The Western Orissa Livelihoods Project (WORLP) sought to reduce poverty by improving communities’ water resources, agriculture and incomes. It built infrastructure such as embankments, water storage ponds and irrigation channels. It also provided loans and grants to the poor for community-based businesses.
The project took place in four of the poorest of Odisha’s 30 districts. It spent £32.75 million between 2001 and 2011. The Department for International Development (DFID) rated the project a success, taking this view from, in particular, a 2010 impact assessment that reports interviews with 4,200 people. Our objective for this review was to test the quality of DFID’s assessment and identify whether the project’s benefits had been sustained.
We awarded a green score and made three recommendations.