The study describes a mid-term evaluation of a community-based dairy buffalo project in Tamil Nadu. The project assists families drawn from the socially and economically deprived sectors of society, mostly landless, to purchase a dairy buffalo. The aim of the evaluation was to provide a clear socio-economic-cultural perception of the project from the beneficiaries' perspective. A number of techniques were used: trend change and linkage, semi-structured interviews, seasonal calendars, livelihood analyses and resource mapping/modelling. It was found that the project had failed to achieve a number of its objectives. This was mainly because an in-depth consultation with its intended beneficiaries had not been carried out before the project was implemented. Reliance on key informants and social and economic indicators to identify needs meant that important constraints which had implications for the proposed project were overlooked.
This article is likely to be of particular interest to those engaged in project planning and evaluation