A better understanding of a county’s political and social processes and entities that determine the extent and nature of investments in sanitation could catalyze a sharp increase in numbers of people with access, especially for the poor, according to a new report released by the World Bank and the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP).
Recent World Bank research shows that the current limited focus on sanitation is driven largely by political motivation in the context of competing demands for resources, and to a lesser extent by technical or economic considerations.
Based on an analysis of experiences in Brazil, India, Indonesia, and Senegal, The Political Economy of Sanitation, proposes an approach to address the political economy of sanitation in a given country in order to more effectively advocate with policy makers to invest more and to better target services for poor people.
Some key lessons from the report for sanitation practitioners:
- The case studies show that understanding the political economy of sanitation investment provides the basis for adequate timing, tailoring, and location of investment and operations.
- Donors and international institutions have successfully used their comparative advantage in providing timely and rigorous analysis to inform pro-poor sanitation investments.
- Strengthening accountability in the delivery and accessibility of sanitation services is a vital element in the successful management of the political economy of sanitation investments.
- Wider participation and clear communication of key issues are two important tools to address the power of vested interests that neglect the needs of the poor in sanitation investment and services provision.
Watch a recording of the session, Levers of Change in Sanitation from World Bank Water Days which discusses the report with a view to increasing sanitation investments in general, and services for the poor in particular.
Source: WSP, Feb 2011