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Community-partnered contracts in developing countries

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journal contribution
posted on 04.11.2008, 17:11 by M. Sohail (Khan), Andrew N. Baldwin
There is a growing recognition in developing countries of community-based infrastructure procurement and its potential to achieve sustainable development. The advantages of such an approach are that it encourages participative negotiation of activities and speedier implementation, the use of local resources, skills and appropriate technology, and entrepreneurship within communities. These wider socio-economic impacts arising from community-partnered micro-projects can lead to more sustainable infrastructure through meeting local stakeholders’ needs, community empowerment and capacity building. This paper describes the development and use of performance indicators for community-contracted urban infrastructure provision in low-income communities in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. In particular, these indicators refer to the dimensions of time and cost; some key performance yardsticks are also proposed. The urban infrastructure and services referred to in these cases are the facilities needed for water and sanitation provision, access roads, street lighting and solid waste management. In general, it was found that costs for community-contracted micro-projects were normally very close to being on target. The quality of infrastructure and service provision also tended to be superior to that envisioned by local government engineers. However, project duration generally exceeded the target but was still comparable to conventional contracts. The overall performance of the community-partnered micro-projects was found to be comparable or better than the conventional micro-contracts; in addition, the performance of these projects in terms of socio-economic elements was likely to far exceed that of the conventional micro-projects.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Research Unit

  • Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)


SOHAIL, M. and BALDWIN, A.N., 2004. Community-partnered contracts in developing countries. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers : Engineering Sustainabilty, 157 (4), pp. 193-201


© Thomas Telford Publishing

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This article was published in the journal, Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Engineering Sustainability [© Thomas Telford Publishing] and is also available at: http://www.thomastelford.com/journals/



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