Article II. Using attributes of good governance to advance the common interest for rural drinking water management in Costa Rica
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Sustainability of drinking water resources is a growing global concern and most threats to these resources are more about governance than the resources themselves. Despite many improvements in recent decades, the quality and quantity of drinking water resources in rural Costa Rican communities face significant uncertainties and growing challenges. In addition, failure of current governance processes and resulting management practices to achieve goals of stakeholders in both rural communities and government agencies poses risks to drinking water resources. In this paper, I use problem orientation of the policy sciences to understand rural drinking water problems in Costa Rica. I then use the normative attributes of good governance from various bodies of literature as a lens to analyze multiple stakeholders’ perspectives and identify alternatives to achieve desired outcomes for rural drinking water governance with a focus on serving the common interest. This case study provides a policy analysis for practical application in a specific context, and presents a generalizable method for analyzing problems in any governance context. This method relies on integrating a problem-oriented approach to policy analysis with multiple perspectives about attributes of good governance to reveal potential opportunities to improve governance in the common interest and achieve policy goals.