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Dalits and Natural Resource Governance: Social Taxonomy, Socio-Economic Heterogeneity and Distributional Implication of Irrigation Development in Nepal

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Pariyar, Bishnu
Conference: Ninth International Network for Participatory Irrigation Management (INPIM) International Conference
Location: Islamabad, Pakistan
Conf. Date: December 2006
Date: 2006
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/1387
Sector: Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): caste system
Dalit (Indian people)
natural resources
common pool resources
Abstract: "This paper reviews literature and sets the scene for understanding the relationship between local-level socio-economic heterogeneity and equitable management of irrigation infrastructure. It calls for a critical approach that evaluates the processes which persistently marginalize dalits despite pro-poor interventions. Marginality and poverty have persisted despite numerous agricultural developmental interventions (some pro-poor) and much research, often initiating local institutional arrangements in managing common pool resources. Relationships between irrigation and poverty and caste hierarchy, power relation and benefit appropriation from CPRs are discussed in order to identify the principal barriers to access amongst the dalit population. Impacts of heterogeneity in the management of local commons are investigated. Social taxonomy based on castes system, and the nature of shielding effects imposed by it in the trickling down of developmental effects of irrigation infrastructure is critically examined. Participatory and equitable pro-poor management structures are advocated. This study has significant policy relevance for pro-poor interventions in irrigation development not only in Nepal but generically in developing countries."

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