit of the wider cooperation with
Southern partners as well as Northern civil society actors.
• Experiential learning exchange where Siemenpuu will interact with the partners in person in
India, Finland or WSF to review the needs and issues of the cooperation.

To achieve the above Siemenpuu Foundation entered into an agreement with TNEC for the
Coordination and Capacity Building Programme in Tamil Nadu and the administration of funds for
joint programme monitoring and information activities for the overall Siemenpuu Foundation India
Cooperation Programme.

The appraisal will seek to therefore review projects funded by Siemenpuu Foundation in Tamil Nadu.
The main focus will be on projects and processes that have been put in place since the official start of
the Tamil Nadu cooperation programme within Siemenpuu Foundation. Projects funded before the
cooperation programme began are also subject to the self-appraisal especially to highlight the impact
of the different approaches to development support in Tamil Nadu by Siemenpuu.

The duration of the appraisal will not go beyond 6 months.


The self-appraisal will focus on (but may not be limited to) exploring the following issues:

Relevance, effectiveness and impacts of the supported projects and cooperation


programme
• What are the impacts (positive and negative) of Siemenpuu supported work in Tamil Nadu?
• How has the Siemenpuu support affected the local power structure between the different
NGOs, networks, policy makers and project partners?
• What is the difference between the projects supported by Siemenpuu before the cooperation
programme was established and those that have been supported after the cooperation
programme was put in place? Are there any fundamental differences?
• What is the relevance of the work undertaken by the different partners within the different
themes of water, agriculture and policy locally, regionally and internationally?

Projects and process management of the supported projects and cooperation


programme
How has the work of the evolved over time with regard to:
(g) Tamil Nadu Core Team
(h) The networks
(i) Siemenpuu office in Helsinki
(j) Individual project partners

Learning and developing new ways of cooperation


a) Has this been a learning process? Has the learning been shared within the wider circles?
b) How has the programme or projects contributed towards mutual learning at the different
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levels (Civil society, community, NGO and others).


c) How has the partnership or projects in the partnership contributed to our understanding of
the question of development between the North and South?

3. Methodology
The appraisal will be done by a team selected by the Siemenpuu Foundation and Tamil Nadu Core
Team. The team uses different methods to capture information. This might include desktop research,
field visits, interviews, questionnaires, and workshops. Data collected from the field will be
documented using different methods which the team finds most suitable.

The process will start with the compiling of the team and the selection of the team leader (see 3.1.1).
With inputs from the Team Members the Team leader will develop the detailed Appraisal
Implementation Plan (AIP), containing detailed work plan of the mission, desk top and field work
for developing the report, holding a workshop and compiling the final report. The AIP will form the
basis of the appraisal and will include the timetable of the persons involved, the planned activities and
timeframes.

3.1 Team Members


The appraisal team will comprise of a team leader/lead author (TLLA), co-authors and team members.
The roles and responsibilities of the whole appraisal team is spelt out in the annexure to the ToR.

3.1.1 Team Leader


The team leader/lead author (TLLA) will be recruited from India on a competitive basis. The TLLA
will be independent of the TN programme and the Siemenpuu supported India programme.

The TLLA will develop the comprehensive Appraisal Implementation Plan (AIP) with inputs from
the team members. The AIP will be designed to use the most efficient process taking into
consideration the budgetary limitations. The team leader might seek for clarification on issues that
might arise as the mission evolves (Refer 3.3.1).

Recruiting of the Team Leader


The team leader will be recruited from India. He should be independent of the TNCT and the India
cooperation programme. In addition, the qualifications, experience and expertise of the appraisal team
shall cover the following aspects:
1. awareness of the history behind the India-Finnish civil society co-operation and the current
situation of the Siemenpuu- TN programme partners;
2. sufficient knowledge of the relevant organisations and the institutional context in India and
Finland;
3. ability to interact with all types of key actors, including senior level civil society activists and
politicians;
4. understanding of the cultural and inter-cultural factors and differences affecting the co-
operation;
5. development co-operation project management and evaluation;
6. Fluency in spoken and written English.

The Team Leader will be recruited on a competitive basis. The shortlisted candidate will be invited to
prepare a framework Appraisal Implementation Plan. If the framework AIP meets the basic
requirements and offers the most convincing picture towards executing the work, the candidate will be
selected and engaged for the mission.

Short listing
Potential candidates will send their CV to peter.kuria@siemenpuu.org after which the detailed TOR
will be sent to the selected candidate requesting them to prepare a brief framework AIP as detailed in
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the TOR. The AIP will be evaluated by members of TNCT and India Group (TOR Group). The
preferred candidate will be awarded the team leader role and a contract drawn between them and
CEDA Trust.

3.1.2 Team Members


The TNCT and the India Group will propose members to the appraisal team. TNCT will nominate two
representatives and will be responsible of inviting two additional members from SADED (1) and
NAA (1). Siemenpuu India Group will provide 4 members (Finland) one of them being a co-author.
The selected team members are as follows: Mira Käkönen (co-author), Kai Vaara (team
member), Ossi Kakko (team member), Pauliina Tuominen (team member).

3.1.3 Co-author
The co-authors will work closely with the TLLA assisting them with the development of the appraisal
as well as writing the report.

The TLLA will delegate roles and responsibilities to the team members which will be detailed in the
AIP document.

