The Joint Initiative for Village Advancement (JIVA) is an integrated community development program supported by the John Deere Foundation and implemented by PYXERA Global and local partners in three rural villages of Rajasthan, India.
JIVA, which means “livelihood” or “life” in the local dialect, focuses on improving agricultural productivity, bolstering educational opportunities, and building basic infrastructure to improve the quality of life for local residents.
Deeply committed to long-term sustainability, JIVA works with various community partners to build local capacity and ensure community ownership of the project through its duration and beyond.
The JIVA difference lies in its multi-faceted approach to community development. A departure from the traditional development model that often focuses on one or two issues at a time, JIVA looks at the system as a whole—working simultaneously in various sectors to address the complex, overlapping systemic challenges. Through this integrated approach, JIVA is able to leverage more resources, foster new partnerships, and maximize participation throughout the project area.
90% EXAM PASS RATES OF
10TH GRADE STUDENTS
(up from 31% four years prior)
(generated over 4 years)
ANNUAL INCOME GENERATION
(upon project maturation)
Note: all monetary amounts are given in US dollars purchasing power parity (PPP)
JIVA wins the 2017 Award for Best Community Improvement Program
During the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Awards, the John Deere Foundation received this award for its work partnering with smallholder farming communities.
JIVA wins the
In recognition of JIVA’s successes, the project was one of three recipients of the CECP Directors’ Award, an Excellence Award that honors exemplary collaboration between a company and a nonprofit in combating a critical societal issue.
Supported by improvements in infrastructure and the freedom to innovate, the JIVA approach creates a virtuous cycle where the combination of increasing farmer incomes, boosting crop resilience, and educating the next generation of leaders contributes to global food security and allows economically and socially marginalized people to lift themselves out of poverty and participate more fully in their communities.
To achieve greater local income security, JIVA provides farmers with trainings on improved agricultural strategies and practices to increase their productivity. Interventions include crop diversification, seed nurseries, and worm-based composting. JIVA’s approach also encourages farmers to become trainers and change agents in their communities. To support greater agricultural productivity, JIVA reconstructed an inoperative dam at a nearby river to supply water to wells in all three villages.
In 2012, JIVA’s baseline study found that 30% of local youth had dropped out of school. To confront the problem, JIVA established after-school tutoring programs to offer open access to education. Community empowerment is a priority for JIVA, and it begins with building stakeholder capacity by engaging students, parents, teachers, administrators, and local government officials in all project initiatives. To complement the focus on quality of education, JIVA also constructed new toilets and wash basins at all village schools.
"JIVA has not only earned the community's confidence, but it has increased their overall commitment and ownership of project efforts. The project interventions and their inter-linkages have strong ingredients of sustainability."
VIRENDAR KHATANA, JIVA Project Director
JIVA Location — Rajasthan, India
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