Who is WOTR?

Established in 1993, WOTR is a non-profit that engages at the intersection of practice, knowledge and policy across scales and in collaboration with stakeholders from across sectors. Headquartered in Pune, WOTR has supported and carried out development work in over 3700 villages across 7 Indian states – Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh,  Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha. WOTR is recognised widely as a premier institution in the field of participatory Watershed Development and Climate Change Adaptation. Its unique strength lies in its ‘on-field’ experience and in a systemic, participatory approach. WOTR was initiated to support a large-scale multi-actor, multi-level, multi- sectoral, community led watershed development program for poverty reduction called the Indo-German Watershed Development Program (IGWDP). It was launched in Maharashtra, India by Fr. Hermann Bacher, co-founder and Chairman of WOTR, and Crispino Lobo, co-founder and Managing Trustee. 

WOTR assists rural communities to assess their vulnerabilities to climate and non-climatic risks. It organizes them in a socially and gender inclusive manner to help themselves out of poverty by regenerating their ecosystems in a holistic and integrated manner, conserving and optimizing resource use, especially water, and undertaking climate smart sustainable livelihoods.
 
WOTR has successfully facilitated 230 NGOs and government Project Implementation Agencies (PIAs), which are important partners for outreach and up-scaling of sustainable initiatives. Additionally, WOTR has published over 136 articles/studies and books, over 106 educational and training films, and 24 tools for wide-scale adaptation.
 
The WOTR Group consists of 4 institutions – the Watershed Organisation Trust (WOTR); the Sampada Trust (ST) for women’s empowerment and micro-finance;  Sanjeevani Institute for Empowerment and Development(SIED) which is the implementation wing of WOTR; and Sampada Entrepreneurship and Livelihoods Foundation(SELF) that has been set up to promote social enterprises and livelihoods. 
 
In its 22 years since inception, Watershed Organisation Trust has been involved in over 2098 villages for watershed development, natural resource management and climate change adaptation projects (direct implementation in 637 villages, CB support  in 851 villages and MELD support around  610 GP villages), covering over 1.37 million hectares, thus, impacting over 1.8 million people. Its involvement in over 10,730 women’s Self Help Groups (SHGs), micro-finance, trainings and other initiatives has benefitted over 134,546 women. Similarly, over 365,000 people from 27 states in India and 63 countries have participated in WOTR’s training and capacity building programs.