3.2 The appraisal


The appraisal will review the different projects funded by Siemenpuu selected from the list appended
(Anne 3). The project may fall into different categories depending on when they were funded by
Siemenpuu and under which programme. These categories are just indicatory and there might be other
ways of defining the differences. It is worth noting that some projects might also fit across more than
one category.
Category 1 Projects funded before the TN programme was initiated
Category 2 Projects funded during the TN programme period

On the award of the contract, the TLLA will lead in the development of a detailed Appraisal
Implementation Plan (AIP) with inputs from the members of the appraisal team. The AIP will set
out a time table of activities and definite roles and responsibilities. It will also include timeframe for
field exercises, methods of information gathering, and ascertain that key questions addressing the
objective of the mission are integrated into the appraisal process.

With inputs and in collaboration with the team, the team leader will finalise the AIP. On completion,
the AIP will form the basis for the appraisal mission.

3.2.1 Developing the Appraisal Implementation Plan (AIP)


The TLLA will be responsible for developing the AIP. The AIP will be designed to ensure that
representative sample of all projects supported and reflected in the Tamil Nadu traditional view of
Hills, Plains and Coastal areas.

The process will also ensure that the different types of projects are included (water, training, organic
agriculture, policy, advocacy etc). There will be a deliberate effort to cover projects that will enrich
the process and provide insights to the various aspects and interrogate different development
questions that have emerged, the different impacts, the relationship between partners and emerging
challenges, the mixing of the project options will be done within the available resources. The idea is
that the AIP will assist the appraisal team to capture all the impacts of the Siemenpuu TN programme
in the best possible manner.

The complexity of the team involved, the subject matter, the logistics linked to the geographic spread
of the projects will require a variety of methods for communication, planning of the visits to the
project sites, collection and analysis of information, desktop study and review of information,
coordination of events, sharing of information, report writing and processing for example. The team
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Annex 1: Terms of Reference (ToR) – Siemenpuu & TN India Program – December 2009

leader working with the appraisal team will decide on the best and most efficient mode of executing
the appraisal. These details will be outlined in the AIP.

Under the guidance of the team leader, the framework AIP document will clearly demonstrate;
• How the team plans to collect and analyse any documentation including: project documents,
contracts, reports and newspaper articles other media material
• material preparation for the mission (questionnaire etc)
• The number of face-to face meetings with different members of the different NGOs supported
by Siemenpuu in Tamil Nadu,
• clear roles and responsibilities of the appraisal team members
• the distribution of the different project site for visits to the appraisal members
• the probable mix of projects to be visited and a brief justification for each
• The schedule of the actual site/location visits in India,
• other probable dialogue or interview sessions
• Proposed telephone and/or e-mail interviews of Indian project partners or interviews with key
informants (India and Finnish), and projects in Tamil Nadu.
• Timeframe for the report; dissemination of draft report to partners for further commenting,
proposed final report structure and deadline
• detailed plans for the report dissemination and discussion workshop in India
• definition of the different categories/classification of projects that will form part of the
appraisal

3.3. The Report


The findings of the self-appraisal will be reported in English. The report may be translated into other
languages as per the need of the partners.

The draft report will be presented to all the partners for comments before being finally published for
wider circulation.

The report will be written in a generic form with case studies representing the spectrum of the funded
projects and different points of views on the project activities, citations; photographs and supporting
documentation where appropriate. The report should aim to act as a tool for information sharing with
the wider society and not written specifically as a donor oriented report.

60-80 pages without annexes.

Roles and responsibilities of the appraisal team members

Team Leader and lead Author (TLLA)


• To organise, manage and coordinate the appraisal exercise
• In collaboration with the TNCT and appraisal team to develop a detailed work plan
(AIP) and schedule of the appraisal
• Coordinate the field exercise and information collection and collation
• Ascertain that the team works together to assist in compiling the information based on
clear lines of communication
• Delegate responsibilities to related to communication, data collection, documentation
to the appraisal team whenever further information is needed (besides authorship)
• Ensure efficient communication between all partners
• Call and organise for the appraisal team meetings if needed
• Edit the report for wider distribution and within a set time frame
• Co-organise and facilitate the appraisal Workshop in Madurai
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Annex 1: Terms of Reference (ToR) – Siemenpuu & TN India Program – December 2009

• Responsible for the production of the report final report

Team Member
• The team member will take responsibility as delegated by the team leader and the
appraisal team. These will be responsibilities emanating from detailed workplan.
• The team member will be bound by the TOR and by those other detailed plans
developed under the guidance of the same TOR and especially the AIP
• Based on the agreed detailed work plan, the team member will support the team leader
and the appraisal team towards the objectives defined by the TOR and AIP
• Team member will collect, document, facilitate the transmission of all information
that will make the exercise fruitful to the appraisal team and mission
• They will also help in any other documentation and transcribing of field notes relevant
to the mission

Co-author
• Work with team leader and assist team leader in all the work related to report writing
and editing.
• The co-author will assist the team leader achieve all the key functions as detailed in
the TOR and AIP

All members of the appraisal team will be required to support the mission achieve its stated
objective.

