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Archival description
Records of the Agriculture and Rural Development Sector
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Chronological files

The series consists of records created by the Agriculture and Rural Development Department (AGR) and its subordinate divisions and units for the years 1978 to 1987. The series also includes records for AGR's successor, the Agriculture, Technology and Natural Resources Department (AGR) for years 1992 and 1995.

The records of AGR from 1978 to 1987 are similar to those of its successor. The records consist almost exclusively of correspondence. A significant amount of the records relates to Bank projects andthe Department's role in their design, preparation, support, and evaluation. Also included are records related to the writing and analysis of technical, research, and issues papers as well as country and sector policy papers by Department staff and Bank staff external to AGR. In some cases, a draft of the paper is included. Records in this series also relate to: budget and work planning; administration; conference and workshop planning and attendance; information exchange (primarily within the Bank); communications and liaison; grant and trust fund negotiation and allocation; CGIAR-related activities; staff missions (often in the form of Terms of Reference and back-to-office reports); and donor meetings.

As noted above (2.3 Archival history), it is likely that the records classification and file titling of the files in this series was done by IISC staff once individual pieces of correspondence were sent to the IISC for filing. Some of the records (approximately one third) were provided with subject- or function-based classification; these files are from May 1992, to July 1993, and are generally very small and in many instances contain only one or two pieces of correspondence. However, the subjects of the records they contain are indistinguishable from the rest of the files in this series which were titled 'Chronological file' and are considerably larger. The files titled 'Chronological file' are from May 1993 to December 1995.

Conference and seminar files of irrigation engineering advisor

The series has two parts: records of the annual water seminars 1985 - 1994 and records of the water study tours 1976, 1987, 1991, and 1993. The records are the files of Herve L. Plusquellec, the irrigation engineering adviser in the Agriculture and Rural Development Department who was the organizer of the conferences.

In January 1985 the Agriculture and Rural Development Department started an annual seminar on irrigation and drainage. At that time irrigation was the largest component in the Bank's investment portfolio, and the Department believed it was the Bank's most stable and successful program in agriculture. The seminar was for Bank staff, and both Bank staff and external experts spoke. Only the Department director's speech to the seminar and the background papers exist from the first seminar. Thereafter the files include agendas, participant lists, a few administrative items and handwritten notes, speeches, and background materials. The papers and background readings include both broad topics (for example, A second look at irrigation development in the seventh annual seminar or Tradable water rights and water markets: Issues in the ninth) and case studies on a variety of countries and projects. In 1993 the annual seminar was retitled Water Resources Management Seminar, reflecting the breadth of issues the seminar had come to consider during its nine previous sessions. The last file is on the seminar of December 1994. The file for the sixth annual seminar is missing.

In 1976 the Bank sent a study tour mission of Bank staff to the southwestern and western United States to look at irrigation and agriculture projects and practices. In 1987 the Bank organized an irrigation study tour to Mexico and Arizona. This was followed by irrigation study tours to China in 1991 and to Mexico and Spain in 1993. The records include agendas, administrative correspondence, notes, lists of participants, and final reports of the missions.

Anyone researching water issues, whether irrigation, drainage, water supply, sanitation or water engineering, will find in these records the best contemporary information, both within the Bank and in the larger development community. In addition, researchers interested in the development of the Banks water policy will find these files an important source of information.

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