Governance in urban environmental management: Comparing accountability and performance in multi-stakeholder arrangements in South India

Baud, I. and Dhanalakshmi, R. (2006) Governance in urban environmental management: Comparing accountability and performance in multi-stakeholder arrangements in South India. Cities, 24 (2). pp. 133-147.

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Current debates on urban governance suggest that multi-stakeholder arrangements between providers and users of environmental services – especially those in which there are direct links between providers and users in decision-making – lead to more accountability and better performance in service provision. The article analyses the situation in two municipalities around Chennai, India, with regard to a major type of environmental service under construction. It compares a successful and non-successful case of underground sewerage system investment, analysing the factors in multi-stakeholder arrangements that led to different results. The study is based on strategic interviews with governmental and civil society organisations involved, and on-site observations on the level of service. The study looks at inclusion of citizens and other stakeholders, decision-making patterns and accountability, and assesses outcomes in terms of equitable distribution of services. It concludes that multi-stakeholder arrangements are limited to middle-class neighbourhoods, where a high level of RWA organisation promotes accountability. Trusted political leadership is a pre-requisite for success, and political interference from opposing parties at the higher state level, are important factors explaining the differences in the outcomes found.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: We gratefully acknowledge the financial support for fieldwork provided by Amsterdam International Institute for Development (AIID) for this study. It is part of a comparative study between Ghana and India on multi-stakeholder arrangements in urban development; Post carried out the study in Accra, Ghana. The support of the Centre de Sciences Humaines for conference participation on peri-urban transformation is also gratefully acknowledged; especially the efforts of Veronique Dupont.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Urban environment, governance, accountability, urban basic services, Chennai, India
Author Affiliation: Department of Human Geography, University of Amsterdam, Nieuwe Prinsengracht 130, 1018 VZ, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Subjects: Social Sciences
Divisions: General
Depositing User: Mr Siva Shankar
Date Deposited: 23 May 2012 10:41
Last Modified: 23 May 2012 10:41
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