Water Papers

183 items available

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Water Papers are produced by the Water Global Practice, taking up the work of the predecessor Water Unit, Transport, Water and ICT Department, Sustainable Development Vice Presidency.

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Reform and Finance for the Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Sector

2019-08, Goksu, Amanda, Bakalian, Alex, Kingdom, Bill, Saltiel, Gustavo, Mumssen, Yogita, Soppe, Gerard, Kolker, Joel, Delmon, Vicky

Since 2016 the World Bank has explored a wide range of country experiences in delivering better water supply and sanitation services. The analyses led to publication of three new global frameworks for designing water reforms: Policy, Institutional, and Regulatory Incentives, which looks at the broader sector enabling environment; Water Utility Turnaround Framework, which looks at utility-level reforms; and Maximizing Finance for Development, which looks at shifting the financing paradigm to reach the Sustainable Development Goals. The three frameworks—individually and as a compendium—set forth the key principles of a more holistic approach to reform that diverges from the traditional focus on infrastructure economics to a deeper understanding of the behavior of and between sector institutions and of the people within those institutions. Each country-specific reform path will gradually bring the sector to higher degrees of maturity with a strong focus on improving financial sustainability. This summary note integrates the three lines of work—utility reform, sector reform, and sector finance—for readers to understand the critical links between the three spheres. New contributions of this note are a Maturity Matrix for assessing where a country is in its reform process and where it wants to go and a Maturity Ladder that identifies typical actions to move from one stage of maturity to the next. Tools and references are also provided to help governments start on their reform path.

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Regulation of Water Supply and Sanitation in Bank Client Countries: A Fresh Look

2018-11, Mumssen, Yogita, Saltiel, Gustavo, Kingdom, Bill, Sadik, Norhan, Marques, Rui

This discussion paper supplements the 2018 World Bank Global Study on Aligning Institutions and Incentives for Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation (WSS), which promotes holistic approaches in shaping policies, institutions, and regulation. The paper examines how lower-, lower-middle-, and middle-income countries (LMICs) could implement more effective regulation to deliver sustainable WSS outcomes by considering political, legal, and institutional realities. Rather than importing “best practice” models, experience has emphasized the importance of developing “best fit” regulatory frameworks aligned with policy and institutional frameworks of LMICs. To this end, this discussion paper provides an overview of three regulatory aspects—objectives, forms, and functions—to support practitioners as they consider their own regulatory reform options. It discusses the objectives of water sector regulation in LMICs, types of regulatory arrangements and structures that are being used in LMICs, and instruments and methods that regulators in LMICs use to implement their mandated functions and ends with suggestions on where the WSS community goes from here to better understand the preconditions for effective regulation. This paper does not offer definitive conclusions but rather provides suggestions on the way forward through a phased approach to regulatory reform. Importantly, it sheds light on issues that warrant further investigation to determine the future of WSS regulation in LMICs.

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Aligning Institutions and Incentives for Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation Services

2018-05, Mumssen, Yogita, Saltiel, Gustavo, Kingdom, Bill

The objective of this study is to analyze how integrated policy, institutional, and regulatory interventions (institutional interventions in brief) can help align incentives for more sustainable water supply and sanitation (WSS) service delivery. The context for the study is the enhanced global concern about the sustainability of attempts to increase access to, and improve the quality of, WSS services, as exemplified in the sustainable development goals. Aligning institutional interventions refers to harmonization among the objectives for the sector, agreed principles established through political and social processes, and the organizations and mechanisms that implement actions based on such objectives and principles. This report focuses on the formal policy, institutional, and regulatory interventions available to and or prevalent in the water sector, recognizing the critical importance of the informal conventions that will be key factors in the success of any incentive regime. Previous global initiatives offered a range of promising technical solutions that often proved to be unsustainable. New thinking that draws not only infrastructure economics but also on the understanding of political, behavioral, and institutional economics is needed. This new thinking must be grounded within the differing contextual realities of countries globally and in lessons learned from what has or has not worked with regards to achieving specific objectives.