Social assessment for Community Agricultural Resource Management and Competitiveness Project

  • Sector:Agriculture, agricultural services and infrastructure
  • Services: Economic and social research
  • Period: April 20, 2010-June 28, 2010
  • Description:

To improve the situation in the area of pasture use and management “Community Agricultural Resource Management and Competitiveness” Project initiated by the RA Ministry of Agriculture and funded by the World Bank was implemented. The Projects aims to introduce a more competitive and sustainable pasture-based grazing system in livestock-oriented communities. However, it is not limited to the field of pasture management. The Project is comprised of the following three components:

  1. Community Pasture/Livestock Management System.
  2. Strengthening Support Services, which includes: a) advisory-technical services on pasture management, animal feed and health, b) veterinary-livestock services.
  3. Competitive Grants Program.

The aim of this study conducted in the scope of the preparatory works for the “Community Agricultural Resource Management” Project was:

  • To obtain social-economic baseline data on the Project beneficiaries (rural households engaged in livestock (cattle and small ruminants) farming), which upon the completion of the Project will serve as basis for comparison during the Project Impact Assessment.
  • To conduct participatory evaluation of the beneficiaries to find out how sensitive livestock raising and pasture using households are to the Project interventions and how they will affect the activities of the beneficiaries.
  • To conduct institutional analysis in the field of pasture management with a view to identify the state agencies involved in pasture management and its various stages.  
  • Prepare a Social Management Plan for the improvement of decision-making processes in communities, which will help to duly comply with the rules of pasture use and implement mitigation measures preventing potential adverse impacts arising from the latter.   

Social Assessment was conducted in one community in each of the 6 marzes targeted by the Project. During the survey conducted in the scope of the social assessment, interviews were held with the mayors of 6 communities, 7 veterinarians and the representatives of 290 households engaged in livestock farming.

The survey comprised 4 sections:

  • Baseline survey on the social-economic data of beneficiary communities and households
  • Participatory evaluation of beneficiaries
  • Institutional assessment
  • Development of a Social Management Plan.

The baseline survey of beneficiary social-economic data was conducted through the method of face-to-face interviews held with the representatives of 290 households engaged in livestock farming (cattle and small ruminants). Standardized questionnaires were used during the interviews. Particular attention was paid to the fact that the sample should include both large and small households determined by the number of livestock owned. This has enabled to analyze the dependence of various households engaged in livestock farming on the earnings generated from livestock operations and the extent of pasture use.

The participatory evaluation of beneficiaries was conducted based on two groups of questions: a) the extent and form of participation of beneficiaries in the current issues of pasture management/use, and b) issues reflecting the expectations, attitudes and viewpoints of the beneficiaries on the forthcoming projects targeted at pasture improvement, management and use.  In particular, the second group of subjects included some issues sensitive for beneficiaries, and to obtain the  responses to these questions focus group discussions were as well held. 

Institutional assessment in the field of pasture management was conducted in two aspects: a) analysis of the relevant legal framework and institutional entities involved in various functions (management, regulation, control), b) qualitative interviews held with relevant field specialists to obtain expert opinions.  

Social Management Plan  was prepared based on the measures designed for the mitigation of potential adverse impacts on beneficiaries emerging in the result of the Project implementation. It covers the following 3 directions: a) measures for the establishment of pasture management system, b) measures intended for the mitigation of the Project potential adverse effects, c) use of a system of penalties.