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Governance Knowledge CentrePromoted by Department of Administrative Reforms and Public GrievancesMinistry of Personnel, Public Grievances and PensionsGovernment of IndiaCase StudyTransparency and AccountabilityHomestead Allocation in OdishaTRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITYJanuary 2011and found 2.49 lakh households in this category. In 2005/6 the Government implemented theVasundhara scheme in response to these findings. The scheme called for the allocation of up tofour decimals 2 of land to the homesteadless population. In 2008, the government increased thisto its current level of up to 10 decimals. In the same year, the state government publicised atremendous 90 percent allocation of land, reaching 2.32 lakh households, through the scheme.In addition to Vasundhara, two schemes affect the allocation of land in the state. The OdishaGovernment Land Settlement Act states that if there is land available and the household has15,000 rupees or less annual income and shares a common mess, up to 10 decimals of land canbe given to them. The Orissa Plan Land Enchroachment Act says that if a family is occupyinggovernment land, but qualify under Vasundhara, the tehsildar can grant up to 10 decimals tothe occupier.RDI's engagementIn 2008-2009, 2009, RDI determined to pursue work with the government in allocation anddevelopment of homestead plots in Odisha. The first step was to assess the government figuresprojecting a 90 percent allocation rate under the Vasundhara scheme. The evaluation targeted88 villages in 10 districts. The study was carried out over four months and revealed that lessthan 15 percent of those allocated house-sites sites were in fact in possession of the land.Thisprocess was then followed by another four month long process where RDI pursued a pilotproject in 36 villages of 3 districts. The aim was to develop an allocation plan to determine thefeasibility of allocating homesteads.Empirical studyRDI’s evaluation in 88 villages spread over 10 districts revealed that 2763 households wereeligible for homesteads under Vasundhara, ara, while only 1619 were made into beneficiaries.Moreover, 75 percent of those who had been allocated homesteads were not actually inpossession of their land. Fresh sites were not identified and/or demarcated, and homesteadswere allocated away from home-sites which reduced the incentive for recipients to cultivate theland granted to them.Taking a closer look at the reasons for scheme outcomes, RDI determined that the RevenueDepartment faced a few major implementation challenges: first, a lack of capacity; second,insufficient personnel; and third, a faulty enumeration procedure. As a result, RDI focused onhow to address these issues through pursuing a strategy focused on persuasion and operations.2 1 acre is equivalents to 100 decimals5Researched and documented byOneWorld Foundation India


Governance Knowledge CentrePromoted by Department of Administrative Reforms and Public GrievancesMinistry of Personnel, Public Grievances and PensionsGovernment of IndiaCase StudyTransparency and AccountabilityHomestead Allocation in OdishaTRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITYJanuary 2011In the hopes of streamlining communications with the Revenue Department through thecreation of a sustainable stainable upscaling procedure, RDI has partnered with two governmentagencies - Orissa Tribal Empowerment and Livelihoods Programme (OTELP) and TargetedRural Initiatives for Poverty Termination and Infrastructure (TRIPTI). With OTELP, the plan isto scale up to seven districts in the western part of the state. The TRIPTI partnership willpursue upscaling to 10 districts and the long-term plan is to integrate it into the state-wideNational Rural Livelihood Mission. RDI will continue to support as a technical partner in theprocess.Women and LandGanjam district has a very high rate of male migration, leaving many women with significantresponsibilities including rearing children, household duties and daily income generation. RDIhas recognised the highly vulnerable status of women in the state and through its pilotwork,has also gained a sufficient understanding of women’s land rights issues, especially aboutthe need for joint titling.8Researched and documented byOneWorld Foundation India


