The problem/ Purpose 

  1.  To determine whether social capital as it relates to trust influences the successful transfer of participatory and transparent governance technologies in the Colbeck Water Users Association in Old Harbour, Jamaica.
  2.  To determine whether greater success in the transfer of governance technology is related to stronger surrounding economy, and greater access to outside resources.

The results demonstrate that social capital, as it relates to generalized trust, through its positive statistical relationship with governance in the form of accountability, has lead to some degree of success in the transfer of governance technologies.

Access to External Resources has also influenced the successful transfer of governance technologies (as it relates to participatory awareness) in the development of the Colbeck Water User Associations

What we found out  

Government agencies involved in the devolution of responsibilities for common pool resources to civic groups must consider the element of trust and the part it plays in the development and implementation of appropriate governance mechanisms. Access to external resources are also  important to successful transfer of governance technologies to WUAs, and must be a part of any incentive programme as evidenced in the Jamaica NIDP, where WUA farmers are to receive irrigation infrastructure with long term arrangements for affordable repayment rates.

Additionally, Government agencies must also equip themselves with the requisite skills and knowledge regarding participatory governance, to guide the process and more importantly, to be effective facilitators of WUA development.

As the relationship between ‘greater success in the transfer of governance technology’ and stronger surrounding economy could not be statistically tested in this research, it is recommended that the influence of both these contextual variables (access to external resources and strength of surrounding economy) be subjects of another research which includes all the WUAs formed in different areas of Jamaica and provides for a larger respondent body.

About the author:  

Janet Bedasse, holds a Master’s degree in Natural Resource Management and has worked as a Development Consultant for twenty two (22) years.

For additional information regarding the research, contact the author via email


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