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Annex 2: Appraisal Implementation Plan (AIP) – Siemenpuu & TN India Program – December 2009

Appraisal of the co-operation between


Siemenpuu Foundation and Tamil Nadu India Programme

Appraisal Implementation Plan (AIP)

1.0. Overall Focus – Siemenpuu:


Three areas of program interventions of Siemenpuu program:
- Advocacy & campaign: Dialogues on ecological democracy, for local, national, regional and
global interactions to challenge and correct the adverse global structure which over-consume
the earth
- Sustainable agriculture (Livelihood – sustainable agriculture model creation): People’s local
collective efforts to built self-reliant and sustainable community-level use and management of
land, water and environment
- Tribals (tribal rights): Protecting, learning, sharing such ways of understanding wild forests
and environment with which people can live from the natural renewable of wilds
Finnish government has already evaluated Siemenpuu and it was considered “external evaluation”.
This self-appraisal is considered “self” because for Siemenpuu the total India program is part & parcel
of Siemenpuu’s total program. Secondly, it is expected that the self-appraisal has to have impact focus
with case studies & qualitative focus.

It is also important to note that TNCT plays crucial role in facilitating the implementation of the TN
Program, being a ‘dialogue group’ with the Siemenpuu, and providing consultation on identification
& recommendation of partners. Siemenpuu takes seriously the recommendation of the TNCT. There
is going to be a future role of “monitoring” for TNCT and it is likely to start from 2009.

2.0.The self-appraisal will focus on (but may not be limited to) exploring the following
issues:
2.1. Relevance, effectiveness & impacts of the supported projects and cooperation
programme
• What are the impacts (positive and negative) of Siemenpuu supported work in Tamil
Nadu?
• How has the Siemenpuu support affected the local power structure between the different
NGOs, networks, policy makers and project partners?
• What is the difference between the projects supported by Siemenpuu before the
cooperation programme was established and those that have been supported after the
cooperation programme was put in place? Are there any fundamental differences?
• Identification of achieved progress indicators
• The extent and magnitude of the progress
• What is the relevance of the work undertaken by the different partners within the different
themes of water, agriculture and policy locally, regionally and internationally?
• Tasks and focus for future phase/s

2.2. Projects and process management (Project Cycle Management-PCM &


Strategic Management-SM) of the supported projects and cooperation programme
(k) How has the work of the evolved over time with regard to:
(l) Tamil Nadu Core Team - (focus on SM)
(m) The networks (PCM & SM)
(n) Siemenpuu office in Helsinki (PCM & SM)
(o) Individual project partners (PCM & SM)

2.3. Learning and developing new ways of cooperation


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Annex 2: Appraisal Implementation Plan (AIP) – Siemenpuu & TN India Program – December 2009

d) Has this been a learning process? Has the learning been shared within the wider circles?
e) How has the programme or projects contributed towards mutual learning at the different
levels (Civil society, community, NGO and others – between partners, between Siemenpuu
& TN Program etc).
f) How has the partnership or projects in the partnership contributed to our understanding
of the question of development between the North and South (within South & North &
between North & South)?

2.0. Appraisal Team Members (ATM):


(i) Team Leader & Lead Author (TLLA): Chelladurai Solomon, (ii) Co-Author: Mira Käkönen,
(iii) Team Member: Kai Vaara, (iv) Team Member: Ossi Kakko and (v) Team Member: Pauliina
Tuominen. (vi & vii) TNCT nomination – Ms.Varthini, (viii) SADED (ix) NAA – Roy David

Note: TNCT members volunteered to be part of the appraisal for reasons that the visits to the
fields of partners will provide immense insights into the activities & process, which in turn will
help in the future phase of TNCT’s role in the program. Secondly, Ms. Varthini, selected by
TNCT will be part of the ATM. Her consultancy fee and travel will be met by TNCT. Besides,
TNCT volunteered to meet the travel costs of 2 of its members from the TNCT budget and the
other 2 from the evaluation budget.

21. Roles & Responsibilities – ATM:


• TLLA takes the lead role of facilitating the appraisal in cooperation and active participation
of the other team members.
• TLLA is responsible for the draft report and finalization of the same. The other team
members will provide their observations, analysis program highlights from their visits and
appraisal process which will be incorporated into the report.
• All the 4 members of TNCT have volunteered to be part of the whole appraisal process
including field visits.
• Members from Siemenpuu, SADED and NAA will ensure their participation in the pre-field
visits ‘partners meet’ and ‘debriefing’. Besides at least one member from these two
organizations will participate all through the process of field visits. Siemenpuu, SADED and
NAA will inform of the members, their participation in the specific events of the appraisal as
soon as possible.

2.2. Stakeholders:
The following are the stakeholders who will be involved in the appraisal exercise at different points of
time and at different levels:
(i) TNCT members, (ii) partners, networks & forums, (iii) representatives / members of
Siemenpuu, (iv) CBOs, leaders & members – adivasi, marginalized communities, (iv) government
officials / bureaucrats, (v) political representatives, leaders at the panchayat & state level, and (vi)
media

