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Macro Implications of Micro-Participation: Participatory Management of Electricity Distribution in Eastern India

Swain, Ashwini (2011) Macro Implications of Micro-Participation: Participatory Management of Electricity Distribution in Eastern India. PhD thesis, University of York.

Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales.

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Electrification has become a pivotal development issue in the developing countries, as it provides a huge range of social and developmental advantages. At the same time it has been realised that delivering electricity in the rural areas, particularly to poor, is a hard task and requires establishment of effective institutions and delivery mechanisms. If not properly planned, highly subsidised rural electrification programmes may end up in drain of resources and damaging impacts on the utilities. These challenges are probably better illustrated in the Indian case, where half of the population still living in dark. In recent years, centralised planning and resource allocation, which used to be the governing principle for development, has been blamed for the failure. As a response to the perceived failure of top-down centralised planning and implementation, bottom-up decentralised participatory models have been proposed by international development organisations. The bottom-up model proposed for electric service delivery seek to involve the users in the delivery process through building micro-institutions and empowering them to plan, manage, monitor, and own the local service delivery mechanism. The proposed model marks the beginning of a new paradigm for electricity service delivery that relies on the users and their democratic capabilities. In this context, this study, drawing on experiences in two cases in Eastern India, analyses the potentials of decentralised participatory model of electricity delivery. It provides an empirical analysis of how and to what extent decentralisation and users’ participation in electricity delivery contributes to efficiency and effectiveness gain in electricity supply system. Moreover, building on participatory democracy, the study analyses the empowering effects of participation in electricity users associations. It concludes that decentralisation and users’ participation has significant contributions to electricity service improvement. Yet, it identifies scope for improvement in the model and suggests some methods and approaches by which the model could be made more efficient and effective, and can produce real gains for the poor.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Participation, Democracy, Development, Public Service Delivery, Electricity, India
Academic Units: The University of York > Politics (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.572354
Depositing User: Mr Ashwini Swain
Date Deposited: 29 May 2013 13:56
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2016 13:02
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/3966

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