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Management Transfer of Agency-Managed Irrigation Systems in Nepal: How Participatory are the Policies and the Actions?

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Shivakoti, Ganesh P.; Shukla, Ashutosh
Conference: Voices from the Commons, the Sixth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Berkeley, CA
Conf. Date: June 5-8, 1996
Date: 1996
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/1012
Sector: Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): IASC
Abstract: "In Nepal irrigation systems are managed by the agency which are called Agency-Managed Irrigation Systems (AMIS). The majority of the irrigation systems are, however, managed entirely by the farmers which are called Farmer-Managed Irrigation Systems (FMIS). Besides these two, there are irrigation systems which are jointly managed by the agency and the farmers, which are called Joint-Managed Irrigation Systems (JMIS). His Majesty's Government of Nepal has clearly determined that its policy will be to decentralize irrigation management authority to local irrigation organizations. The policy proposed calls for irrigation operation systems in these three modes. The transfer of Nepal's public sector irrigation systems to water users' organizations for operation and management is based on current irrigation development policy of the government which seeks users participation at all levels of irrigation development from project identification, design and construction to operation and management. Based on this program several AMIS are in the process of management transfer to water user organizations. Several issues originate from the management transfer process which among other are: whom to transfer, what part of the system, what size of the system, what legal provision from management transfer, what role of the government. The paper addresses these issues with special reference to: Whether policy provides basic provisions for farmer participation under joint-management projects defining structures and responsibilities. Also whether there is further need to lay out roles and responsibilities of the agency personnel and the user farmers. Whether there is documentation of diverse rules, role and behavior of functionaries present in the particular environment and also whether these rules, roles and behavior are fed into the irrigation policy and Acts so that these diversities are maintained."

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