Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



Uphoff Norman, Priti Ramamurthy, and Roy Steiner. Managing Irrigation: Analysing and Improving the Performance of Bureaucracies. New Delhi/Newbury Park/London: Sage Publications. 1991. Hardbound. Price not given.

The book; under review provides a valuable account of the issues and factors in managing the irrigation system, and presents a lucid and thorough discussion on the performance of the irrigation bureaucracies. It comprises two parts: the first outlines the factors affecting irrigation performance under a wide range of topics in the first five chapters. In Chapter One, the authors have attempted to assess the performance of the irrigation bureaucracies, conceptualise irrigation management issues, and build an empirical base for analysis while drawing upon the experience of ten country cases in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The Second Chapter focuses on the variations in the management structures identified and the types of irrigation systems; and it defines the variables of the management structures. The activities and objectives of irrigation management are discussed in Chapter Three. The objectives include: greater production and productivity of irrigation projects; improved water distribution; reduction in conflicts; greater resource mobilisation and a sustained system performance. The authors also highlight the performance criterion in this chapter. They identify about six contextual factors which affect the objectives and the performance of irrigation, which are discussed in detail in Chapter Four. In Chapter Five, some organisational variables, which would lead to improvements in irrigation, are examined.

Zakir Hussain

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