3.0. Planning & Finalization of AIP: (Dec 2008)


i. Draft AIP by the TLLA
ii. Meeting & finalization of TLLA with the TNCT members – 22nd Dec 2008
a. Identification of secondary data & materials
b. Identification and finalization of the categories / sample number of partners to be
visited for field tests & interactions
c. Identification of “key informants” (political / mass leaders, bureaucrats, etc)
d. Finalization of the roles & responsibilities of the ATM and key participants of the
Appraisal (TNCT, partners & Siemenpuu)
e. Finalization of the methodology (simple questionnaire for quantitative data, field
/ physical visits, interviews with the community, community focus group
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discussions, meeting with key informants & case studies)


f. Finalization of specific time-line for the Appraisal

4.0. Appraisal Implementation Stages:


4.1. Desk Study & Research (pre-field visits) – (Jan, 2009)
• Identification of relevant secondary data and materials available with the Siemenpuu, TNCT
and partners in Tamilnadu
• Study of the secondary data by the ATM
• 2-day Interactive sessions between ATM, TNCT and Partners (Jan 2009)
o Introduction to the major stakeholders
o Opportunity for the wider sections of the partners for sharing; impacts & milestones
of changes (positive & negative)
o Process History; development collaboration with Siemenpuu (mapping)
o Overall Strength, Weakness and Challenges of the TN Program

4.2. Sampling:
• All the 9 partners will be visited and interacted:
o State level network – 3 – (2 days each) – 6 days
o District level network – 2 (2 days each) – 4 days
o Individual NGOs – 4 (1 day each) – 4 days
o TNCT – TN Core Team – 1 day
• Within the state level network
o Meeting & interacting with key members together as ‘focus group’ discussions
o Meeting with ‘key informants’- political leaders, government bureaucrats & media
o Assessing the magnitude of awareness spread, consciousness and policy influence

• Within the district level network


o Meeting and interacting with the partners together
o Visit to the fields of one or two partners of the network
o Meeting with ‘key informants’
o Assessing the magnitude of awareness & attitude changes
• Individual NGOs
o Visits to community & interactions
o Focus group discussions
• Note:
o The sampling includes the phased out groups + some networks who give continuity
from the old phase
o The phased out groups are open for future collaboration with Siemenpuu TN Program
o Most of the phased out groups had one-time small support hence it is not necessary to
invite more phased out groups.

4.2.1. Partners:
The following are the current partners of Siemenpuu and they will be taken into appraisal and
sampling of the exercise.
1. PAD – Tuticorin – phased out project
2. ODAM – Virudhunagar dt – phased pout project
3. WASA (small project) – Sivagangai
4. PEAL – PEAL-JASuL (state level network – about 200 members – campaign activities) &
PEAL-SAP (Madurai)
5. CEDA Trust-TNEC (state level network – about 600 members – campaign activities) -
Dindigul
6. REAL-LEISA (network – about 10 members) – Dindigul

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7. Y-NEEW (small project) – Dindigul


8. JEEVA JOTHI-LEISA (network – about 8 members) – Erode District
9. VRDP-TAFSC (Tribal network – about 25 members) – State level network – campaign
activities

4.3. Documents Required:


- India Program – overall – visit the website of Siemenpuu
- Program & project proposals & Reports, paper clippings of partners
- Publication & newsletters, etc
- TNCT will ensure the collection and dissemination to ATM

4.4. Field Visits:


• Visits to all partners – specific details are indicated in the ‘Table of Schedule’
o – 1st Round - 5 days (Jan 09) – Partners Meet and continued with field visits
o – 2nd Round – 4 days (Feb 09) – Field visits
o – 3rd Round – 4 days (March 09) – Field visits
o – 4th Round – 5 days (April 09) – Field visits
o – 5th Round – 1 day (May 09) - Debriefing

4.5. Reporting & Finalization:


• 1st Draft – Circulation for feedback – 26th April
• Email dialogue – 26th to 3rd May
• Final Presentation to the TNCT & Partners – Debriefing - 1 day workshop (May 09)
• Finalization of the Report - 10th May

4.6. Time Line & Schedule:

Date Actions / Purpose Stakeholders Methodology Place No. of


Events days
22 Dec Meeting with Finalization TLLA & Discussions & Trichy 1
08 TNCT of AIP TNCT Interactions
2-8 Jan Secondary Desk Study ATM, TNCT, Desk study Bangalore & -
09 material & Research Partners & respective
Siemenpuu place of
ATM
10-15 Desk Secondary ATM, TNCT Desk study Respective 5 days
Jan Study & data & Partners & place of
Research collection & Siemenpuu ATM
research
19-24 Meeting with Appraisal Partners, -Intro Madurai -do-
Jan Partners introduction TNCT & ATM -Milestones
and setting (mapping)
the climate -Major impact
for the -SWOT
participation analysis
of the -Future Phase
partners (ground
discussions)
-do- 1st Round – Visit to Partners, -Interviews Madurai and 5 days
State level PAD, community, -Case studies neighboring
network ODAM & focus groups -Focus group districts
PEAL-SAP discussions
2-5 Feb 2nd Round – Visit to Partners, -Interviews Salem & 4 days
Meeting with Erode- community, -Case studies neighboring

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Annex 2: Appraisal Implementation Plan (AIP) – Siemenpuu & TN India Program – December 2009

TNCT LEISA, focus groups -Focus group districts


TAFSC discussions
13 / 14 Siemenpuu Provide India program -Interviews Delhi 2 days
March Partners Meet wider partners & -Discussions
program Siemenpuu
perspective
23-26 3rd Round – Visit to Partners, -Interviews Madurai 4 days
March District level WASA, community, -Case studies
network JESuL, focus groups -Focus group
TNCT – discussions
Madurai &
Sivagangai
2-6 April 4th Round – Visit to Partners, -Interviews Dindigul 5 days
Individual YNEEW, community, -Case studies
NGOs LEISA, focus groups -Focus group
TNEC discussions
By 26th Compilation Drafting one ATM -Highlights of Bangalore 12 days
April of Reports report observations,
analysis
-Compilation
Dissemination To get ATM, -Debates, Bangalore &
of draft report feedback on Partners, compilation & TN
by email the draft TNCT, incorporation
report Siemenpuu of the feedback
4th May Debriefing – Presentation ATM, -Presentation Madurai 1 day
Meeting with of the Report Partners, -Panel
TNCT & & TNCT, discussions
Partners finalization Siemenpuu
10th May Incorporation Finalization TLLA & ATM -Written report Bangalore 3 days
of feedbacks of the Report -Submitted
through email

