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TitleDeterminants of performance of drinking-water community organizations : a comparative analysis of case studies in rural Costa Rica
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsMadrigal, R, Alpízar, F, Schlüter, A
Secondary TitleDiscussion paper series / EfD
Volumeno. 10-03
Pagination28 p. : 2 fig., 7 tab.
Date Published2010-02-01
PublisherEnvironment for Development, EfD
Place PublishedTurrialba - Costa Rica
Keywordscase studies, costa rica, evaluation, institutional aspects, rural areas, rural communities, sdilac, sdiman, social development, social marketing, water supply

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 socio-economic 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 analyses 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.

(authors abstract)

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