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Quantifying the Process and Performance of River Basin Water Management Decentralisation in Sub-Saharan Africa


This article identifies determinants of the decentralisation processes and performances of river basin management decentralisation in Sub-Saharan Africa, using an institutional analysis framework applied to primary data from twenty-seven river basins in the region. Main findings suggest that water scarcity is a major stimulus to the reform; that water user associations, if not well prepared and trained, may deter the decentralisation process and being part of an existing treaty over an international basin helps foster the process for domestic basins that are part of an international basin. Conditions improving decentralisation process performance include: scarcity of water resources, longer period of implementation, bottom-up creation and appropriate budgetary support of the river basin organisation. Due to the sample size our findings can be seen as suggestive for decentralisation policy in remaining river basins across the continent and elsewhere.

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