4.7. Budget Outline (Proposed):


• The total budget for the Appraisal is Rs. 876,000 (Euro 14,600)
o TNCT contribution is Rs. 151,000 (Euro 2,516)
o Contribution requested from Siemenpuu is Rs.725,000 (Euro 12,083)
• The details provided in the attached xl sheet is self-explanatory of the different aspects of the
budget and how the budget is worked out.
• The consultancy fee is fixed at Rs.6000 per day after discussing with TNCT and the TLLP.
Kindly note, the TLLA will contribute 43 compact days. It includes the travel time of the
TLLA (whether it is overnight or extra days).
• There is no insurance or tax cover or per diem for the TLLA besides the daily fee of Rs.6000.
The travel, boarding etc will be on actual expenses basis.

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Annex 3: Appraisal Context, Process & Methodology – Siemenpuu & TN India Program – December 2009

Appraisal Context, Process & Methodology

1. Context - Evaluations / Appraisal in SF:


Appraisal and evaluation processes are considered important by SF since they help them answer the
questions of where they are and how they can improve on the strengths and weaknesses. Evaluation is
also considered an essential element of the “project cycle management” of the SF and is a systematic
assessment of the design, implementation, effectiveness, impact and sustainability of a project or a
program at one point in time. Evaluation normally comes into consideration when the supported
project is either relatively big, its theme or methodology is particularly interesting and relevant for the
Foundation, or there is a longer-term co-operation with the implementing organisation.

SF also believes that evaluations are carried out collectively. The purpose is to assess and improve
both the quality of the evaluated co-operation and the internal working procedures of the Foundation
and enhance mutual learning among the partners. Thus evaluations focus on the performance and
working approaches of the supported organisations, the Foundation itself and the operational
environment of their co-operation.

One of the working principles of the Foundation is that the supported projects are planned,
implemented and managed by the Southern partner organisations themselves. Therefore, evaluation
aims at supporting the decision-making of the Southern partners by providing a systematic analysis,
conclusions and, as relevant, recommendations concerning options to improve the supported
activities. It is for the Southern partners to make decisions on how their work will possibly be
adjusted on the basis of the findings of evaluation. On the other hand, evaluation contributes to
decision-making of the Board of the SF on the continuation of the financial support to the partners.

SF recently went through an evaluation commissioned by the MFA. This evaluation was conducted
from May to September 2008. The MFA Evaluation Unit commissioned Impact Consulting Oy Ltd to
evaluate the NGO Foundation modality, covering the activities, performance, and impacts of the three
NGO Foundations (Abilis, KIOS & SF) from 1998 until the time the evaluation being conducted i.e.
2008. This assessment is the first major evaluation of this NGO funding modality. The MFA had
also commissioned KPMG Finland Oy to undertake performance audits of these Foundations in 2004
and 2008.

The evaluation exercise itself was intended to be a capacity-building exercise resulting in improved
capacity of the Foundations, their partner organisations, and MFA, in terms of management and
administration of such support, and in terms of increased application of cross-cutting themes (i.e.,
human rights, disabilities, and environment) and options for the future in Finnish development
cooperation.

In 2005, Siemenpuu supported SADED to undertake a detailed self-appraisal. The appraisal has been
useful to both Siemenpuu and SADED and formed a basis for formulating the cooperation program
between SF and SADED. Besides, in 2008, the MFA for Finland Siemenpuu’s main funder
commissioned two different reviews on projects that Siemenpuu has supported within the last couple
of years. The findings and conclusions from this report are still being finalised.

Thus the appraisal of TN Program is perceived within the overall context and program of SF. The
Terms of Reference (ToR) for the Appraisal or Self Appraisal of TNP has been developed by the SF’s
India Group which is an extension of SF Board in Finland. The implementation of the ToR is based
on a joint approval by Tamil Nadu Core Team (TNCT) and the SF Board.

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Annex 3: Appraisal Context, Process & Methodology – Siemenpuu & TN India Program – December 2009

2. TN Program Appraisal & Process:


As the final ToR (Please refer Annex 1), the primary intention of this self-appraisal is to shed light on
the impacts of Siemenpuu-TNP cooperation. The appraisal will also seek to underline lessons learnt
and good practice from the specific projects and the general cooperation program. The aim of the self-
appraisal is to help the partners involved to further develop their work and cooperation both in
strategic issues as well as developing the administrative framework of the cooperation.

One of the operational objectives of SF was to be innovative in the evolution of democratic solutions
that define new ways of mutual learning, understanding of development and formulating ways of
engagement that are meaningful not only to SF and her partners but to the wider global society.

This appraisal mission is one such attempt to combine an evaluation perspective to a participatory
appraisal process that reviews the different levels of engagement (Siemenpuu to partners, partner to
partners, partners to local communities etc). It is hoped that this process will enrich our understanding
of the north-south civil society cooperation and open up new ways of assessing the impacts of
development.

