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DFID’s Livelihoods Work in Western Odisha

Evaluation and Lessons Learned
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This evaluation assesses the performance of DFID’s Western Orissa Livelihoods Project (WORLP) in India.

WORLP sought to reduce poverty by improving communities’ water resources, agriculture and incomes.
It built infrastructure such as embankments, water storage ponds and irrigation channels. It also provided loans and grants to the poor for community-based businesses. The project took place in four of the poorest of Odisha’s 30 districts.It spent £32.75 million between 2001 and 2011. DFID rated the project a success, taking this view from, in particular, a 2010 impact assessment that reports interviews with 4,200 people. Our objective was to test the quality of DFID’s assessment and identify whether the project’s benefits had been sustained.

Overall --Assessment: Green

The project was successful and contains much of what we consider to be best practice in delivering UK aid.

WORLP was well designed and innovative. It had clear and relevant objectives. Incomes have been increased and livelihoods have become more secure. Communities were involved throughout and are now better able to respond to climate variability (both droughts and heavy rains). The Government of Odisha took full ownership of the project and the state and national governments have subsequently adopted approaches used by WORLP. In hindsight, DFID could have been even more ambitious and improved beneficiaries’ links to markets. This could have led to stronger results and increased sustainability.