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Governance Drivers of Rural Water Sustainability : Collaboration in Frontline Service Delivery (English)

This paper contributes to a long-standing debate in development practice: Under what conditions can externally established participatory groups engage in the collective management of services beyond the life of a project? Using 10 years of panel data on water point functionality from Indonesia’s rural water program, the Program for Community-Based Water Supply and Sanitation, the paper explores the determinants of subnational variation in infrastructure sustainability. It then investigates positive and negative deviance cases to answer why some communities have successfully engaged in system management despite being located in difficult conditions as per quantitative findings and vice versa. The findings show that differences in the implementation of community participation, driven by local social relations between frontline service providers, that is, village authorities and water user groups, explain sustainable management. This initial condition of state-society relations influences how the project is initiated, kicking off negative or positive reinforcing pathways, leading to community collective action or exit. The paper concludes that the relationships between frontline government representatives and community actors are an important and underexamined aspect of the ability of external projects to generate successful community-led management of public goods.


  • Author

    Thapa,Dikshya, Farid,Muhammad Noor, Prevost,Christophe

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  • Document Type

    Policy Research Working Paper

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  • Region

    The World Region,

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  • Doc Name

    Governance Drivers of Rural Water Sustainability : Collaboration in Frontline Service Delivery

  • Keywords

    water user group; National Monitoring and Evaluation System; village head; project design and implementation; social and gender; capacity building of community; water system; management of water; operation and management; public goods provision; rural water supply; improved water quality; form of governance; quality of participation; participatory water management; operations and maintenance; household connection fee; word of mouth; use of meters; time and resource; continuity of service; lack of demand; sustainable service delivery; community water supply; success and failure; attitude toward community; impact of competition; water treatment system; access to technology; alternative water source; Water Resource Management; cost of repair; bad water quality; lack of interest; local public good; management of service; sources of fund; public sector reform; theory of change; rural water program; community water group; provision of resource; buying water; water user organization; management of resources; Natural Resource Management; water purification systems; common pool resource; community participation; water point; dug well; community resident; water conditions; socioeconomic conditions; house connection; clean water; community management; sustainable community; regression model; community involvement; village water; focus group; village fund; community contribution; Water Services; participatory activity; community ownership; dry season; local infrastructure; panel data; water meter; political relation; water availability; community group; community mobilization; water provision; water facility; annual meetings; geographic condition; community participants; local leadership; water technology; qualitative analysis; water pollution; long-term sustainability; palm oil; community demand; sustainable water; tariff collection; infrastructure management; water problem; tariff level; river water; mixed methods; several times; innovative solution; socialization process; positive outcome; social dynamic; participant observation; government involvement; political benefit; local power; capital maintenance; tax collection; polluted water; water delivery; regression analysis; own fund; quantitative evidence; feedback mechanism; institutional form; community volunteer; power outage; local electricity; transport cost; measure of use; collaborative relationship; beneficiary household; community ties; small-scale entrepreneur; deep groundwater; groundwater basin; transaction cost; field visits; socioeconomic status; central agencies; Water Shortage; independent variable; chemical waste; socio-economic status; gravity systems; community dynamics; individual household; spring water; state apparatus; infrastructure problem; community awareness; adequate representation; political milieu; village communities; supply water; reporting system; government grant; household interview; committee chairman; moral obligation; public official; deliberative democracy; financial problem; small fund; infrastructure quality; technical expertise; water scheme; failure rate; governance failures; political incentive; governance arrangement; citizen action; community interest; community information; information dissemination; study including; fiscal transfer; real time; citizen participation; social relation; sustainable management; community actors; participatory budget; open access; development policy; state budget; institutional context; community inequality; participatory efforts; Research Support; induced demand; political repression; Water Demand; collaborative partnership; enabling conditions; field site; external source; urban market; median poverty; state involvement; religious identity; local resident; consumer demand; annual budget; community support; social work; financial sustainability; rural area; previous work; political support; political opponent; institutional factor; governance levels; regulatory environment; political opposition; third section



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Thapa,Dikshya Farid,Muhammad Noor Prevost,Christophe

Governance Drivers of Rural Water Sustainability : Collaboration in Frontline Service Delivery (English). Policy Research working paper,no. WPS 9798 Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.