The self-appraisal will specifically;


Appraise the relevance, effectiveness and impacts of the specific projects and the Tamil Nadu
cooperation program;
Appraise the management processes of the co-operation program and the partners both in
Finland and India
Appraise how the cooperation program has managed to progress towards achieving the set
goals of the cooperation partners and their planning of development processes.

In line with the above, the self-appraisal will focus on exploring the following issues:
a) Relevance, effectiveness & impacts of the supported projects and cooperation program
• What are the impacts (positive and negative) of Siemenpuu supported work in Tamil
Nadu?
• How has the Siemenpuu support affected the local power structure between the different
NGOs, networks, policy makers and project partners?
• What is the difference between the projects supported by Siemenpuu before the
cooperation program was established and those that have been supported after the
cooperation program was put in place? Are there any fundamental differences?
• Identification of achieved progress indicators
• The extent and magnitude of the progress
• What is the relevance of the work undertaken by the different partners within the different
themes of water, agriculture and policy locally, regionally and internationally?
• Tasks and focus for future phase/s

b) Projects and process management (Project Cycle Management-PCM & Strategic


Management-SM) of the supported projects and cooperation program
(p) How has the work of the evolved over time with regard to:
(q) Tamil Nadu Core Team - (focus on SM)
(r) The networks (PCM & SM)
(s) Siemenpuu office in Helsinki (PCM & SM)
(t) Individual project partners (PCM & SM)

c) Learning and developing new ways of cooperation


g) Has this been a learning process? Has the learning been shared within the wider circles?
h) How has the program or projects contributed towards mutual learning at the different
levels (Civil society, community, NGO and others – between partners, between Siemenpuu

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Annex 3: Appraisal Context, Process & Methodology – Siemenpuu & TN India Program – December 2009

& TN Program etc).


i) How has the partnership or projects in the partnership contributed to our understanding of
the question of development between the North and South (within South & North &
between North & South)?

It is anticipated that the findings of the appraisal will contribute to the strategic development activities
and processes within the Tamil Nadu partners, the Tamil Nadu Cooperation program, Siemenpuu
Foundation and others outside of this cooperation.

2.1. Appraisal Team Members (ATM):


It was proposed and finalized to have the following combination, number and leader of the Appraisal
Team: (i) Team Leader & Lead Author (TLLA): Mr. Chelladurai Solomon, (ii) Co-Author: Ms. Mira
Käkönen (replaced by Mr. Olli-Pekka Haavisto), (iii) Team Member: Mr. Kai Vaara, (iv) Team
Member: Mr. Ossi Kakko and (v) Team Member: Ms. Pauliina Tuominen. (vi & vii) TNCT
nomination – Mr. L Antonysamy, (viii) representative from SADED and (ix) NAA – Roy David.

Other TNCT members volunteered to be part of the appraisal for reasons that the visits to the fields of
partners will provide immense insights into the activities & process, which in turn will help in the
future phase of TNCT’s role in the program.

2.2. Roles & Responsibilities – ATM:


• TLLA takes the lead role of facilitating the appraisal in cooperation and active participation
of the other team members.
• TLLA is responsible for the draft report and finalization of the same. The other team
members will provide their observations, analysis program highlights from their visits and
appraisal process which will be incorporated into the report.
• Members from Siemenpuu, SADED and NAA will ensure their participation in the field
visits, ‘partners meet’ and ‘debriefing’. Besides at least one member from these two
organizations will participate all through the process of field visits.

However, due to certain constrains few of the appraisal team members could not participate as the
appraisal unfolded and the following Table-1 is illustrative of the same. It is important to record that
the Appraisal Team Leader has been present throughout the whole process and in all the events
related to the appraisal. Similarly, Mr. Antonysamy from TNCT has been active throughout the
process and in all the events. Ms. Pauliina and Mr. Roy were the other members who participated in
most of the events of the appraisal. Ms. Mira Käkonen, the Co-Author was not able to participate in
the appraisal. And hence she was replaced by Mr. Olli-Pekka who joined in the second round. The
representation from SADED was only in the 1st round of the process.

Table-1
Appraisal Process & ATM Participation

S.No. Appraisal Events Dates Team Members


1. Preparation of Appraisal 22 Dec 2008 TNCT Members& Appraisal Team
Implementation Plan (RIP) Leader: Mr.Tony, Mr.David,
Mr.Martin & Mr.Rajan and
Mr.Chelladurai Solomon

2. Meeting – SF Partners in 19 & 20 Jan ATM: Mr.Solomon, Mr.Kai Vaara,


TN 2009 Mr. Ossi Kakko, Ms.Pauliina,
Ms.Sudha – SADED, Mr.Roy &
Mr.Nanda – NAA and TNCT

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Annex 3: Appraisal Context, Process & Methodology – Siemenpuu & TN India Program – December 2009

members: Mr.Tony, Mr.Y.David,


Mr.Martin & Mr.Rajan.

