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From Supply to Demand Driven Water Governance: Challenging Pathways to Safe Water Access in Rural Uganda

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Naiga, Resty; Penker, Marianne; Hogl, Karl
Conference: Design and Dynamics of Institutions for Collective Action: A Tribute to Prof. Elinor Ostrom, Second Thematic Conference of the IASC
Location: Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands
Conf. Date: 29 November - 1 December
Date: 2012
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/8616
Sector: Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: Africa
Subject(s): social-ecological systems
water quality
institutional change
Abstract: "Since 1990, Uganda has experienced a major policy shift from a supply-driven to a demand-driven approach in rural water provision. This paper looks into the critical aspects of safe water access in rural areas of Uganda within the changing policy frameworks. The qualitative text analysis of document and problem centered interviews with key informants at national, district and community levels is based on the ‘Social-ecological systems’ framework. Since the implementation of the demand-driven approach in the early 1990s, rural safe water coverage has slightly improved but maintenance of water sources still poses a great challenge. Operation and maintenance seem to be the critical challenge to sustained access to safe water in rural Uganda. The incomplete policy change and competing signals from old and new policies created uncertainty and ambiguity about responsibilities, rules and incentives. This result in a viscous circle of lack in user fees collected for maintenance and repair, unreliable water supply and missing control and sanctions resulting in further reluctance to contribute to community services. The analysis shows the importance of taking into account context and path-dependencies and points out some aspects not fully covered by the SES-framework."

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