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Is a decentralised community based management approach to rural drinking water services sustainable? Evidence from a project in Kerala, India.

TitleUnstructured post construction support under structured local governance : evidences from rural drinking water service delivery
Publication TypeCase Study
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsBaby, VK, Kurian, PK
Pagination20 p. : 6 fig., 8 tab.
Date Published01/2013
Place PublishedThe Hague, The Netherlands
Publication LanguageEnglish

The evolution of the rural water and sanitation sector (RWSS) sector is marked by a paradigm shift from supply driven approaches to decentralized community management to improve ownership, service level and sustainability. Though the approach has gained dominance as a rural service delivery model in progressively enhancing rural coverage globally, recent evidences suggest critical second generation sustainability concerns. There is also widespread scepticism about decentralization as a means to attain sustainable service delivery. The paper is an analytical revisit to one of the rural Grama Panchayats served by community managed drinking water supply as a dominant model for more than a decade, in a progressively decentralized State of Kerala, India. The objective is to test the evidences, document learning and to identify critical post construction (PCS) gaps in achieving sustainable service delivery, everyone for forever. The findings would be of global relevance, specifically for India which is on the threshold of launching its ambitious 12th Five Year Plan of covering at least 55% of the rural households with piped water supply with decentralized community based management as the dominant delivery model. It would also facilitate developing countries in designing PCS both for service providers and service authorities to enable community based management (CBM) to perform.


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