Rendering local commons sustainable : an informal water and sanitation context

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Adonis & Abbey Publishers Ltd
Governing common property suggests that strict governance systems be put in place to sustainably and resiliently ensure that institutions have a long-standing tenure. The outcomes of each institution vary depending on the collective action bestowed and the local arrangements. The action is highly dependent on the rational choice of the community actors, who strategically choose to see that their cooperative behaviours will act to the advantage of their common property. This can only occur in a climate of trust and reciprocity in polycentric systems which are self-governed. This paper suggests using Ostrom’s design principles to govern local, human-made common property and further proposes the features that make for resilient informal systems. This theory is tested using an informal water and sanitation system as well as reviewing literature from second generation scholars.