Borja-Vega, Christian

Global Practice on Water
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Last updated: May 21, 2024
Christian Borja-Vega is an Economist in the World Bank’s Global Water Practice with 10 years of experience in development organizations. His experience in the Bank focuses on sector’s operations and economic analysis. He also was sector’s program coordinator of the Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund (SIEF) where he managed Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Impact Evaluations in Africa, Latin America and East Asia Regions. Prior to working in the World Bank, he held positions as research analyst at the Social Development Secretary in Mexico and the Mexican Health Foundation. Christian has co-authored several publications in academic and policy journals, as well as in specialized magazines and newspapers. He earned a B.A. of Economics at ITESM in Mexico, a Master in Public Policy at the University of Chicago, and he is a PhD Candidate in Civil Engineering at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. 

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 9 of 9
  • Publication
    Water for Shared Prosperity
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-05-21) Zhang, Fan; Borja-Vega, Christian
    In 1997, thousands of people gathered in Marrakesh, Morocco, for the first World Water Forum to address an urgent problem: the global water crisis. The meeting resulted in the Marrakech Declaration, a pledge that called on the World Water Council to develop a “World Water Vision” for the 21st century. In 2024, thousands are convening in Bali, Indonesia, for the 10th World Water Forum. Indonesia and Morocco are worlds apart in many ways. As the world’s largest archipelago, Indonesia is surrounded by water. On the other hand, Morocco is partly occupied by the Sahara, the world’s largest hot desert. However, one reality these (and many other) countries share is water stress. The 10th World Water Forum is an invitation to consider the collective water issues in countries as different as Indonesia and Morocco and to draw parallels among them. But it is also about finding solutions This report makes three major contributions. It (1) provides a conceptual framework to illustrate the relationship between water and shared prosperity; (2) presents new empirical evidence on the drivers, extent and costs of inequalities in water access, as well as disparities in the impacts of climate-related water shocks; and (3) identifies policy responses to improve water access, strengthen climate resilience, and promote shared prosperity on a livable planet.
  • Publication
    Doing More with Less: Smarter Subsidies for Water Supply and Sanitation
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-08-28) Andres, Luis A.; Lombana Cordoba, Camilo; Danilenko, Alexander V.; Joseph, George; Borja-Vega, Christian
    This report explores how scarce public resources can be used most effectively to achieve universal delivery of water supply and sanitation services. It analyzes the prevalence and performance of subsidies in the sector, then guide policymakers on improving subsidy design and implementation to improve their efficacy and efficiency in attaining their objectives.
  • Publication
    A Brief Summary of Global WASH Interventions
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-05) Andres, Luis; Borja-Vega, Christian; De Jesus Filho, Jaime
    WASH practitioners and decision-makers lack evidence on the wider health and social effects of WASHinterventions needed to create a paradigm shift in the sector. A global overview and meta-analysis on the effects of different WASH interventions on different health and socioeconomic outcomes was undertaken. The results of this analysis show that evaluations of WASH interventions continue to focus predominantly on reducing diarrheal disease and there is a strong need for larger, more rigorously designed studies covering a broader scope of outcome effects. Similarly, there is a need for greater geographical representation and finally, well-trained implementing agencies to achieve the desired results.
  • Publication
    Overview and Meta-Analysis of Global Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Impact Evaluations
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-05) Fenwick, Crystal; Andres, Luis; de Jesus Filho, Jaime; Borja-Vega, Christian; Gomez-Suarez, Ronald
    This paper presents an overview and meta-analysis of the effects of water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions around the world. It is based on 136 impact evaluations (randomized and quasi-experimental studies) that explore the effects of water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions on health and non-health outcomes, ranging from behavior change -- such as the adoption of water treatment -- to school attendance rates, to a reduction in diarrhea. The selected impact evaluations were divided into five groups, and meta-regressions with fixed effects (at the regional level) and random effects were performed, controlling for each study's characteristics (implementing organization, sample sizes, type of publication, number of publication views, and so forth). All results are reported as changes in odds ratios, with respect to the standard deviation of reported effects. Water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions were found to increase the likelihood of behavior changes and the adoption of new hygiene practices by 17 percent. The smallest effects were observed from water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions aimed at reducing the rates of child mortality and non-diarrheal disease. Water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions implemented in schools showed statistically significant results in reducing school absenteeism and dropouts. Similarly, the results showed a statistically significant aggregate likelihood of increased access to safe water and improved water quality, as well as increased water treatment options -- a difference of one-fifth with respect to the standard deviation of the average effect size reported. Finally, the results showed that water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions reduced the likelihood of the incidence of diarrheal and enteric disease by 13 percent, which is consistent with findings in other meta-analyses of the same subject.
