Vertical Synchronization in policy design and implementation for effective governance of rural water supply using Institutional Grammar
Home » IGRI Research Seminars » Vertical Synchronization in policy design and implementation for effective governance of rural water supply using Institutional Grammar
June 7, 2022
Seemi Waheed, University of Management and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan
This paper studies vertical synchronization between collective choice and operational level policy. Synchronicity between the two levels of policies lends effective and enduring governance of collective resource sustainability, particularly for peripheral rural water supply resources in developing countries. The collective choice level policy shape and structures operational day-to-day operations of the collective resource. The operational policy governs operations of rural water supply (RWS) which suffer neglect due to a lack of synchronicity between collective choice level policy and operational level policy among other reasons. Synchronicity in the study is defined as connectivity and oneness in policy design in terms of purpose, actors, actions, and implementation strategy. The participatory and collaborative implementation design at the operational level in rural areas is in use for almost three decades in Punjab, Pakistan. The collective choice level policy The Punjab Water Act was enacted as late as 2019. The Manual 2010 was designed and executed ten years after the RWS was handed over to community-based organizations. Institutional Grammar (1.0) embedded in the IAD framework and rule typologies was used to deconstruct the institutional statements of The Punjab Water Act 2019 and the Manual 2010 an operational level executive policy. From the two documents, 447 institutional statements were deconstructed syntactically as ADIBCO. Four elements, purpose, attributes, actions of attributes, and implementation strategy were compared. to see inter-design synchronicity necessary for collective action sustainability. Aggregation rules explain the joint, interdependent action of actors. These rules are also understood as participatory and collaborative implementation strategies adopted at the operational level. Parsing institutional statements was followed by interviews with senior and operational staff of PHED and Irrigation Department, focusing on two questions: Why and how synchronicity is necessary? How do the roles and responsibilities in the two policies synchronize? and what are the effects of The Punjab Water Act 2019 on the implementation of RWS? The inter-design configural comparison of purpose, attribute, the aim and aggregation rules, and interview results show less synchronicity between the collective choice level policy and operational policy. It is argued that for effective governance inter-design policy synchronicity among other factors is necessary. Political and administrative will is needed for creating synchronicity and enduring governance of RWS, among other factors. This research leads to two future research questions: 1. Conceptual and theoretical elaboration in ‘policy synchronicity’, and 2. In the absence of synchronicity, how does operational policy effectively and sustainably govern collective resources?
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