Scaling-up Water Community Organizations: The Role of Inter-communities Networks in Multi-level Water Governance


Since the 2000s, local communities responsible for the management of water services have started to organize themselves at higher scales of action, through sub-national and national networks, in order to promote their mode of community-based governance (notably in South America). They are especially seeking to respond both to internal pressures, such as technical or financial difficulties, and external pressures, mainly from States wanting to retake control of water resources in a context of development. This paper aims to analyze the role of these inter-community networks, composed of water community organizations, in the implementation of equitable partnerships with public actors for the management of water services. First, a multi-disciplinary theoretical and conceptual framework on multi-level water governance and scaling-up processes will be presented. Then, based on a comparison between Ecuador and Colombia, the analysis will aim to understand the mediating role played by intercommunity networks in the implementation of equitable partnerships with public actors in two different water governance contexts.
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