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Open AccessArticle

Impact of Institutional Features on the Overall Performance Assessment of Participatory Irrigation Management: Farmers’ Response from Pakistan

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Pakistan Agriculture Research Council, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan
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Department of Economics and International Business, Foreign Trade University, Hanoi 100000, Vietnam
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Institute of Agricultural & Resource Economics, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad 38040, Pakistan
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School of Public Policy, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad 45320, Pakistan
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US Pakistan Centre for Advanced Studies in Water, Mehran UET, Jamshoro 76090, Pakistan
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Department of Computer Science, Muhammad Nawaz Shareef University of Agriculture, Multan 66000, Pakistan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(2), 497; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12020497
Received: 15 November 2019 / Revised: 26 January 2020 / Accepted: 7 February 2020 / Published: 12 February 2020
The basic objective of the irrigation reforms, i.e., participatory irrigation management in Pakistan, was a better economic and financial management of irrigation service delivery, equity in water distribution, and better environmental outcome. The aim of this study was to assess the optimism with the reforms package that has actually delivered expected outcomes. For this purpose, this study used a cross-sectional dataset of 567 farmers in five selected Area Water Boards (AWBs) of Punjab and Sindh provinces of Pakistan. Important institutional features including compliance, adaptiveness, clarity of objectives, good interaction, and appropriate scale, were modeled through structural equation modeling on the overall performance assessment of water use associations from a farmer’s perspective. Results suggested that clear objectives, adaptiveness, scale, and compliance show a strong relationship with an overall assessment of performance. While good interaction has not impacted significantly with an overall performance assessment. The impact of institutional feature on the overall performance assessment depends on the nature of performance considered, e.g., drivers of the economic performance of a farmer organization may not be the same as the drivers of its environmental performance. Besides offering insights on specific drivers that matter for a particular dimension of the institutional performance of farmer organizations, the study suggests that participatory irrigation management institutions are still in infancy even after decades of their introduction, and just creating institutions is neither mandatory nor sufficient. Furthermore, the institutional designs are considered critical for the success of participatory institutions. Therefore, there is a need to consider the conformity of the strategies with the existing norms and compliance to the on-going procedures. View Full-Text
Keywords: participatory irrigation management; irrigation water; farmer’s compliance; structural equation modeling; the Indus River; Pakistan participatory irrigation management; irrigation water; farmer’s compliance; structural equation modeling; the Indus River; Pakistan
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Ahmad, B.; Pham, H.D.; Ashfaq, M.; Memon, J.A.; Bano, R.; Dahri, Z.H.; Mustafa, R.N.; Baig, I.A.; Naseer, M.A.R. Impact of Institutional Features on the Overall Performance Assessment of Participatory Irrigation Management: Farmers’ Response from Pakistan. Water 2020, 12, 497.

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