3. Field visits – 1st Round: 21-23 Jan ATM: Mr.Solomon, Mr.Kai Vaara,
ODAM, PAD, PEAL-SAP 2009 Mr.Ossi Kakko, Ms.Pauliina,
and YNEEW Ms.Sudha – SADED, Mr.Roy &
Mr.Nanda – NAA and TNCT
members: Mr.Tony & Mr.Rajan

4. Field visits – 1st Round 24 Jan 2009 ATM: Mr.Solomon, Mr.Kai Vaara,
continued: YNEEW Mr.Ossi Kakko, Ms.Pauliina,
Mr.Nanda – NAA and TNCT
members: Mr.Tony

5. Meeting SF Board 13 Mar 2009 ATM: Mr.Solomon, Mr.Roy &


Members (Ms.Anu & Mr. Mr.Nanda - NAA
Olli-Pekka Haavisto) –
New Delhi
5. Meetings & Field visits – 23 Mar 2009 ATM: Mr.Solomon, Ms.Pauliina and
2nd Round: TNCT members: Mr.Tony

6. Meetings & Field visits 2nd 24 Mar 2009 ATM: Mr.Solomon, Mr.Olli-Pekka,
Round contd….. Ms.Paulina, Mr.Roy – NAA and
TNCT Members: Mr.Tony &
Mr.Martin

7. Meetings & Field visits 2nd 24-26 Mar ATM: Mr.Solomon, Mr.Olli-Pekka,
Round contd….. 2009 Ms.Pauliina, Mr.Roy – NAA and
TNCT Members: Mr.Tony

8. De-briefing – Draft Report 4 May 2009 ATM: Mr.Chelladurai.


Core Team Members: Mr.Tony,
Mr.David, Mr.Martin and Mr.Rajan
TN Program Partners

2.3. Stakeholders:
The following were the stakeholders who were expected to be involved in the appraisal exercise at
different points of time and at different levels: (i) TNCT members, (ii) partners, networks & forums,
(iii) representatives / members of Siemenpuu, (iv) CBOs, activists, leaders & members – adivasi,
marginalized communities, (iv) government officials / bureaucrats, (v) political representatives,
leaders at the panchayat & state level, and (vi) media

2.4. Sampling and Supportive Evidence:


As per the Appraisal Implementation Plan (AIP) derived from the first meeting held between the
Appraisal Team Leader and TNCT, the following sampling and appraisal procedures were planned in
order to generate supportive evidence to the appraisal findings. Please refer Annex-2 for more details.
• Phased out groups or networks which could give continuity from the old phase. Since most of
the phased out groups reported to have had one-time small support it was felt not necessary to
invite / interact with more number of phased out groups but restricted to 3 groups spending
one day with each group. However, due to financial constraints it was further reduced to 2
groups (ODAM and PAD) for sampling.
• Secondly, it was decided to visit all the 9 partners, who were in partnership with SF as of Dec
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Annex 3: Appraisal Context, Process & Methodology – Siemenpuu & TN India Program – December 2009

2008 with extensive time schedule as recorded below:


o 3 State level network – (2 days each) – 6 days
o 2 District level network –(2 days each) – 4 days
o Individual NGOs – 2 (1 day each) – 2 days
o TNCT – TN Core Team – 1 day

But again due to financial constraints the number of days being spent with the networks
reduced; one day each for state level network (TAFSC, TNEC, JASuL) and half a day each
for district level network (LEISA-Dindigul & LEISA-Erode).
• Thirdly, within the state and district level networks it was planned to meet & interact with key
members as ‘focus group’ discussions and meet with ‘key informants’- political leaders,
government bureaucrats & media. However, the appraisal had lesser opportunity to meet and
interact with the latter one i.e. meeting with the ‘key informants’ of political leaders &
government bureaucrats.
• Fourthly, at the individual NGOs level it was planned to have visits to community & interact
with ‘focus groups’.
• Lastly, the appraisal was to focus on qualitative supportive evidence to the findings through
case studies, documents and photographs.

2.6. Appraisal Events – Schedule & Methodology:


The Table-2 captures the process & procedures of the appraisal by highlighting the events, dates,
participants and the methodology used. It is self-explanatory of the dominant methodology used
which has been participatory; focus group discussions, rapid appraisal, group discussions, physical
verification of changes in the field and beneficiaries.

Table-2
Schedule & Methodology of Appraisal Events

S.No. Appraisal Events & Dates Participants Methodology / Tool


Purpose
1. Preparation of Appraisal 22 Dec TNCT Members & PP presentation (PPP),
Implementation Plan 2009 Appraisal Team discussion and interaction
(RIP) Leader:
2. Workshops with SF 19 & SF Partners, ATM PPP, group work /
Partners in TN 20 Jan and TNCT members. discussions / presentations,
2009 mapping and panel.
3. Field visits – 1st Round: 21st ATM, TNCT Oral presentation by staff &
ODAM – Visit to Jan members, ODAM discussion, visit to bio-diesel
ODAM office in 2009 director & staff plant in operation, organic
Tiruchuly, Bio-diesel members. Target farms & jatropha plantation
Model Plant & Organic community members & interactions
farms in Katamanaku, of ODAM
cultivation of jatropha
plants.
4. Field visits – 1st Round: 22nd ATM, TNCT Oral & PPP by staff and
PAD – Visit to PAD Jan members, PAD discussion / interactions with
Office in Vembar, 2009 director & staff them. Visit to coastal
Thangammalpuram members. Target villages, interacting with
village and Rochmanagar community members focus groups, physically
coastal village. of PAD, panchayat witnessing fish auctions by
members and media credit groups and
person. Participatory Rapid
Appraisal (PPA). Key
Informant Meeting with
local print media person and

