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ABSTRACT. This paper reports on a process that was undertaken between October 2010 and May 2011 to assess how well the River Basin Organization (RBO) presiding over the Limpopo river basin in Zimbabwe, was fulfilling its mandate. A study was undertaken to assess the relevance and applicability of performance indicators through an iterative and interactive process. The process started by identifying the stipulated water management functions and the associated preliminary indicators, which were later refined into provisional and final indicators. Process rather than output indicators were found to be appropriate because of the embryonic stage at which the RBO was at. In general performance indicators were found to be relevant in the basin. However, their effective application depended on taking due account of the national and basin level context. The paper concludes that the process leading to the identification of indicators was more important than the indicators per se as it provided an opportunity for stakeholder engagement on important issues. pp. 39–66
JEL Classification: L95, Q25, Q53, O32

Keywords: River Basin Organization, performance management, 
performance indicators, Limpopo river basin, Zimbabwe

EMMANUEL MANZUNGU
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Department of Soil Science and Agricultural
Engineering,
University of Zimbabwe
VUPENYU DZINGIRAI
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Centre for Applied Social Sciences, University of
Zimbabwe
PHANUEL NCUBE
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Mzingwane Catchment Council
TOMMY ROSEN
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Zimbabwe National Water Authority
THULANI SIBANDA
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Zimbabwe National Water Authority
CHARLES SAKUHUNI
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Zimbabwe National Water Authority

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