Methodological Approach

At the local level, the demonstration pilots were considered as a new development tool based on three pillars:

  • The economic profitability of the innovation water and soil management tools;
  • The acceptance and appropriation of these innovations by the concerned local communities;
  • Natural resources preservation.


The proposed development vision requires the conception of new modes of natural resources use in irrigation by the farmers in the SASS region. Their implication and contribution to the implementation of the demonstration pilots is a sine qua non condition for the realisation of the expected results and their dissemination on a large-scale.

The participatory approach of the SASS III project aims to build on the knowledge and experience acquired by the local concerned communities.  It is an approach open to the innovations that take into consideration local priorities.

The decision-making centres are multiple. They mainly include:

  • Farmers / users of irrigation water: they decide on the socio-economic strategy, farming activities planning, and modalities of water use in irrigation (type of agriculture, techniques, production intensity, etc…)
  • Farmers associations and communities, NGOs, institutions in charge of water resources management and common-interest services;
  • The State through its central, regional, and local administrations in charge of the social, environmental, economic issues at the spatial, local, regional and national scale.


This participatory approach is structured around the following axes:

  • the voluntary implication and commitment of the different concerned parties at the local level;
  • taking into account the rights and obligations of every concerned party through a Consultation Mechanism and settlement of disputes;
  • participation of all parties in the project realisation: starting from the conception of the pilots’ objectives and the elaboration of an implementation action plan until the realisation of the monitoring-evaluation results.

Each pilot offers to the farmers the possibility to transfer their experiences and to contribute to the realisation of a viable model in their own farms. It equally allows them to evaluate the results of the introduced innovations so they become themselves an agent of information dissemination.

All the demonstration pilots were conceived, realised and evaluated through the active participation of the water users in the three concerned countries.