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Can Good Projects Succeed in Bad Communities? Collective Action in the Himalayas

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  • Khwaja, Asim Ijaz

    (Harvard U)

Abstract

This paper examines, theoretically and empirically, the determinants of collective success in the maintenance of infrastructure projects. The empirical analysis employs primary data collected by the author on 132 community-maintained infrastructure projects in Northern Pakistan. Determinants are grouped into community-specific and project-specific factors, the latter identified using community fixed effects. The analysis shows that community-specific factors are important: Socially heterogeneous communities have poorly maintained projects and community inequality has a U-shaped relationship with maintenance. Project leaders are associated with higher maintenance, with attributes of hereditary leader households used as instruments for leader presence. However, the results suggest that the effects of project-specific factors are even larger. Specifically, complex projects are poorly maintained and inequality in project returns has a Ushaped relationship with maintenance. Increased community participation in project decisions has a positive effect on maintenance for non-technical decisions but a negative effect for technical decisions. Projects initiated by non-governmental organizations are better maintained than local government projects, as are projects made as extensions of old projects rather than anew. The findings are consistent with the theory and suggest that adverse community-specific factors, such as a lack of social capital, can be more than compensated for by better project design.

Suggested Citation

  • Khwaja, Asim Ijaz, 2001. "Can Good Projects Succeed in Bad Communities? Collective Action in the Himalayas," Working Paper Series rwp01-043, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp01-043
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Nkonya, Ephraim & Phillip, Dayo & Mogues, Tewodaj & Pender, John & Kato, Edward, 2012. "Impacts of Community-driven Development Programs on Income and Asset Acquisition in Africa: The Case of Nigeria," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(9), pages 1824-1838.
    2. Athreya, Siva & Somanathan, Rohini, 2008. "Quantifying spatial misallocation in centrally provided public goods," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 201-206, February.
    3. Fritzen, Scott A., 2007. "Can the Design of Community-Driven Development Reduce the Risk of Elite Capture? Evidence from Indonesia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 1359-1375, August.
    4. Liu, Chengfang & Zhang, Linxiu & Huang, Jikun & Luo, Renfu & Rozelle, Scott, 2009. "Can Good Projects Succeed in Bad Villages? Project Design, Village Governance and Infrastructure Quality in Rural China," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 49944, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    5. DeWald, Joshua & Espey, Molly & Hammig, Michael D., 2004. "Implementation of Village Self-Help Projects in the Kyrgyz Republic," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 1927-1938, November.
    6. Vijayendra Rao & Ana Maria Ibanez, 2005. "The Social Impact of Social Funds in Jamaica: A 'Participatory Econometric' Analysis of Targeting, Collective Action, and Participation in Community-Driven Development," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(5), pages 788-838.
    7. repec:spr:empeco:v:53:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s00181-016-1174-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Nkonya, Ephraim & Phillip, Dayo & Mogues, Tewodaj & Pender, John & Yahaya, Muhammed Kuta & Adebowale, Gbenga & Arokoyo, Tunji & Kato, Edward, 2008. "From the ground up: Impacts of a pro-poor community-driven development project in Nigeria," IFPRI discussion papers 756, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    9. Awaworyi Churchill, Sefa & Ocloo, Janet Exornam & Siawor-Robertson, Diana, 2015. "Ethnic diversity makes me sick! An examination of ethnic diversity’s effect on health outcomes," EconStor Preprints 123721, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    10. Marchiori, Carmen, 2014. "Inequality and rules in the governance of water resources," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 124-129.

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