Predicting sustainable performance and household satisfaction of community-oriented rural water supply Projects: A Quantitative Evaluation of Evidence from Ghana and Peru Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Thorsten, Richard E.
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of City and Regional Planning
  • This dissertation assesses what project, community, and external household and village-level factors are associated with household-level sustainability indicators for community-managed rural water schemes in Peru and Ghana. Methodological contributions include the use of multi-level random effects and structural equation models to analyze data collected from large samples of households and villages in the two countries. Descriptive results indicate that the participatory, demand-driven model of rural water service provision has generally delivered well-designed, functioning systems which many beneficiaries are using and remain satisfied with. Most households are paying something for the water they receive, although cost recovery remains an elusive goal for many villages. Regression results suggest that certain household and village factors directly and/or indirectly impact outcomes. Household knowledge of committee activities is associated with current satisfaction and confidence in future performance, while other household factors (such as income and social capital) demonstrate mixed results. Project factors such as direct election of water committees, training, and the presence of a non-governmental organization as the planning agency (in Peru) positively influenced sustainability indicators, while committee experience was negatively associated with outcomes. This dissertation also augments research on the role of post-construction assistance by finding that visited households participate more often and are more engaged in a water committee’s financial dealings. Finally, the study sheds new light on household preferences for scaling up service by indicating that households are more likely to favor scaling up if they are currently aware of and participate in the current governing process and understand how the committee collects and spends its money. Other important village factors include elected committee structures, distance to the nearest area mechanic, and village size.
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  • Whittington, Dale
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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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