• Non-ICIMOD Publication

Local-level public goods and collective action

  • McCarthy, N.

In communities throughout the world people work together to provide goods and services that their governments do not provide.They build and maintain local parks, feeder roads, religious buildings, and community halls; they operate volunteer fire control groups and establish rules for local natural resource management. Sometimes local groups share responsibilities for maintaining public services, such as schools and health clinics, with their local or central governments.<br /> <br /> Not all communities, however, provide the optimal level of local public goods. Evidence shows that not only are some public goods provided more often than others, but also that some communities mobilize themselves more easily to provide them. Given the vital importance of public goods in providing basic services necessary for alleviating poverty and in managing the local natural resource base for sustainable development, this brief offers an approach to understanding the problems communities face in providing different kinds of public goods.

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    International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) 2020 Focus 11, Brief 4 of 16, February 2004: http://www.ifpri.org/2020/focus/focus11/focus11_04.pdf