This research seeks to analyse how decentralization affects water provision in Peru. Thus, it focuses on the variety of governance arrangements of responsibility between local and national entities that exist in the sector, and its relationship with service delivery outcomes. The research question then is: ‘How decentralization influence service delivery performance for water supply in Peru?’. As part of the study, a conceptual frame was developed as a product of a literature review on the variables that influence decentralization outcomes, that proposes ten variables categorised between institutional, social and organizational factors. Then, a multiple-case study was developed, that analysed the structures for water provision in the provinces of Oyon, Cusco, and Chincha. While primary qualitative data was the main source for the study, secondary data as documents, reports, and statistical data completed the information. For developing the analysis, first, the decentralization processes were analysed under the concepts of devolution, delegation, and deconcentration. Later, the proposed conceptual framework was contrasted with the cases. This analysis has led to identifying the diversity within the governance arrangements that exits in Peru and the relevance and implications this has for service delivery. First the cases show that there are no perfect representations of the categories, displaying hybrid characteristics, but also representing devolution, delegation and deconcentration in reality. This diversity coexists in the water supply sector in Peru. Then, while there are shared obstacles, decentralization types require different mechanisms to improve. For a service devolved, the political framework and environment will be considerable factors for decision-making. For the intermediate scenery of delegation local human resources can be crucial to define the level of actual independence local entities can have and the improvements they can generate. Lastly, deconcentrated structures for service provision rely on their regulatory structure, which makes its improvement depend on central government capacity to understand local settings. Despite this, for the three cases agency and policy entrepreneurship were present, which are not collected in the conceptual framework. Lastly, context will be relevant for the way decentralization fits reality and generates its outcomes.

decentralization, service delivery, water supply
Mukhtarov, Farhad
Governance and Development Policy (GDP)
International Institute of Social Studies

Manga Cambría, Naira Romina Aimeé. (2019, December 20). Decentralization and now what? Analysing governance arrangements and service delivery performance in the water supply sector in Peru. Governance and Development Policy (GDP). Retrieved from