  • Publication
    Innovations in WASH Impact Measures: Water and Sanitation Measurement Technologies and Practices to Inform the Sustainable Development Goals
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2018) Thomas, Evan; Andrés, Luis Alberto; Borja-Vega, Christian; Sturzenegger, Germán; Thomas, Evan; Andrés, Luis Alberto; Borja-Vega, Christian; Sturzenegger, Germán; Barstow, Christina; Boateng, Kwasi; Clasen, Thomas; Fankhauser, Katie; Loughnan, Libbet; Slaymaker, Tom; Turman-Bryant, Nick
    The new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development includes water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) at its core. A dedicated Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6) declares a commitment to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.” Monitoring progress toward this goal will be challenging: direct measures of water and sanitation service quality and use are either expensive or elusive. However, reliance on household surveys poses limitations and likely overstated progress during the Millennium Development Goal period. In Innovations in WASH Impact Measures: Water and Sanitation Measurement Technologies and Practices to Inform the Sustainable Development Goals, we review the landscape of proven and emerging technologies, methods, and approaches that can support and improve on the WASH indicators proposed for SDG target 6.1, “by 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all,” and target 6.2, “by 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations.” Although some of these technologies and methods are readily available, other promising approaches require further field evaluation and cost reductions. Emergent technologies, methods, and data-sharing platforms are increasingly aligned with program impact monitoring. Improved monitoring of water and sanitation interventions may allow more cost-effective and measurable results. In many cases, technologies and methods allow more complete and impartial data in time to allow program improvements. Of the myriad monitoring and evaluation methods, each has its own advantages and limitations. Surveys, ethnographies, and direct observation give context to more continuous and objective electronic sensor data. Overall, combined methodologies can provide a more comprehensive and instructive depiction of WASH usage and help the international development community measure our progress toward reaching the SDG WASH goals.
  • Publication
    Increasing the Sustainability of Rural Water Service: Findings from the Impact Evaluation Baseline Survey in Nicaragua
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-12) Gruber, Joshua; Borja-Vega, Christian; Spevack, Alexander
    evaluation that aims to measure the causal impact of a large-scale rural water supply and services program (PROSASR) in Nicaragua. The overall objective of the evaluation is to assess the causal impact of the provision of technical assistance packages on improvements in the functionality and durability of water systems in rural Nicaraguan communities. Prior to the implementation of the intervention, baseline data were gathered to assess the current levels of functionality and durability of water supply and sanitation (WSS) services, organizational structure and preparedness of WSS system providers, and rural communities and households served by rural water systems. Baseline results suggest that randomized program assignment at the community level resulted in balanced characteristics between treatment and control groups. In a secondary exploratory analysis, community, household, and system indicators were used to identify key determinants of the sustainability of rural water systems. These results will help determine the roadmap for constructing a consistent follow-up survey (2018) to conclude the evaluation and obtain practical policy and program recommendations to improve the program's effectiveness.
  • Publication
    Can Intense Exposure to Hand-Washing and Hygiene Information Campaigns Affect Children's Socio-Emotional Skills?: Evidence from Senegal
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-11) Borja-Vega, Christian; Garcia, Vicente
    Hygiene information and practices play a critical role in preventing diseases, particularly among children. Hygiene behaviors practiced in the household have been linked to development outcomes such as socio-emotional skills. This paper exploits data from impact evaluation surveys of a hygiene information campaign conducted in Senegal, where the randomized design suffered from contamination between comparison groups. The variations in exposure and intensity to hygiene information campaigns captured in the surveys were used to understand contamination biases. Such variations were interacted with the presence of household communication assets to explore potential effects on children’s socio-emotional scores. In the presence of contamination biases, the study exploited the longitudinal sample of children in the surveys to reduce time-dependent biases. For robustness, statistical matching was applied between the impact evaluation surveys and Demographic and Health Surveys conducted in 2008 and 2011. Socio-emotional outcomes were the imputed into Demographic and Health surveys to expand sample sizes. By applying matching techniques and imputing outcomes into a larger sample, impacts were non-negligible. Double-difference estimates showed that children’s socio-emotional scores were higher when intervention status was interacted with the presence of communication assets within households. Without the presence of communication assets in the households the impacts were close to zero. Evaluating the effect of hygiene campaigns on children’s socio-emotional skills is challenging because of the biases from contamination that exist when information flows between comparison groups. Targeted hygiene information to the poorest households is relevant for reducing risks of recurrent infections and enables better conditions for socio-emotional development of children.
  • Publication
    The Impact of Government Support on Firm R&D Investments : A Meta-Analysis
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-07) Correa, Paulo; Andrés, Luis; Borja-Vega, Christian
    This paper applies meta-analysis techniques to a sample of 37 studies published during 2004-2011. These papers assess the impact of direct subsidies on business research and development. The results show that the effect of public investment on research and development is predominantly positive and significant. Furthermore, public funds do not crowd out but incentivize firms to revert funds into research and development. The coefficient of additionality impacts on research and development ranges from 0.166 to 0.252, with reasonable confidence intervals at the 95 percent level. The results are highly sensitive to the method used. The high heterogeneity of precision is explained by the wide variety of methodologies used to estimate the impacts and paper characteristics.
  • Publication
    Municipal Vulnerability to Climate Change and Climate-Related Events in Mexico
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-04) Borja-Vega, Christian; de la Fuente, Alejandro
    A climate change vulnerability index in agriculture is presented at the municipal level in Mexico. Because the index is built with a multidimensional approach to vulnerability (exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity), it represents a tool for policy makers, academics and government alike to inform decisions about climate change resilience and regional variations within the country. The index entails baseline (2005) and prediction (2045) levels based on historic climate data and future-climate modeling. The results of the analysis suggest a wide variation in municipal vulnerability across the country at baseline and prediction points. The vulnerability index shows that highly vulnerable municipalities demonstrate higher climate extremes, which increases uncertainty for harvest periods, and for agricultural yields and outputs. The index shows at baseline that coastal areas host some of the most vulnerable municipalities to climate change in Mexico. However, it also shows that the Northwest and Central regions will likely experience the largest shifts in vulnerability between 2005 and 2045. Finally, vulnerability is found to vary according to specific variables: municipalities with higher vulnerability have more adverse socio-demographic conditions. With the vast municipal data available in Mexico, further sub-index estimations can lead to answers for specific policy and research questions.