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Land, assets, and livelihoods: Gendered analysis of evidence from Odisha state in India

Savath Vivien, Fletschner Diana, Peterman Amber, Santos Florence, February 2014, IFPRI Discussion Paper 01323

Although asset-based approaches for studying poverty have shown that the portfolio of assets households own or can access influences livelihood strategies and a variety of development outcomes, there is little research unpacking gendered dimensions of asset ownership in diverse contexts. Using data collected from the evaluation of two government land titling interventions in the Indian state of Odisha, this paper examines key relationships linking land and livelihood strategies.

The investigation is one of the first to explicitly use the Gender, Agriculture, and Assets Project framework to gain additional insights on how gender–asset dynamics relate to household livelihood strategies. Our results point to a gender-segregated wage labor market, where employment opportunities for rural women are limited; education for both men and women can enable the adoption of more food secure livelihood strategies; and a significant link exists between households that adopt more food secure livelihood strategies and the amount of land they can access, whether they own the land, and the share of land owned by the woman. These results suggest that development interventions to enable households to adopt improved livelihood strategies must consider the gendered context in which they operate, including men and women’s employment opportunities, their skills and asset holdings, and make explicit efforts to address constraints in order to facilitate improved development outcomes.

Millennium Development Goals: India country report 2014

Social Statistics Division, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India

This report entitled “Millennium Development Goals (MDG) India Country Report-2014’ captures the achievements in India as of today under the eight MDGs which are to be achieved by 2015. The year 2014, being the penultimate year for the MDGs, acquires significance in assessing realistically India’s progress in meeting the various targets under the MDGS as well as to take a stock of the areas where the progress is not up to the expected level. Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI) is engaged in the task of statistically tracking the MDGs on the basis of a data-sets generated by the line ministries/Departments.

Coming to India’s achievement in respect of the MDGs , it is a mixed bag. For some indicators India is fast, that is, it has already achieved the target level well ahead of the dead line, like halving the percentage of population below the poverty line (indicator 1A). Net Enrolment Ratio in primary education (indicator 6) proportion of people with sustainable access to an improved water sources, urban and rural (indicator 30). Target 7 and Target 8, which are of the trend reversal type have also been realized as India has successfully halted the spread of HIV/ Aids and reversed the spread of HIV/ Aids. India has halted spread of Malaria and TB and has ensured reversal of spread of Malaria and TB.

The Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus: Lessons from India for Development

M. Dinesh Kumar, Nitin Bassi, A. Narayanamoorthy, M.V.K. Sivamohan (Eds.), 2014, Routledge, 246 p., Hardback: $145.00, 978-0-415-73303-8

It is becoming increasingly recognized that for the optimal sustainable development and use of natural resources, an integrated approach to water management, agriculture, food security and energy is required. This “nexus” is now the focus of major attention by researchers, policy-makers and practitioners.

In this book, the authors show how these issues are being addressed in India as part of its economic development, and how these can provide lessons for other developing nations. They address the conflicting claims of water resources for irrigation and hydropower, where both are scarce at the national level for fostering water and energy security. They also consider the relationship between water for irrigated agriculture and household use and its impact on rural poverty. They identify weaknesses in the current hydropower development programme in India that are preventing it from being an ecologically sustainable, socially just and economically viable solution to meeting growing energy demand.

The empirical analyses presented show the enormous scope for co-management of water, energy, agricultural growth and food security through appropriate technological interventions and market instruments.