Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The political economy of community management : a study of factors influencing sustainability in Malawi's rural water supply sector
Author: Chowns, Eleanor
ISNI:       0000 0004 5362 3201
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2014
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Sustainability is a major challenge in the rural water supply sector, where efforts to realise the right to clean water are undermined by high levels of non-functionality. This thesis uses mixed methods to test the relative influence of ten proximate determinants of sustainability, and to critically examine the social, economic and political dynamics underlying these determinants – especially the community management model, which places responsibility for water point functionality on users. The study finds that the key proximate determinants include both technical factors (e.g. water point type and installation quality) and management factors (e.g. availability of funds and incidence of theft). These in turn are driven by the way that community management structures interact with socially embedded institutions. Contrary to the claims made for participatory approaches, the study finds that community management is frequently inefficient and disempowering. Drawing on the concepts of institutional bricolage and civil society failure, the analysis shows that community management generates conflict and reproduces inequality at community level, and embeds perverse incentives and consolidates clientelism at a wider level. The study concludes that community management leads to erosion of social capital and abdication of state responsibility, and argues that donors should reconsider their support for it.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: JA Political science (General)