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Community-Based Well Maintenance in Rural Haiti
Dionissi Aliprantis (au)
The international community has pledged $11 billion to Haiti, a country where nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) provide nearly all public goods and services. This study addresses two questions about these NGOs: How can they most effectively perform their own work, and how can they integrate their programs into broader efforts organized by public institutions? The author evaluates the community-based model of Haiti Outreach (HO), which trains communities to manage wells after they have been constructed. The effect of this training is identified by comparing the outcomes of HOńˇ╗s wells with a control group of wells that were refurbished by HO but then managed by other groups. Wells managed under the community-based approach are 8.7 percentage points more likely to be functioning after one year. The author also proposes a social plannerńˇ╗s problem to quantify the tradeoff between equity and efficiency created by user fees that may be applied to many development programs. A social planner indifferent between standard and community-based interventions has strong preferences for sporadically providing water to the poorest members of a community at the expense of sustainably providing water to the majority of community members. Policymakers deciding between alternative interventions should also give consideration to the community-based approach for its ability to build political institutions. Figures and tables. This is a print on demand report.
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