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Banerjee, Sudeshna

Energy Unit, Sustainable Energy Department, World Bank
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Fields of Specialization
Infrastructure economics; energy access; monitoring and evaluation
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Energy Unit, Sustainable Energy Department, World Bank
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Last updated: January 31, 2023
Biography
Sudeshna Banerjee is a Senior Economist in the Sustainable Energy Department of the World Bank. She has worked on energy and infrastructure issues in the South Asia and Africa departments in both operations and analytic assignments.  She focuses on project economics, monitoring and evaluation, and on a broad range of energy sector issues including energy access, energy subsidies, renewable energy, and sector assessments.  Ms. Banerjee holds a Ph.D in Public Policy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and M.A. and B.A. degrees in Economics from Delhi University.
Citations 8 Scopus

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Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
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Cost Recovery, Equity, and Efficiency in Water Tariffs : Evidence from African Utilities

2010-07-01, Banerjee, Sudeshna, Foster, Vivien, Wodon, Quentin

Water and sanitation utilities in Africa operate in a high-cost environment. They also have a mandate to at least partially recover their costs of operations and maintenance (O&M). As a result, water tariffs are higher than in other regions of the world. The increasing block tariff (IBT) is the most common tariff structure in Africa. Most African utilities are able to achieve O&M cost recovery at the highest block tariffs, but not at the first-block tariffs, which are designed to provide affordable water to low-volume consumers, who are often poor. At the same time, few utilities can recover even a small part of their capital costs, even in the highest tariff blocks. Unfortunately, the equity objectives of the IBT structure are not met in many countries. The subsidy to the lowest tariff-block does not benefit the poor exclusively, and the minimum consumption charge is often burdensome for the poorest customers. Many poor households cannot even afford a connection to the piped water network. This can be a significant barrier to expansion for utilities. Therefore, many countries have begun to subsidize household connections. For many households, standposts managed by utilities, donors, or private operators have emerged as an alternative to piped water. Those managed by utilities or that supply utility water are expected to use the formal utility tariffs, which are kept low to make water affordable for low-income households. The price for water that is resold through informal channels, however, is much more expensive than piped water.

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Africa's Water and Sanitation Infrastructure : Access, Affordability, and Alternatives

2011-03-09, Banerjee, Sudeshna Ghosh, Morella, Elvira, Foster, Vivien, Briceño-Garmendia, Cecilia

The Africa Infrastructure Country Diagnostic (AICD) has produced continent-wide analysis of many aspects of Africa's infrastructure challenge. The main findings were synthesized in a flagship report titled Africa's Infrastructure: a time for transformation, published in November 2009. Meant for policy makers, that report necessarily focused on the high-level conclusions. It attracted widespread media coverage feeding directly into discussions at the 2009 African Union Commission Heads of State Summit on Infrastructure. Although the flagship report served a valuable role in highlighting the main findings of the project, it could not do full justice to the richness of the data collected and technical analysis undertaken. There was clearly a need to make this more detailed material available to a wider audience of infrastructure practitioners. Hence the idea of producing four technical monographs, such as this one, to provide detailed results on each of the major infrastructure sectors, information and communication technologies (ICT), power, transport, and water, as companions to the flagship report. These technical volumes are intended as reference books on each of the infrastructure sectors. They cover all aspects of the AICD project relevant to each sector, including sector performance, gaps in financing and efficiency, and estimates of the need for additional spending on investment, operations, and maintenance. Each volume also comes with a detailed data appendix, providing easy access to all the relevant infrastructure indicators at the country level, which is a resource in and of itself.

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"Learning by Dining" : Informal Networks and Productivity in Mexican Industry

2002-02, Lall, Somik V., Ghosh, Sudeshna

The authors analyze the determinants of firm productivity in a group of Mexican firms. In particular, they test the contribution of external factors such as trade and knowledge diffusion, the availability of infrastructure, informal knowledge exchange, competitive environment, and business regulatory climate. The authors find that one factor consistently emerges as an important proximate source of productivity-access to informal networks. Interaction in the form of "business lunches" with local buyers and suppliers, competitors, government officials, and other professionals have a significant and positive effect on a firm's productivity. Access to regulators and agents of backward and forward linkages are important in settings where information on business practices and regulations is not publicly disclosed. The results complement predictions of traditional growth theory-in addition to technology and learning being the driving force of firm productivity, proximity to influential individuals who can grant favors or provide information advantage on business and trade practices have significant productivity impacts.