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Annex 3: Appraisal Context, Process & Methodology – Siemenpuu & TN India Program – December 2009

Focus group discussions


with beneficiaries of diary,
para-veterinary doctors.
5. Field visits – 1st Round: 23rd ATM, TNCT Meeting & focus group
PEAL-SAP – visit to the Jan members, PEAL-SAP discussion with organic
new farm in Ramand dt, 2009 director & staff farmers, visit to organic
visit to Keelaramanathi members. Target farms of the villagers. Visit
village and model community members to the new farm of PEAL
organic agriculture fields of PEAL-SAP. and meeting with the staff.
in Kavadipatti &
Goripallam villages

6. Field visits – 1st Round 24 Jan ATM, TNCT Focus group discussions
continued: YNEW – visit 2009 members, YNEW with women herbal
to YNEW office in director and staff collectors, collection of case
Dindigul, and members. Target studies, visit to villages &
Valaikkaipatti & community members. herbal collections &
Kallupatti villages processing and PPA.
Discussions / interactions
with the staff.
7. Meeting SF Board 13 Mar ATM: Mr.Solomon, Sharing and interactions.
Members (Ms.Anu & 2009 Mr.Roy & Mr.Nanda
Mr.Olli-Pekka) – New - NAA
Delhi
8. Meetings & Field visits – 23 Mar ATM and TNCT PPP of overall work, case
2nd Round: Network 2009 members. TAFSC study presentations, and
TAFSC – Meeting in Convenor, Core team focus group discussions with
Sathyamangalam and and network network members. Visit to
visit to Osapalayam & members. Grassroots tribal villages & focus group
Attanai villages. adivasis communities discussion with target
communities.
9. Meetings & Field visits 24 Mar ATM & TNCT PPP, case studies, focus
2nd Round contd….. 2009 Members. Convenor group discussions with
LEISA-Dindigul and and network converted organic farmers
Erode. Visit to members of LEISA- and physical presentation of
Vangananuthi villages Dindigul & LEISA- organic mixtures. Visited
and to organic farms and Erode networks. organic farms and held focus
plantations. Grassroots farmers & group with communities and
communities of farmers, and PRA.
LEISA-Dindigul. Witnessed organic seed
collections & preservation.
10. Meetings & Field visits 25 Mar ATM & TNCT PPP, case studies, exhibition
2nd Round contd….. 2009 Members. Convenor, of document evidence, focus
TNEC exhibition and network members group discussions with
network partners meet in and core team of lawyers forum, scientists,
Dindigul TNEC (TN & district level bodies and
Pondicherry) NGO members.
11. Meetings & Field visits 26 Mar ATM and TNCT PPP, case studies and focus
2nd Round contd….. 2009 Members. JASuL discussions with district
JASuL – visit to JASuL convenor, staff network partners and
Office in Madurai members and farmers. Interaction with the
network members. staff of JASuL.
12. De-briefing – Draft 4 May ATM, TNCT
Report 2009 Members and SF
Partners.

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Annex 3: Appraisal Context, Process & Methodology – Siemenpuu & TN India Program – December 2009

2.7. Complementarities among ATM:

While the appraisal team leader taking a role in ensuring that the process and every event of the
appraisal fulfilled desired scrutiny, check & affirmation, generation of data / information in line with
the ToR the other members were complementing each other in the facilitation or appraising.

Methodologically it was also ensured that at the end of each day or field visit, the observations and
analysis of the ATM were shared among the appraisal team members and arrived at commonly agreed
conclusions and recommendations.

In almost all the events the ATM also ensured space for them to share their views, observations and
findings with each of the partner at the end of the visit. Thus the partners were already informed of
the tentative findings and got their immediate feedback to the same.

3. Limitations:
As indicated earlier in this Chapter, the time allotted for field visits to networks or partners has been
limited due to budget constraints. This curtailed the process within each of the partner, whether it was
the focus group discussion or physical verification of impact or interaction with staff. The limited
time provided for each partner also prevented the process from engaging key informants or collection
of change / impact stories in details from the beneficiary farmers or communities. The ATM had to
be mindful that engaging the communities and to facilitate the people articulating their stories would
involve spending more time with them.

The visit of the appraisal team leader to Delhi was originally thought out to be an opportunity to meet
with the representatives of other Indian program partners of SF such as SADED and NAA. But the
change of plan in the ‘Delhi Meet’ did not provide the appraisal to have interactions with the other
India program partners of SF. Nevertheless, the change of plan provided opportunity to meet with the
Board members of SF; chairperson, Ms. Anu Lounela and member, Mr. Olli-Pekka Haavisto
(replacement for Ms. Mira Käkönen, the Co-author).

The inconsistency of the ATM in the participation / facilitation of the appraisal process have been
another limitation. The participation of Mr. Kai Vaara and Mr. Ossi Kakko was limited to the first
round and Mr. Olli-Pekka Haavisto who replaced Ms. Mira Käkönen (Co-author) joined only the
second round of the appraisal process. The participation of TNCT members also became optional
again due to budget constraints. While acknowledging the contributions of the ATM members at
different times of their participation, ultimately only the appraisal team leader (Mr.Chelladurai
Solomon), TNCT Convenor (Mr. Antonysamy), Ms. Pauliina Tuominen and to great extent Mr. Roy
David had their physical and active role throughout.

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