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Corruption and decentralisation: evidence from India's water sector

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conference contribution
posted on 12.02.2018, 15:09 authored by Anand N. Asthana
This paper presents empirical findings regarding the relationship between decentralisation of provision of water supply and corruption in provision of services. The current policy advice from the international agencies of aiming for decentralisation as an end in itself is questioned. The conventional wisdom that decentralisation is likely to induce participation and reduce corruption is also disputed. Drawing on a large data base, interaction between various actors is analysed. In developing countries corruption takes many forms depending on the actors and the nature of transaction. Types and magnitude of corrupt behaviour are analysed and shortcomings of the current strategies to combat corruption are discussed. We find that corruption in water supply agencies run by local governments is significantly higher than in the agencies run by the state government. This applies to almost all types of corruption. The reasons for this situation are discussed. Measures to combat corruption in decentralised water supply agencies are suggested.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

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  • Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)

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WEDC Conference


ASTHANA, A.N., 2004. Corruption and decentralisation: evidence from India's water sector. IN: Godfrey, S. (ed). People-centred approaches to water and environmental sanitation: Proceedings of the 30th WEDC International Conference, Vientiane, Laos, 25-29 October 2004, pp. 181-186.


© WEDC, Loughborough University


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