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 village dialect, focuses on improving agricultural productivity, bolstering educational opportunities, and building basic infrastructure to improve the quality of life for the villagers in this area.
Deeply committed to long-term sustainability, JIVA works with various community partners to build local capacity and ensure full local 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 challenges within the existing system. Through this integrated approach, JIVA is able to leverage more resources, foster new partnerships, and maximize participation throughout the communities.
In order to achieve greater income security in these villages, JIVA works with farmers to increase their agricultural productivity through targeted demonstration trainings on improved agricultural practices and mechanizations. Successful interventions include crop diversification, net houses, and vermi-composting. JIVA’s “Train the Trainer” approach also allows farmers to become trainers and change agents within their communities.
In 2012, JIVA’s baseline study found that 30% of the school-going age population had dropped out. To target high drop-out rates, JIVA established after-school tutoring programs in each village to provide access to education during off-school hours. JIVA continuously works to build local stakeholder capacity and empower the community to lead the education reform process by engaging students, parents, teachers, administrators, and local Government officials in all project initiatives.
To complement the focus on quality of education, JIVA constructed new toilets and wash basins at all of the village schools. To support greater agricultural productivity, JIVA also reconstructed an old defective check dam at a nearby river, which is meant to contribute to the recharging of wells in all three villages over time. For the sustainability of all infrastructure activities, JIVA elicits community ownership in both the planning phase of each project as well as through financial contributions.
JIVA wins the 2015 CECP Director's Award
In recognition of the successes of JIVA, the project was awarded the CECP Directors’ Award, one of three Excellence Awards, which honors exemplary collaborations between a company and a nonprofit in combating a critical societal issue.
The JIVA Impact
$232 INCREASE IN PROFITS
Training provided by JIVA has led to a $232 increase in the average profit per hectare.
JIVA has created 70 full-time and part-time jobs in the local communities.
138 farmers have collectively increased profits by more than $2,800.
"JIVA’s guidance and training has helped me in maintaining a regular source of income by growing summer maize, merry gold flowers, and vegetables."
Rukmani bai Rawat, Smallholder Farmer, Rajasthan, India
84% Student Reintegration
Since June 2013, 84 percent of school drop-outs were reintegrated back into the community’s public schools.
21% Yield Increase
JIVA training participants have experienced a 21 percent increase in their average crop yields.