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Investigating the implementation of and accountability in PPPs: a case study in public water management

Jean Claude Mutiganda (School of Business and Economics, Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland) (Department of Accounting, University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden)
Matti Skoog (School of Business and Economics, Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland)
Guiseppe Grossi (Nord University, Bodø, Norway)

Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies

ISSN: 2042-1168

Article publication date: 11 August 2020



This study analyses how the implementation of PPPs to operate rural water infrastructures and deliver water to local population has led to a new accountability archetype.


The archetype theory is used to analyse the process of implementing PPPs as a new archetype and setting up systems and structures of accountability between contracting parties. The empirical part of the study is based on extensive document analysis in an East African country. Documents analysed are from governmental sources, UNICEF and the World Bank and cover a period from 1998 to early 2019.


The process of implementing PPPs was revolutionary at the national level and evolutionary at micro levels. The sequence of the change process moved from central to peripheral. The linearity followed a reorientation track strategy. Setting up systems and structure of accountability was evolutionary, peripheral to central following the reorientation strategy. National authorities reacted proactively to comments and suggestions from international donors and local population. However, not all districts have fully implemented PPPs in their rural water sector. The structure of accountability at the local level, however, still suffers from logistical and professional capacity constraints.

Research limitations/implications

Empirical findings cannot be generalised to other situations, but the theoretical framework used in this study can be applied elsewhere.

Practical implications

Giving priority to hearing from end users themselves before designing and implementing policies that intend to respond to specific local needs is recommended.


This study explains the ways in which micro-organisational change can lead to revolutionary archetypes such as PPPs, whereas the implementation of systems and the structure of accountability at inter-organisational level remain evolutionary.



Mutiganda, J.C., Skoog, M. and Grossi, G. (2020), "Investigating the implementation of and accountability in PPPs: a case study in public water management", Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies, Vol. 11 No. 1, pp. 122-146.



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