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Community Responses to Government Defunding of Water Projects: A Comparative Study in India and the USA

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Koontz, Tomas; Sen, Sevaly
Conference: Sustaining Commons: Sustaining Our Future, the Thirteenth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons
Location: Hyderabad, India
Conf. Date: January 10-14
Date: 2011
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/7184
Sector: Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: Middle East & South Asia
North America
Subject(s): decentralization
community development
water management
Abstract: "Decentralization is not a binary phenomenon. When central governments decentralize natural resource management, they often retain an interest in the success of the local efforts to solve natural resource problems. As such, many communities have seen continued central government investments in 'decentralized' programs. These outside investments can serve an important role in moving community-based efforts forward. At the same time, they can represent risks to the community if government resources are not stable over time. Our focus in this paper is on the effects of withdrawal of government resources from community-based natural resource management. A critical question is how to build institutional capacity to carry on when the government funding runs out. This study compares coping strategies used by community-based project leaders in two different contexts, India and the United States. Results indicate important differences linked to livelihoods, existing institutions, and community participation."

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