Governance Knowledge CentrePromoted by Department of Administrative Reforms and Public GrievancesMinistry of Personnel, Public Grievances and PensionsGovernment of IndiaCase StudyTransparency and AccountabilityHomestead Allocation in OdishaTRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITYJanuary 2011KHARIBANDHA, GANJAM DISTRICTAt first, the 13 families of Karibandha were sceptical about engaging with RDI.However, RDI’s field officer, along with the local RI, visited the hamlet with theRecord of Rights (RoR), which contains the land details of all revenue land. Fromthe RoR and a map of government land, it was clear that the land in question couldindeed be claimed under Vasundhara for homestead plots. As such, familiesapplied under the scheme and 11 out of 13 families received pattas. It took threemonths to receive the pattas- each is a joint title.The homestead plots are around 160 feet by 20 feet. Prior to receiving pattas, thesame villagers who now have flourishing home gardens told RDI that nothingwould grow on the land because the soil was not fertile During that time, familiespurchased vegetables but were not able to afford more than 200 rupees per month,which did not meet the nutritional requirements of the entire family.Today,RDI and International Development Enterprises India (IDEI) have helped tointegrate effective farming methods as well as a micro-irrigation system stem to improveproductivity. This includes the construction of large water well and a handpump/dug well.Villagers were trained in how to use the hand pump fortransferring water to the homestead plots for irrigation.Villagers were also trained in vermicomposting. Today, five families are making thecompost, or Brami Wash. The organic fertilizer takes around one month to make. Itconsists of locally sourced materials including brick, sand, worms, mitti (mud) fromant hills, and cow dung. All are mixed together in a pot and a tube is attached to the bottom to allow fordrainage of water. After five to seven days, the worms are added to the mixture. An organic pesticide, locallyknown as ‘magic tonic’ is brewed with neem and aubergine leaves, arakh, and cow dung and urine. The herbalpesticide takes about 30 days to make and villagers sprinkle this on the leaves and roots of crops to repel insects.Today, the villagers are expanding their activities into poultry management.9Researched and documented byOneWorld Foundation India


Governance Knowledge CentrePromoted by Department of Administrative Reforms and Public GrievancesMinistry of Personnel, Public Grievances and PensionsGovernment of IndiaCase StudyTransparency and AccountabilityHomestead Allocation in OdishaTRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITYJanuary 2011rural development; however, equally important is its simultaneous focus on policy reform anddeep understanding of land as a government issue. RDI’s work in Ganjam has been successfulin raising awareness about Vasundhara, homesteads in general, and innovative farmingpractices.Technical expertise to date has been imparted through RDI teams in the state and the country,but the organisation remains clear about the need to progress towards astate-led focuswhereby the government takes the process forward. By bringing OTELP and TRIPTI into thescale-up process, RDI is making moves to generate a sustainable understanding ofcitizencentric land issues.Building social capitalIn addition to the creation of social capital already mentioned, including skill enhancement, iswomen empowerment. The women of Kharibandha have organised themselves into the group,Maa Bana Durga Mahamayee Mahila Sangha, through which they conduct regular meetings.The group has created an emergency fund and set a goal of making their village alcohol free.Political WillThe government is the sole authority with the power to grant land ownership. As such, landreform will depend on the government’s capacity and will. A government’s capacity can besupported through external agencies, but action will ultimately derive from internalmotivation. Ganjam, as a highly supported district, became a prime area to begin theVasundhara reallocation process.Recognising limitationsIn a decentralised country like India, where land practices may vary state to state, local modelshave to be considered. For example, much of the land in Odisha is government owned andhence, can be distributed. However, other states are pursuing land purchasing strategiesthrough which land is becoming increasingly private and as a result, may not be possible toallocate to the homesteadless or landless.Continual progressRDI remains aware of the convergence opportunities that arise in pursuing land related issues.As a result, integrated farming practices are tied to the RDI homestead agenda. Moreover, therelated areas of urban homestead allocation and landlessness (agriculture/revenue land) havebeen identified as future areas of action.12Researched and documented byOneWorld Foundation India


