Framework for Effectiveness and Resilience of Irrigation

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Our consortium is led by Mott MacDonald, and includes FMIST, Adapt-Nepal and CERD as partners. Mott MacDonald is a renowned international firm with decades of experience in the irrigation sector in Nepal including research, implementation and development of standards and policy recommendations. Our expertise in the water sector and irrigation in particular extends across the region, particularly Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and covers studies of climate change and adaptation. We outline examples of experience in the case study section.

Farmer Managed Irrigation System Promotion Trust (FMIST), established in 1998, is a nonprofit organization for the promotion of Farmer Managed Irrigation Systems in Nepal as a national heritage representing the democratic values of the local communities in managing natural resources such as water and land. It also works on government-managed schemes to introduce successful experiences from the traditional sector so that modern irrigation is sustainable and responsive to local needs. Five volumes of Proceedings of the International Seminars, as well as many other publications have been published.

ADAPT-Nepal is a non-profit making company initiated with the aim of improving the capacity of vulnerable communities in developing appropriate tools and methods for climate change-related adaptation and mitigation. The main objective of ADAPT-Nepal is to empower local communities, scientific personnel and policy makers in reducing climate risks as well as determining potential adaptation and mitigation options to address climate change. The organization consists of a team of dedicated professionals with wide experiences in hydrology, meteorology and climate change.

Centre for Engineering Research and Development (CERD), established in 2061 BS, is experienced in water resources management and development. CERD was the partner of Mott MacDonald for two DFID-funded research projects on irrigation management.

We have undertaken extensive research into irrigation in Nepal, focusing on identifying solutions to practical problems we have encountered during implementation of other irrigation projects in the country. This ensures that we build a strong evidence base for recommendations as well as ensuring that they are practical and implementable. Given the multidisciplinary, multi-faceted, nature of irrigation, we have adopted a broad approach, including vulnerability assessments, institutional assessments and political economy analyses.

We are committed to strengthening local expertise and capacity, and work closely with local partners including consultants, academics, NGOs as well as the Government. We place great emphasis on forging effective relationships with the Government, particularly on research assignments in order to ensure that our findings are widely understood and adopted into policy.

This is interdisciplinary research, and needs to be implemented in a coordinated approach. Adapt Nepal will focus mainly on impact of climate change on water availability and other agro-climatic parameters. Likewise, focus of FMIST will be more on adaptation measures and policy recommendations. Similarly, CERD will examine the issues from engineering and technological perspective, and provide operational recommendations for MOI and DOI.

FMIST has a unique professional relationship with DOI as both organizations operate with the common goal of promoting farmer-managed irrigation systems in the country. Dr Pradhan was the inspirational figure who stimulated global interest in traditional irrigation in Nepal, and many generations of DOI engineers and officers have followed his lead. They share common ideology, and many members are active supporters of FMIST and involved in many of their activities and seminars also members of DOI. As a result, their relationship extends even at personal level. Because of this, DOI has been supporting FMIST on all its activities, and FMIST has been reciprocating the same. FMIST thus has a unique influence on government policy.

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