Macro Implications of Micro-Participation:Participatory Management of Electricity Distribution in Eastern India Ashwini K Swain firstname.lastname@example.org IPPG PhD Workshop 3 March 2009
Research Context The Problem: • After six decades of public electrification, half of the population in India lives in dark. • The problem is growing worse as current rate of electrification has failed to keep pace with population growth. • Non-uniform and inefficient service delivery Source: • Centralised planning, resource allocation and implementation • Long route of accountability Proposed Solution: by putting poor people at the centre of service provision: by enabling them to monitor and discipline service providers, by amplifying their voice in policy making, and by strengthening the incentives for providers to serve the poor. (World Bank 2003: 1) • decentralisation and users’ participation through building micro-institutions
Research Questions • Can decentralisation and users’ participation ensure efficient and effective electricity service delivery in rural India? • Does participation in the micro-institutions has any democratic outcome? • Does the context, under which participation takes place, affect the outcomes? Hypotheses • Decentralisation and users’ participation in electricity delivery will contribute to improvement in efficiency and effectiveness of the service delivery. • Participation in the micro-institutions will enhance political efficacy of the participants and foster the civic values they hold. • The process of users’ participation and its outcomes will be affected by the context under which participation takes place.
Methodology: • Case study approach • Methods of data collection • Semi-structured interviews • Observations • Analysis of documents • Interpretative and qualitative analysis
Case Studies Micro-Privatisation of Electricity Distribution in Orissa: • First step, Village Electricity Committees were established to ensure participation of users • Second step, putting a micro-entrepreneur (franchisee) between the users’ committees and the service provider • Two patterns found: one, users’ committee and franchisee established (micro-privatisation); second, users’ committee established, but served by the utility (users’ participation) Electricity Cooperative in Sundarbans, West Bengal: • Each plant has a Beneficiary Committee including all the users served by the plant • Beneficiary committees and the local government (PanchayatSamiti) constitute the cooperative • WBREDA remains the guiding body
Inefficiencies in Electricity Delivery • Rampant Electricity Theft (Hooking, Meter tampering, Billing irregularities) • Lack of End-Use Efficiency (No use of energy efficient products, Lack of load management) • Low Revenue Realisation (Lack of willingness to pay, Irregular collection, Low collection efficiency) • High Technical Loss (Poor maintenance, Lack of manpower, Lack of funds) • Poor Quality of Supply (Load shedding, Breakdown, Low Voltage)
Ineffectiveness in Electricity Delivery • Poor Quality of Service: • Less access to service provider • High level of corruption • Low responsiveness of service provider 2. Low Access: • High initial cost • High cost of service (monthly bill) • Cumbersome procedure of application for connection
Conclusion and Suggestions • Putting poor people at the centre of service delivery can work • It will work best when both the users and the provider are given equal status It requires: • Formal legal status for the micro-institutions • Sharing of power and authority • Funding for their operation • Information sharing • Building a network of the micro-institutions • Special schemes with government subvention • Government funding for maintenance (till the utilities become financially viable)