[note note_color=”#e9fdc1″ text_color=”#04410e” radius=”10″ class=”QuoteText alignright”]

Donors, ministries, investors and NGOs can use PROCA to:

  • Design and refine AWM investments or projects.
  • Monitor and evaluate on-going projects to improve implementation.
  • Assess the impacts of completed projects.

The AgWater Solutions project has developed and tested an approach known as Participatory Rapid Opportunities and Constraints Analysis (PROCA). PROCA provides a systematic analysis of different types of innovations (technology, policy, community empowerment) in order to identify solutions for improving agricultural water management and ultimately smallholder livelihoods.

Input from researchers, development practitioners, and stakeholders has gone into developing PROCA – to ensure it is practical and easy to use and that it yields relevant and actionable information.

If you are involved in designing or implementing AWM projects, you will find Participatory Rapid Opportunities and Constraints Analysis (PROCA) useful. This tool provides an approach to analyzing and evaluating potential AWM solutions to identify the most promising for a specific context. It is based on three basic steps but not all may be needed to identify appropriate innovations.

The three interactive steps of PROCA
Step Activity Methods Key evaluation criteria Outputs
Step 1:
Situation analysis and initial screening
identification & prioritization of possible AWM solutions literature reviews, secondary data collection & analyses, brainstorming, surveys, workshops, gender mapping, priority setting using scoring and ranking techniques impact potential, gender-equity, scale potential, implementation pathway (ex-ante) menu of AWM solutions for detailed investigation
Step 2:
In-depth case studies
further evaluation of AWM
solutions that passed step 1
field research, modeling access, economics, social and institutional dynamics, backwards linkages, forward linkages, resource sustainability, externalities proven AWM solutions for dissemination
Step 3:
Analysis of outscaling impacts
analysis sustainability &
externalities at larger scales
hydro-economic modeling, partial equilibrium analysis (e.g., cost benefit analysis, economic surplus analysis),
GIS /RS applications
sustainability, externalities concrete AWM investment options



BOX 1:

The five hurdles: Criteria for identifying promising solutions
Possible solutions are evaluated and compared according to five key criteria. These criteria can be thought of as hurdles that the possible solution must overcome in order to qualify for the next step – in-depth evaluation. The five criteria are:
  • Contribution to smallholders’ livelihoods: it increases smallholder income, food security and household water availability and decreases drudgery, income fluctuation and risk.
  • Gender and equity considerations: it benefits women as well as men; it does not place an undue burden on women or children  (e.g., by increasing the labor required of them); and it does not increase income  disparity in a community.
  • Out-scalability: it has the potential to benefit a relatively large number of people over a wide geographic area.
  • Ease of implementation: it has an implementation and dissemination    pathway that is sustainable and cost-effective and an identifiable champion to carry it out.
  • Resource Sustainability: it does not affect downstream users and cause environmental damage.While smallholder AWM can be beneficial for an individual farmer, its uncontrolled spread can have unexpected consequences.
Step 1:
Situation analysis and initial screening

This step starts with making an inventory of existing initiatives, ideas and projects: Who is doing what? What approaches work and where? What are the factors that influence success or failure? The idea is to cast the net wide and look not only at technologies but also policy and management innovations.

Next, the resulting long list of possible AWM solutions must be screened using five key criteria (outlined in Box 1) to identify those that deserve a closer look. In the AgWater Solutions project, an important element in this process is the national consultation meeting where stakeholders make a first selection of promising solutions for their country. This national scoring and priority setting exercise not only facilitates rapid identification of the most appropriate AWM solutions, but also improves linkages among stakeholders and builds a spirit of collaboration.


BOX 2:

Key questions for evaluating opportunities and constraints
  • Technology access: How accessible is the innovation at the household level and in particular to women?
  • Technology economics: How affordable is the innovation to adopt    and maintain? What are the costs (in terms of money and labor) and benefits (in terms of income and food and livelihood security) and how are these distributed among different members of the household and community?
  • Techno-institutional, social and policy dynamics: What institutional structures are necessary to support uptake and optimal performance of  the innovation? To what extent are these present, functioning and accessible to men and women?
  • Backward linkages: How strong (or weak) are the input linkages necessary to adopt and benefit from the innovation?
  • Forward linkages: How strong (or weak) are the market linkages-roads,  communication, cold-chains, etc.-necessary to derive optimal benefit from the innovation?
  • Resource sustainability: How reliable is the resource base in terms of its ability to sustain the innovation?
  • Managing externalities: What are possible social, health and environmental consequences from large-scale uptake/implementation and how can these be eliminated or ameliorated?
Step 2:
In depth study to analyze
opportunities and constraints
Step 2 is to analyze opportunities and constraints for the promising solutions identified in Step 1, while looking for ways to enhance the former and ease the latter. PROCA focuses on seven clusters of constraints that must be addressed for a technology or a policy/management innovation to succeed (see Box 2). Some of these constraints will be internal to the community and can often be resolved locally; others will be the result of external forces and will require action at higher levels (for example, changes in national policy). This analysis will result in an even shorter list of possible solutions and a better understanding of the circumstances under which they can be successful.
Step 3:
Analysis of outscaling impacts
Although it’s important to consider outscaling impacts from the beginning of the process, a more in-depth impact assessment is required before promoting the spread of an innovation. Step 3 is to evaluate the likely positive and negative impacts and externalities of outscaling the promising AWM solutions identified in Step 2 – looking at the potential to positively or negatively affect water resources, the wider economy and the environment. This analysis can help not only to identify AWM solutions with few negative social and environmental externalities but also measures for reducing such externalities.


Comments are closed.