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
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
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.