Image Database Export Citations


Assessing Common Property Institutions

Show full item record

Type: Conference Paper
Author: Kolavalli, Shashidhara; Brewer, Jeffrey D.
Conference: Crossing Boundaries, the Seventh Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Conf. Date: June 10-14
Date: 1998
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/359
Sector: Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): IASC
common pool resources--case studies
water users' associations
collective action
cost benefit analysis
Abstract: "While there are numerous cases of successfully functioning traditional common property institutions, building new ones continues to be challenging. This is particularly true where the intention is to make groups of users take on the management of resources which have been under government control. Though there is considerable interest in transferring management functions to users in irrigation systems for example, albeit half-hearted in many countries, organizing the users to take on the functions has been difficult. Effective means for facilitating collective action among the users are yet to be evolved. The thrust of such effort in organizing irrigation users tends to be the deployment of community organizers. "The features which make common property institutions are understood (Ostrom, 1990). On the other hand, why some groups are more successful in assuming those features than others is less well understood. Empirical works which focus on individual incentives to participate in collective action fail to explain the situations where collective action does not come forth even in the presence of strong individual incentives. The organizational aspect of collective action relating to costs tends to be ignored in most studies. "In this paper, we focus on the processes in collective organizations with greater attention to costs of working together. In order to examine the role of various factors, we develop a methodology to evaluate the performance of several user organizations. First, we examine the processes involved in developing and maintaining a common property and the choices faced by individuals and the influence of various factors on these decisions. We then develop criteria for the comparison of performance of disparate organizations which work with different objectives and opportunities. The performance of organizations are then rated. These ratings are then related to various factors hypothesized to contribute to successful collective effort to identify their contributions. "We test some of these hypothesis using information from 21 case studies of water user associations (WUAs) in three states in India. They include various organizations managing various forms of irrigation water resources. Some are associations of users served by a minor or an outlet in large surface irrigation systems. Others are groups of users of irrigation tanks or owners of systems to lift water from public irrigation systems or rivers."

Files in this item

Files Size Format View
kolaval.pdf 69.17Kb PDF View/Open

This item appears in the following document type(s)

Show full item record