Determinants of Success in Community Self-Help Projects: The Case of the Kumbo Water Supply Scheme in Cameroon

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The article examines the community self-help water supply scheme of Kumbo (Nso), Cameroon, with a view to identifying and analysing the factors that have contributed to its success. The success construct is defined along four principal dimensions: 'internal project objects', 'benefits to customers', 'direct contribution to the medium term' and 'future opportunity in the long term'. Evidence suggests that the following factors account for the positive results registered by the project on almost all of these dimensions: a minimum of uncertainty, community awareness and participation, external connection, internal political influence, community cohesion and unity, good timing, competent leadership, stock of human asset and sense of ownership. Future research endeavours will do well to identify factors accounting for the success of similar projects in different settings.

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International Development Planning Review, v. 28, issue 3, p. 381-406