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The Governance of Water in Locality and Community Participation: A Study of Community Level Institutions in the Provision of Drinking Water in Hanoi, Vietnam

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Item Summary

Title: The Governance of Water in Locality and Community Participation: A Study of Community Level Institutions in the Provision of Drinking Water in Hanoi, Vietnam
Authors: Nguyen, Lanh
Issue Date: Dec 2015
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2015]
Abstract: Community level institutions have been increasingly recognized as promising agents for service provision because of their demand-responsive and participatory approaches to unaddressed practical needs in developing countries. Whether considered governance actors complementing and/or compromising public and private sector water service provisions, or as primary providers responsible for inventing and governing their own water supply system, community level institutions are intriguing research topics. Existing literature emphasizes determinants of effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability of infrastructural systems created and managed by community governance. The existing literature, however, has not sufficiently explored community level institutional building processes related to essential service enhancements for local people, piecemeal capacity building, nor the building of local governance.
This qualitative study of Co Nhue commune, Hanoi municipality, Vietnam (where drinking water service is the point of entry) answers the two questions: (1) How did the commune form and implement water supply system construction and management? (2) To what extent did the commune’s collective efforts foster capacity building and local governance processes? Adopting this non-conventional service provision pathway informs community capacity building processes, enhancing relationships between residents, local government, and other organizations.
Strong local leadership, envisioning community betterment, established and developed Co Nhue’s water supply project. Accordingly, community level institutions can act as service providers with (i) local government support, (ii) dedicated management team members and effective institutional arrangements, (iii) creative and enthusiastic leadership of local institutions, and (iv) participation and support of local civic organizations and water users. However, many constraints challenge the system’s endurance: institutional changes including leadership changes, unstable staffing, ineffective regulatory enforcement, free-riders, and opportunistic behaviors of institution members; limited technical capabilities, incompetency, and limited managerial inexperience of institution staff; lack of local government supervision; and unwillingness of public utilities to provide support.
The study also indicates that this non-conventional pathway in water provision potentially contributes to building and enhancing local capacity and governance. However, the end result of the community program, which was often documented as unsustainable, led to mixed perceptions of success and failure both within the community and by external actors.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2015.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Urban and Regional Planning

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