The Punjab Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) and community-based organizations (CBOs) collaboratively manage the rural water supply (RWS) system in Punjab, Pakistan since the mid-nineties. In a command-and-control administration, a collaborative approach to managing RWS is peculiar. The study addresses this gap by analyzing the relational behavior as a monitoring and enforcement mechanism to ensure community compliance with government-produced institutions for managing RWS. Four focus group interviews were conducted with the CBO members and the survey of households from the same villages. Using the partial-least square structural equation model (PLS-SEM), the mediating influence of frequent communication, commitment of users, and shared meaning on community compliance with institutions was analyzed. The integrated results from the two methods imply that trained CBOs better self-organize, as they communicate frequently with the community members. It is recommended that for the sustainability of the RWS system, regular government support for CBOs underscores the success of collaborative collective action, though trained CBOs better manage RWS in weak monitoring by the government.

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