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Telling it Like it is! Devolution in the Water Reform Process in Zimbabwe

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Sithole, Bevlyne
Conference: Constituting the Commons: Crafting Sustainable Commons in the New Millennium, the Eighth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Bloomington, Indiana, USA
Conf. Date: May 31-June 4
Date: 2000
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/1191
Sector: Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: Africa
Subject(s): IASC
common pool resources
water resources
institutional change
participatory management
Abstract: "Devolution is a buzzword that remains appealing to many development workers and officials especially those focusing on institutions and management issues at the local level. Yet the initial euphoria with the concept seems to be passing as many are beginning to pay closer attention to case studies of where devolution has occurred and to highlight problems of stakeholder participation and power sharing. This paper examines how devolution has occurred in the water reform process in Zimbabwe and challenges the presumption that devolution automatically guarantees participation by stakeholders representing various groups operating in various arenas. In the water reform process, the paper finds that in certain contexts under specific conditions devolution does not guarantee full participation by all stakeholders and is not felt by most stakeholders to be empowering."

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