ODAF Initiative towards Sustainable Development

The 'ODAF Initiative towards Sustainable Development' sought to  address the core problems of the tribal communities, predominantly consisting of Bhima and Lanjia Sauras, in the districts of Gajapati and Ganjam around the Mahendragiri hills in Odisha.

The overall objective of the project was to promote processes to facilitate the tribal communities to ascertain their own priorities and development needs through systematic interventions in their leadership and economic capacities.


33347 households, 230 villages


Ganjam and Gajapati in Odisha




April 1988 to September 2015


INR 20.43 crore


Odisha Development Action Forum (ODAF)


  • Enabling leadership qualities in tribal men and women to make a space for themselves in the mainstream governance institutions
  • Ensuring that all eligible children are enrolled in schools and have access to basic education
  • Leadership trainings, awareness building and education of communities for strengthening Panchayati Raj Institutions
  • Promoting such activities/ enterprises that help to increase the income of the family and thereafter to sustain it beyond the project
  • Providing primary care at the village level and to build capacities of local health workers so that health services function effectively
  • Capacity building both at organisational and field levels to strengthen and develop the stakeholders/beneficiaries of the development process


  • Crop yields and family income rose in comparison with 2010.
  • Traditional and sustainable agriculture were increasingly applied
  • More than 90% of the children of the target groups attended school and the rate of school dropouts declined by 50%.
  • The participation of women in the local council increased  to 40%.
  • The methods of  social auditing were exemplarily applied in 17 local councils.
  • The food and income of the target group was guaranteed through sustainable agriculture.
  • The number of small family farmers with registered land rights saw an increase.
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