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        The Mitigating Poverty in Western Rajasthan (MPOWER) is a poverty reduction initiative that will be supported IFAD within its framework of the current Country Strategic Opportunities Paper (COSOP). In line with India’s and that of the Government of Rajasthan’s efforts in mitigating poverty in the Western Rajasthan, the MPOWER builds on experiences and lessons learnt under ongoing programmes, and introduces some innovative features. The project is designed to reduce poverty through the development of community institutions and support to various livelihoods activities and setting up of services delivery systems initially.
         The IFAD Formulation Mission for MPOWER was fielded in September, 2007. The Formulation Report prepared with the support of the Local Project Design Team
(LPDT) presented a project that was designed to provide a model for scaling up of what has performed well in the past and introduces elements to enhance sustainability.

The IFAD management reviewed the Formulation Report and raised the
following issues to be addressed by the Appraisal mission:

         i.            identification of suitable training institutes and service providers for capacity building;

       ii.            securing assurances from GoR for deploying adequate resources, in terms of project staff;

      iii.            seeking tentative proposals for cooperation from DCC Banks, SBBJ, RRBs and post offices with regard to   development finance;

     iv.            ensuring allocation of government lands on leasehold basis for he SHGs for raising fodder and pastures;

       v.            securing agreements with MCCI;

     vi.            obtaining feedback on the Formulation report from the LPDT and other stakeholders; and

    vii.            exploring the ways to avail global fund for  environmental payments.

In accordance with the TOR dated 17 December, 2007, an IFAD Appraisal Mission visited Rajasthan and the Project Area districts between 11 January and 10 February, 2008 primarily to examine the potential, nature, size and scope of the proposed project in close collaboration with the stakeholders. The Sir Ratan Tata Trust (SRTT), a philanthropic institution involved in rural development and community institutions in India has evinced interest in co-financing the project and deputed a representative to the mission. Prior to starting of the field work, the mission was briefed by the Local Design Team with feedback on the Formulation Report. During its stay in Rajasthan, the mission visited six project area Blocks of Bap (Jodhpur), Sankra (Jaisalmer), Baitu (Barmer), Balli (Pali), Abu Road (Sirohi) and Sanchore (Jalore) and consulted with the stakeholders including the respective Zilla Parishad officials and some of the NGOs working in the area, CAZRI, NABARD, Commercial Banks, DCC Banks, RRBs, private sector agencies and traders. It also undertook field visits to see some of the project area villages with an overall objective of learning from the experiences gained by the communities and the stakeholders. The findings of the mission were discussed at a stakeholders’ workshop held on 5 February, 2008 in Jaipur.  The constructive feedbacks received from the stakeholders at this workshop have been incorporated in the Report.

IFAD Report No.1529-IN, Country Strategic Opportunities Paper, January, 2006

The Formulation Report was circulated to all relevant embassies in Delhi that were invited to send comments and/or participate in a meeting convened on 8 January 2008. Comments received from DFID were considered for finalizing the TORs of the Appraisal Mission.

The Mission comprised  Mr A  M  Alam, Mission Leader,   Mr Crispino Lobo, Community Development Specialist,
Mr N Srinivasan, Development Finance and Gender Expert, Mr Sanjay Kumar Gupta, Value Chain Expert,  Mr K Narender,
SRTT Representative,  Mr Shaheel  Rafique,  Implementation Support specialist, IFAD, India Country Presence, Ms Silvia Guizzardi,  M&E Officer, IFAD. The counterpart experts consisted of
Mr C S Mehta, Joint Director, WD&SC, RDPR,  Mr O P Birwa, Additional  CEO, Bio Fuel Authority, GoR,  and Mr K M  Noordeen, Monitoring Officer, DPIP, GoR.  Mr Sanjeev Kumar, ARAVALI provided field support.   Mr Mattia Prayer Galletti, Country Programme Manager, IFAD, Rome provided overall guidance to the mission with the support of  Mr Anirudh Tewari, IFAD Country Presence Coordinator, New Delhi. Mr Galletti and Ms Vartika Jaini, SRTT joined the mission at briefing and Mr Tewari participated in the Stakeholder’s workshop and the wrap up meeting in Jaipur.

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