World Bank WASH reports on gender, commercial finance & the WASH Poverty Diagnostic

Reducing Inequalities in Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene in the Era of the Sustainable Development Goals: Synthesis Report of the Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Poverty Diagnostic Initiative. World Bank, August 2017.

The Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Poverty Diagnostic Initiative focuses on what it would take to reduce existing inequalities in WASH services worldwide. This report, a synthesis of that global initiative, offers new insights on how data can be used to inform allocation decisions to reduce inequalities and prioritize investment in WASH to boost human capital. It also offers a fresh perspective on service delivery that considers how institutional arrangements affect the incentives of a range of actors.

Easing the Transition to Commercial Finance for Sustainable Water and Sanitation. World Bank, August 2017.

Providing sustainable water supply and sanitation (WSS) services in developing countries remains an immense, and increasingly urgent, challenge. Chapter two sets out how the sector is currently funded and why business as usual is insufficient for meeting WSS-related goals, covering the size of the investment gap, and the challenges presented by the status quo. Chapter three proposes a financing framework toward more effective use of existing funds to enable the mobilization of new sources of finance, and explains the benefits and costs of commercial finance. Chapters four to six detail the three components of the financing framework, providing practical advice and global experiences that demonstrate how countries can begin to make progress. Chapter seven summarizes how stakeholders can bring the three components together to mobilize commercial finance, and provides the main conclusions and recommendations of the report

The Rising Tide: A New Look at Water and Gender. World Bank, August 2017.

The report reviews a vast body of literature to present a “thinking device” that visualizes water as an asset, a service, and a “space.” It shows water an arena where gender relations play out in ways that often mirror inequalities between the sexes. And it examines norms and practices related to water that often exacerbate ingrained gender and other hierarchies. Informal institutions, taboos, rituals, and norms all play a part in maintaining these hierarchies and can even reinforce gender inequality. The report’s key message is clear—interventions in water-related domains are important in and of themselves and for enhancing gender equality more broadly. The report discusses examples of initiatives that have had intended and unintended consequences for gender equality, and makes the important point that gender inequality does not always show up where we might expect.

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