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Assessing Urban Governance

The Case of Water Service Co-production in Venezuela

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Luisa Moretto

When examining the relationship between urban governance and improved service provision in the Global South, there is frequently a gap between the rhetoric and the reality. Informal, practice-based local governance processes that aim to produce better urban services often diverge from official governance prescriptions and mechanisms for service delivery within the institutional sphere. This book explores the complex area of urban governance assessment, focusing on the issue of sustainable water supplies for the urban poor.
Adapting the UN-Habitat Urban Governance Index, the author explores the dual nature of urban governance, analyzing its formal dimension at the municipal level but also taking account of informal and locally specific governance arrangements aimed at improving access to basic services. Water service co-production strategies involving both public institutions and organized groups of citizens in Venezuela provide an excellent case study of this phenomenon. The book illustrates the limitations of official governance assessment tools in appreciating the extent and vibrancy of local practices and agreements, as well as investigating the discrepancies between normative prescriptions and governance arrangements on the ground.
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Chapter 4 Applying the Urban Governance Index to Institutionalised Water Service Co-production

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CHAPTER 4

Applying the Urban Governance Index to Institutionalised Water Service Co-production

4.1. Water service co-production within two low-income settlements

New governance arrangements based on institutionalised co-production for water services will be analysed here, through focusing on two case studies located in the southern periphery of the Metropolitan Region of Caracas, represented by the Tuy Valleys (los Valles del Tuy Medio). Maps 4, 5 and 7 show the location of these two communities (Paso Real 2000 and Hacienda el Carmen) within the respective municipalities (Cristobal Rojas and Paz Castillo) in the Tuy Valleys. After briefly presenting the Tuy Valley sub-region and the current technical organisation for water supply, a description of the two analysed communities is provided to present their history, the tenure situation, the composition of the MTAs and their relationships with the local, regional and national bodies. Further detailed information about the community’s developments and achievements in improving water provisions is also offered and analysed in chapter 6. A short introduction related to the two municipalities where the communities are located is also presented: additional details about the financial and administrative situation of these two municipalities are extensively covered in chapter 5 and in Annex 3.

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