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Water sector reform policy of India: Experiences from case studies in Maharashtra

  • Brunner, Norbert
  • Lele, Ashwini
  • Starkl, Markus
  • Grassini, Laura

Recognizing the failure of past interventions to provide water services to all citizens in developing countries, worldwide a reform process of water policies has been initiated. The Indian State of Maharashtra is a front-runner in formulating and implementing such a reform policy. Its policy aims at demand-led, participatory and democratic decision-making for project implementation (as distinct to the previous supply-driven policies). This paper evaluates the success of this reform policy for 12 villages of the Deccan Plateau in Maharashtra. There, these projects were implemented under two funding programs of different donors that implemented the reform policy through different guidelines. The paper confirms that promoting bottom-up decision-making supported by capacity building can lead to better outcomes. However, it also highlights several risks, which may be mitigated by selective top-down control mechanisms. Hence, a combination of bottom-up and top-down decision-making may lead to best results.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Policy Modeling.

Volume (Year): 32 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
Pages: 544-561

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jpolmo:v:32:y::i:4:p:544-561
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505735

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  1. Prokopy, Linda Stalker, 2005. "The relationship between participation and project outcomes: Evidence from rural water supply projects in India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(11), pages 1801-1819, November.
  2. Davis, Jennifer, 2004. "Corruption in Public Service Delivery: Experience from South Asia's Water and Sanitation Sector," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 53-71, January.
  3. Roe, Terry & Dinar, Ariel & Tsur, Yacov & Xinshen Diao, 2005. "Feedback links between economy-wide and farm-level policies : application to irrigation water management in Morocco," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3550, The World Bank.
  4. Dinar, Ariel & Kemper, Karin & Blomquist, William & Kurukulasuriya, Pradeep, 2007. "Whitewater: Decentralization of river basin water resource management," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 851-867.
  5. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521894753 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Cerniglia, Floriana, 2003. "Decentralization in the public sector: quantitative aspects in federal and unitary countries," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 25(8), pages 749-776, November.
  7. N. Hermes & R. Lensink, 2001. "Changing the Conditions for Development Aid: A New Paradigm?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(6), pages 1-16.
  8. John Gist & R. Hill, 1981. "The economics of choice in the allocation of Federal grants: An empirical test," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 63-73, January.
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