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    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    JANSSEN, MARCO A. and ANDERIES, JOHN M. 2013. A multi-method approach to study robustness of social–ecological systems: the case of small-scale irrigation systems. Journal of Institutional Economics, Vol. 9, Issue. 04, p. 427.

    Wang, Xiaoxi Otto, Ilona M. and Yu, Lu 2013. How physical and social factors affect village-level irrigation: An institutional analysis of water governance in northern China. Agricultural Water Management, Vol. 119, p. 10.


Rules and collective action: an institutional analysis of the performance of irrigation systems in Nepal

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  • Published online: 19 October 2011

This paper focuses on understanding rule systems by documenting existing rules and their development in irrigation management in Nepal. We analyze the rule formation of a sample of irrigation systems based on the ADICO syntax (Crawford & Ostrom, 1995; Ostrom, 2005). Farmer-managed irrigation systems generally are autonomous in devising their own rules based on local context considering the ideas, norms and beliefs shared within the community. Rule formation in agency-managed irrigation systems, however, is mostly done by external officials. Strong rule enforcement mechanisms were found in farmer-managed systems compared with agency-managed systems. Better rule enforcement created favorable conditions for collective action among the users and ensured better performance of the irrigation systems. Results imply that the formation of new rules should fully consider biophysical attributes as well as community beliefs and ideas.

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P. Bardhan (2000), ‘Irrigation and Cooperation: An Empirical Analysis of 48 Irrigation Communities in South India’, Economic Development and Cultural Change, 48 (4): 847865.

K. P. Bhatta , A. Ishida , K. Taniguchi , and R. Sharma (2005), ‘Performance of Agency-Managed and Farmer-Managed Irrigation Systems: A Comparative Case Study at Chitwan, Nepal’, Irrigation and Drainage Systems, 20 (2–3): 177191.

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W. F. Lam (1996), ‘Improving the Performance of Small-Scale Irrigation Systems: The Effects of Technological Investments and Governance Structure on Irrigation Performance in Nepal’, World Development, 24 (8): 13011315.

W. Leathes , J. W. Knox , M. G. Kay , P. Trawick , and J. A. Rodriguez-Diaz (2008), ‘“Developing UK Farmers” Institutional Capacity to Defend their Water Rights and Effectively Manage Limited Water Resources’, Irrigation and Drainage, 57 (3): 322331.

R. Meinzen-Dick , K. V. Raju , and A. Gulati (2002), ‘What Affects Organization and Collective Action for Managing Resources? Evidence from Canal Irrigation Systems in India’, World Development, 30 (4): 649666.

R. Meinzen-Dick (2007), ‘Beyond Panaceas in Water Institutions’, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 104 (39): 1520015205.

E. Ostrom , J. Burger , C. Field , R. B. Norgaard , and D. Policansky (1999), ‘Revisiting the Commons: Local Lessons, Global Challenges’, Science, 284 (5412): 278282.

R. M. Saleth and A. Dinar (2000), ‘Institutional Changes in Global Water Sector: Trends, Patterns, and Implications’, Water Policy, 2: 175199.

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Journal of Institutional Economics
  • ISSN: 1744-1374
  • EISSN: 1744-1382
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-institutional-economics
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