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TitleEngaging with citizens to improve services : case studies
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsDelhi, INWater and
Paginationx, 184 p. : boxes, fig.
Date Published2007-05-01
PublisherWater and Sanitation Program - South Asia
Place PublishedNew Delhi, India
Keywordscase studies, community participation, india, institutional aspects, reform, sanitation, sdiasi, sdipar, urban areas, water supply

This study explains why and how the creation of institutionalized citizen engagement enhances public accountability, performance, and customer responsiveness in the Indian urban water and sanitation sector. It draws on 10 practical case studies in India to derive lessons for civil society groups, policy makers and service providers pertinent to different points in the service delivery chain, including policy-making, planning and budgeting; standard-setting and enforcement; and performance monitoring.

Citizens' participation is an integral part of reform in the Indian urban water supply and sanitation sector. End users determine the type of services they find relevant, convenient and affordable, and only if citizens complement and oversee the efforts of their elected representatives to ensure optimal performance by water utilities will the sector shift toward better service for all rather than preferential treatment for a few. Decentralizing control and delivery to the local level could also enhance the ability of citizens to influence and enforce service standards, by compelling service providers to pursue service outcomes and consumer satisfaction, rather than expenditure and construction targets.

The 10 forms of citizen engagement examined here are intended to strengthen citizen voice - direct influence over service design and the making of rules by which public service agencies must operate; and client power - the ability to enforce performance standards upon service providers and penalize those who fail to meet them. This study also compares the long route to accountability (elected representatives hold public service providers to account on behalf of the public) and the short route (citizens/customers engage directly with providers).

NotesIncludes references
Custom 1822, 205.1, 305.1



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