Client name: UK Department for International Development (DFID)

Duration: 2005-2011

Location: India

Coffey supported a pioneering program aimed at reducing poverty in one of India’s poorest states, Madhya Pradesh. As a result, 122,000 people were lifted out of poverty. 


This program was implemented by the Government of Madhya Pradesh to help address rural poverty. It piloted new approaches to rural development in 2901 villages.

Coffey supplied a team of advisors to assist in designing rural development interventions, testing new poverty reduction approaches, preparing for new policy changes and delivering the program.


The program utilised the following approaches to address rural poverty issues:

Give communities the tools to lead development projects – The program provided training, knowledge and micro-credit to the poor to help raise them out of extreme poverty. We recognised that local assemblies should have a role in deciding the right development projects for their communities. We worked with each village assembly to develop micro-plans that identified local needs and articulated strategies for accessing government resources to meet those needs.

Increase women’s participation – The program helped make local decision-making more inclusive of all members of the community, including women. Due to increases in women’s influence in local assemblies 45% of program funds were disbursed to women, by women.

Help villagers claim rights and entitlements – Coffey also played a key role in raising community members’ awareness of their rights and entitlements to government resources. By building relationships between the villagers and governmental institutions, the program enabled individuals to effectively petition for resources and to leverage money for development needs from non-program funding sources.

Support Sustainable Growth – By offering training and better access to information, the program helped improve the management of land, water and forest resources on which rural communities depend. By distributing thousands of micro-loans to individuals and self-help groups, the program also supported microenterprises that would provide employment.

Mitigate climate change risks – The program supported the design of low carbon development activities by the Government of Madhya Pradesh and worked with village assemblies to help them take into account climate change issues when planning community projects.


  • 122,000 people have been lifted out of poverty
  • over 92,000 most vulnerable households were covered by social protection schemes
  • over 3200 emergency relief funds were established
  • almost 6000 biogas plants have been established
  • solar lanterns were installed in 45 villages, in collaboration with The Energy and Resources Institute
  • solar lighting was established in 17 villages, in partnership with the MP Urja Vikas Nigam company