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Community-Based Well Maintenance in Rural Haiti

  • Dionissi Aliprantis

    ()

    (Interuniversity Institute for Research and Development (INURED) and Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland)

The international community has pledged 11 billion dollars to Haiti, a country where non-governmental organizations (NGOs) provide nearly all public goods and services. This raises at least two questions: How can NGOs most effectively perform their own work, and how can NGOs integrate their programs into broader efforts organized by public institutions? This paper addresses these questions by evaluating the community-based model of Haiti Outreach (HO) that focuses on training communities to manage wells after they have been constructed. The effect of this management training is identified by comparing the outcomes of HO’s wells with a control group of wells that were refurbished by HO in the aftermath of the January 12, 2010 earthquake but then subsequently managed by other groups. Wells managed under the community-based approach are 8.7 percentage points more likely to be functioning after only one year. We also propose a social planner’s problem to quantify the tradeoff between equity and efficiency created by user fees that may be applied to many development programs. A social planner indifferent between standard and community-based interventions has strong preferences for sporadically providing water to the poorest members of a community at the expense of sustainably providing water to the majority of community members. Policy-makers deciding between alternative interventions should also give consideration to the community-based approach for its ability to build political institutions.

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Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Office of Evaluation and Oversight (OVE) in its series OVE Working Papers with number 0611.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:idb:ovewps:0611
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  1. Aliprantis, Dionissi, 2012. "Assessing the evidence on neighborhood effects from Moving to Opportunity," Working Paper 1122R, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  2. Isham, Jonathan & Kahkonen, Satu, 2002. "Institutional Determinants of the Impact of Community-Based Water Services: Evidence from Sri Lanka and India," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(3), pages 667-91, April.
  3. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias & Costas Meghir & John Van Reenen, 2004. "Evaluating the Employment Impact of a Mandatory Job Search Program," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(4), pages 569-606, 06.
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  6. Dionissi Aliprantis, 2012. "Redshirting, Compulsory Schooling Laws, and Educational Attainment," Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, , vol. 37(2), pages 316-338, April.
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  11. Peter Lawrence & Jeremy Meigh & Caroline Sullivan, 2002. "The Water Poverty Index: an International Comparison," Development and Comp Systems 0211003, EconWPA.
  12. Watson, Tara, 2006. "Public health investments and the infant mortality gap: Evidence from federal sanitation interventions on U.S. Indian reservations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1537-1560, September.
  13. Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 2003. "Does piped water reduce diarrhea for children in rural India?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 153-173, January.
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  15. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra E, 1997. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 605-54, October.
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