Governance Knowledge CentrePromoted by Department of Administrative Reforms and Public GrievancesMinistry of Personnel, Public Grievances and PensionsGovernment of IndiaCase StudyTransparency and AccountabilityHomestead Allocation in OdishaTRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITYJanuary 2011InstitutionalisationChanges become sustainable when they are institutionalised. RDI’s efforts have beenrecognised and their strategies adopted by the Government of Odisha. The District Magistrateof Ganjam formally invited RDI to partner with them in the settlement of GramkanthaParamboke land. The Revenue Department has also taken up the CRP model. The Governmentof Odisha has also consulted with RDI in determining new categories of the poor that would beentitled to rural land rights and housing.Research was carried out by the OneWorld Foundation India (OWFI), Governance Knowledge Centre (GKC) team.Documentation was created by Knowledge and Research Coordinator, Nicole AnandFor further information, please contact Mr. Naimur Rahman, Director, OWFI at owsa@oneworld.netReferences• Rural Development Institute. Odisha Program Reflections – 2009-2010. 2010.• Rural Development Institute. Case Study- Kharibhandha• Seeds of Change. RDI. November 2010.Semi-structured interviews were conducted with RDI CEO, Tim Hansted; Country Director,Gregory Rake; Odisha State Director, Sanjoy Patnaik; Communications Manager, PhaguniSahu; and Kharibandha patta recipients-PuniaSabar, Lalita Sabar, Dangua Sabar,GurubariSabar, Champa Sabar, Surendra Sabar.13Researched and documented byOneWorld Foundation India


Governance Knowledge CentrePromoted by Department of Administrative Reforms and Public GrievancesMinistry of Personnel, Public Grievances and PensionsGovernment of IndiaCase StudyTransparency and AccountabilityHomestead Allocation in OdishaTRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITYJanuary 2011Appendix A: Interview Questionnaire1. Please explain the Government of Orissa ‘Vasundhara’ scheme? How did the homesteadlessreceive plots of land/ how was eligibility determined?2. What was the land ownership situation prior to Vasundhara? How did homesteadlessfamilies obtain ownership over their land?3. In 2009, three years after Vasundhara was launched, RDI became involved and has sincethen, been very active in the land allocation process. Can you go over what RDI’s role andprocedure has been over the past two years?a. First- empirical study in 88 villagesb. Second- pilot in 36 villages, 3 districts; hiring 27 CRPsc. Has scaling up with OTLEP, TRIPTI and the Revenue Department begun?4. To date, how many households have obtained ownership through pilot (identified 1270households eligible)?5. How have the lives of the new landowners changed in terms of:a. Farming methods – variety& type of crops, use of inputs & technologies etc. (morevegetables, year-round round crops, etc.)b. Economic statusc. Access to other govt. schemes (IAY-housing, ICDS- children nutritional food, NREGS)d. Other areas of impact i.e. gender, diversification of livelihood activities, social capital(Maa Bana Durga Mahamayee Mahila Sangha)Why/How is this important? (improve nutrition, stability, empowerment etc.)6. Can you provide us with quantitative data of land ownership in Ganjam and in the entireState of Orissa (2010 and over time)?7. Do you believe that ownership of land changes the degree to which the farmer invests in theland? How can we promote further ownership? Is there further action taking place right now?8. Who are the stakeholders in this process? What are their roles? What is the role of the14Researched and documented byOneWorld Foundation India


Governance Knowledge CentrePromoted by Department of Administrative Reforms and Public GrievancesMinistry of Personnel, Public Grievances and PensionsGovernment of IndiaCase StudyTransparency and AccountabilityHomestead Allocation in OdishaTRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITYJanuary 2011Rural Development Institute? If RDI was not involved, what would the situation look like?Since the government is the only actor that can legally grant ownership over land, how isworking with the government on this issue?9. What are the major challenges involved in homestead plot allocation and claims? How arethey best overcome?10. Parallel to RDI’s involvement in homestead allocation, is focus on women and land. In thiscontext, what has RDI pursued to further its goals in this area?a. Women’s Land Rights Facilitation Centreb. Study on Womenc. Micro-plot programme15Researched and documented byOneWorld Foundation India

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