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Engaging Water?

Author(s): Integrated Water Resources Management and Civil Society in India
Congress: 2008
Author(s): Mats Kullander, Daniel Klasander


Keyword(s): Keywords: IWRM, civil society, India, participation, democracy
AbstractThis essay contains a research on the impact of IWRM-projects on the civil society. IWRM is a water project strategy with local stakeholder participation as an important part. We compare three cases in the context of contemporary India and analyze them according to our theoretical framework, with influential concepts in civil society and foreign aid theory. We find that the cases had a mainly positive impact on the civil society, and that IWRM projects in general have the potential of affecting the civil society in a positive direction. This requires a strong element of capacity building features and local and demand-led approaches. Problems arise when donor involvement dominates over local participation. The most important obstacle we find is the difficulty to combine the two theoretical standpoints of building on existing social capital and not letting traditional power structures prevail - hence to let women and marginalized groups participate without disturbing the social balance.
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