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Founder Chairman Shri Anil Shah
Development Support Center (DSC) is a resource organization that provides knowledge based support to Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), government agencies and other stakeholders in the field of natural resource management. The organization was established by Mr. Anil C. Shah in 1994, in response to demand from various segments concerned with rural development in Gujarat. DSC provides a variety of services that aim to improve rural livelihoods through participatory management of natural resources such as land and water on which a large number of rural population directly depends. DSC has a multi-disciplinary team of professionals that helps in capacity building of key functionaries, performs hand holding operations in the field, takes initiatives for appropriate policy changes and carries out field studies related to policy issues.
Services offered specific to the development sector Field Implementation
In Gujarat, DSC is involved in direct implementation in rainfed and irrigated areas. It implements the Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM) programme in about 1 lakh hectares of 4 major and 2 medium irrigation projects in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. DSC has facilitated WUAs, Branch and Project level federations in more than 200 villages. It is involved in implementing the watershed programme in about 10,000 hectares and promoting drinking water security in about 30 villages in Gujarat. It has also initiated agriculture productivity enhancement activities in rainfed and irrigated areas of Gujarat. DSC is probably the largest NGO in India working in the irrigation sector. These projects have been instrumental in influencing policies at both the State and national level. They have been cited as model PIM projects in Gujarat and MP.
Training and Capacity Building
DSC strongly believes that the success of participatory programmes lies in the capacity building of various stakeholders including farmers, NGO representatives and government functionaries. The organization has been recognized as a resource centre for PIM and Watershed programmes at the State and national levels. The organization has collaborated with the Water and Land Management Institute, Anand for providing support to promote PIM in 60,000 hectares of the State and has also set up a District Resource Centre in Sabarkantha. DSC has prepared modules and lesson plans for training of Assistant Engineers/Section Officers, Deputy Engineers/ Executive Engineers, NGOs and farmers. So far, DSC has organized more than 350 training programmes for PIM and watershed. It has a full-fledged training centre in Ahmedabad which can host about 70 participants.
Communication and Information Services
DSC has developed user friendly communication material on NRM such as audio-video and print communication materials that can be used for dissemination of best practices. It has produced and broadcasted more that 185 radio programmes on sustainable agriculture development and DSC publishes also brought out a quarterly magazine ¡®Divadandi¡¯ which focuses on agriculture productivity enhancement.
Research and Documentation
DSC carries out research studies based on issues which are culled out from the field itself. The different types of studies conducted are documentation of best cases/case studies, impact assessment studies and issue based studies at the State and national levels. DSC has also published more than 50 research papers and best practices in PNRM. These study reports are used by government officers, policy makers and the practitioners as training materials and also for influencing policies at state and central level.
Sajjata Sangh ¨C A Network on NGOs in Gujarat
DSC has facilitated a network of NGOs involved in promoting NRM programmes in Gujarat. This network named Sajjata Sangh has 31 NGOs as its members. The network is involved in promoting innovations in rainfed agriculture and also in policy advocacy. The Sajjata Sangh conducts crop specific workshops in partnership with Agriculture Universities and is involved in promoting rainfall insurance across the State.
Implementation of projects in the field by DSC or its partners provides the organisation with ¡°real time¡± feedback on ground realities. Further, its association with academic and research institutions and government administration at various levels, enables DSC to use the field experience as valuable input in its policy advocacy activities. DSC`s focus is on sensitising the policy makers for formulating pro-people policies that help in developing self sufficient, self managed, financial and socially viable village institutions. DSC has played a major role in formulating the national watershed guidelines and the XIth Five Year Plan¡¯s approach paper on rainfed areas. The organisation is a member of several district, State and national level committees.