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Determinants of Performance of Drinking-Water Community Organizations: A Comparative Analysis of Case Studies in Rural Costa Rica

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  • Madrigal, Róger
  • Alpízar, Francisco
  • Schlüter, Achim

Abstract

This paper presents an institutional analysis of the underlying factors affecting the performance of drinking-water community organizations in rural areas of Costa Rica. These organizations provide water to more than 60 percent of the total rural population. There is, however, a great disparity in their performance. This research tries to understand how a complex configuration of geophysical characteristics of watersheds and infrastructure as well as governance and socioeconomic attributes of local users affects three key dimensions of performance in rural communities: financial health, infrastructure condition, and user satisfaction. Using a qualitative approach and matching techniques to ensure comparability, the paper analyzes four communities in depth. The main results highlight the relevance of a demand-driven approach, coupled with local accountability, working rules for tariff collection and infrastructure maintenance, and appropriate support from the government as the main conditions that promote higher levels of performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Madrigal, Róger & Alpízar, Francisco & Schlüter, Achim, 2010. "Determinants of Performance of Drinking-Water Community Organizations: A Comparative Analysis of Case Studies in Rural Costa Rica," Discussion Papers dp-10-03-efd, Resources For the Future.
  • Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-10-03-efd
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    File URL: http://www.rff.org/RFF/Documents/EfD-DP-10-03.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Agrawal, Arun, 2001. "Common Property Institutions and Sustainable Governance of Resources," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(10), pages 1649-1672, October.
    2. Kleemeier, Elizabeth, 2000. "The Impact of Participation on Sustainability: An Analysis of the Malawi Rural Piped Scheme Program," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 929-944, May.
    3. 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 667-691, April.
    4. Corton, Maria Luisa, 2003. "Benchmarking in the Latin American water sector: the case of Peru," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 133-142, September.
    5. Edella Schlager & Elinor Ostrom, 1992. "Property-Rights Regimes and Natural Resources: A Conceptual Analysis," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 68(3), pages 249-262.
    6. Subramanian, A. & Jagannathan, N.V. & Meinzen-Dick, R., 1997. "User Organizations for Sustainable Water Services," Papers 354, World Bank - Technical Papers.
    7. 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.
    8. Knox, Anna & Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela, 2000. "Collective action, property rights, and devolution of natural resource management: exchange of knowledge and implications for policy," CAPRi working papers 11, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    9. Gibson, Clark C. & Andersson, Krister & Ostrom, The late Elinor & Shivakumar, Sujai, 2005. "The Samaritan's Dilemma: The Political Economy of Development Aid," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199278855.
    10. Sanford Berg & Chen Lin, 2008. "Consistency in performance rankings: the Peru water sector," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(6), pages 793-805.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    institutional analysis and development (IAD) framework; social ecological system (SES); propensity score matching;

    JEL classification:

    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water

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