Experimental Games for Strengthening Collective Action: Learning from Field Experiments in India and Colombia

The need for collective action to manage shared water resources is clear. Field experiments are increasingly used to measure collective action and test theories about behavior regarding common pool resources. This research tests whether experimental games can also be used to strengthen water management in India and Colombia. It will compare results of games to observed levels of collective action, and identify factors affecting the level of current cooperation as well as outcomes for the resource, then test whether the games and subsequent community discussions strengthen cooperation for water management. Documenting the methods and working with a large NGO will increase capacity to strengthen collective action at the local level.