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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Politics of Decentralization and Donor Funding in South Africa's Rural Water Sector
Authors:Galvin, Mary
Habib, AdamISNI
Year:2003
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Volume:29
Issue:4
Period:December
Pages:865-884
Language:English
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:development cooperation
decentralization
water supply
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
Politics and Government
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0305707032000135860
Abstract:Although the new South African government has adopted a range of policies that promote decentralization, competing tendencies toward centralization have become increasingly evident. The authors examine how donors have supported decentralization in South Africa, how they have affected the implementation of decentralization policies, and what impact, if any, donors have had on the form of decentralization. Based on key informant interviews with 47 government, donor and NGO officials, the authors outline three donor-supported programmes for rural water provision in Northern Province and KwaZulu-Natal. Their findings lead them to differentiate between community-oriented and State-centric forms of decentralization. Although donors claim to support community-oriented decentralization, in practice they promote State-centric decentralization. Not only does this reinforce the institutional bias of government, but it also undermines the original motivation and rationale for decentralization. There are indications that some donors have begun to recognize this danger and are intervening to promote community-oriented decentralization. However, given South Africa's structural realities, it is questionable whether this is possible at the present historical juncture. App., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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