Democratizing Water Governance from the Grassroots: The Development of Interjuntas-Chimborazo in the Ecuadorian Andes

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Abstract

Making water management more democratic through the participation of water users, while crucially including the poor, has often proven elusive in practice. Through an in-depth case study, this article analyzes how the provincial water users federation Interjuntas-Chimborazo was consolidated in the Ecuadorian Andes. The case illustrates the critical role external actors can play in the consolidation of federative organizations through methodological design, facilitation, and financial and logistical support to local societal actors. In turn, such federations can effectively promote social democracy. As a new societal actor, the federation Interjuntas-Chimborazo now struggles for voice, representation, and inclusion of the marginalized water users. They participate in formal state-dominated institutional arrangements of stakeholder participation. Yet, more importantly, they also push their claims by tilting established power relations through other means such as protests, mobilizations, lobbying, and negotiations. The development of this federation brings to the fore important lessons on federative organizations, the role of external actors, and participation in water governance
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-86
JournalHuman Organization
Volume71
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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Keywords

  • river-basin management
  • indigenous movements
  • latin-america
  • south-africa
  • politics
  • mexico
  • democracy
  • rights
  • organizations
  • model

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