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Africa - Ebbing Water, Surging Deficits : Urban Water Supply in Sub-Saharan Africa

2008-06, Banerjee, Sudeshna, Foster, Vivien, Morella, Elvira

With only 56 percent of the population enjoying access to safe water, Sub-Saharan Africa lags behind other regions in terms of access to improved water sources. Based on present trends, it appears that the region is unlikely to meet the target of 75 percent access to improved water by 2015, as specified in the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). The welfare implications of safe water cannot be overstated. The estimated health and time-saving benefits of meeting the MDG goal are about 11 times as high as the associated costs. Monitoring the progress of infrastructure sectors such as water supply has been a significant by-product of the MDG, and serious attention and funding have been devoted in recent years to developing systems for monitoring and evaluating in developing countries. Piped water reaches more urban Africans than any other form of water supply-but not as large a share as it did in the early 1990s. The most recent available data for 32 countries suggests that some 39 percent of the urban population of Sub-Saharan Africa is connected to a piped network, compared with 50 percent in the early 1990s. Analysis suggests that the majority of those who lack access to utility water live too far away from the distribution network, although some fail to connect even when they live close by. Water-sector institutions follow no consistent pattern in Sub-Saharan Africa. Where service is centralized, a significant minority has chosen to combine power and water services into a single national multi-utility urban water sector reforms were carried out in the 1990s, with the aim of creating commercially oriented utilities and bringing the sector under formal regulation. One goal of the reforms was to attract private participation in the sector.

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Provision of Water to the Poor in Africa : Experience with Water Standposts and the Informal Water Sector

2010-07-01, Keener, Sarah, Luengo, Manuel, Banerjee, Sudeshna

Standpipes that dispense water from utilities are the most common alternatives to piped water connections for poor customers in the cities of Sub-Saharan Africa. Fifty-five percent of the unconnected urban population relies on standpipes as their first water source. Other informal water providers include household resellers and a variety of water tankers and vendors, which are the first water source of 1 percent and 3 percent of the urban population, respectively. In the cities studied, the percentage of unconnected households ranges from 12 percent to 86 percent of the population. The percentage of unconnected people covered by standpipes is substantially higher for countries with higher rates of household connection, while the percentage of unconnected people covered by water tankers or water vendors is higher for countries with lower rates of household connection. Water prices in the informal market are much higher than for households with private connections or yard taps. Although standpipes are heavily subsidized by utilities, the prices charged by standpipe operators are closely related to the informal water reseller price. Standpipe management models also affect the informal price of water. For example, the shift from utilities management to delegated management models without complementary regulation or consumer information has often led to declines in service levels and increased prices. Standpipes are not the only or even the most efficient solution in peri-urban areas. Programs that promote private household connections and arrangements that improve pricing and services in the household resale market should also be considered by policy makers.

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Access, Affordability, and Alternatives : Modern Infrastructure Services in Africa

2008-02, Banerjee, Sudeshna, Wodon, Quentin, Uddin, Helal, Tsimpo, Clarence, Foster, Vivien

Africa lags well behind other developing regions in infrastructure access. The limited gains of the 1990s have not increased much in the 2000s. There is clear evidence that many countries are failing to expand services fast enough to keep ahead of rapid demographic growth and even faster urbanization. As a result, if present trends continue, Africa is likely to lag even further behind other developing regions, and universal access will be more than 50 years away in many countries. However, there is variation in performance across countries, even within the low and middle income brackets. A significant number of countries have succeeded in increasing the number of people who have access to water, electricity, and sanitation, by an annual average of 5-10 percent. Further investigation is warranted to explain what determines the superior performance of these countries.

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Measuring Trends in Access to Modern Infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa : Results from Demographic and Health Surveys

2007-10, Banerjee, Sudeshna, Wodon, Quentin

A recent study for sub-Saharan Africa by Banerjee et al. (2007) uses Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) from 22 countries that have conducted at least two such surveys between 1990 and 2005 in order to collect comparable information across countries on access to modern and alternative infrastructure services over time. In addition to national, urban, and rural trends in access, the study includes a distributional analysis of how access rates have evolved since 1990. That is, households are divided into five quintiles of population according to their level of wealth, with wealth defined using a principal components analysis. The objective of this note is to provide a summary of key findings from the study regarding access trends to electricity, piped water, flush toilets, and landline telephones over the period 1990-2005.

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Trends in Household Coverage of Modern Infrastructure Services in Africa

2009-03-01, Banerjee, Sudeshna, Foster, Vivien, Wodon, Quentin

Household surveys have long been used to estimate poverty and inequality trends, as well as trends in education and health indicators, but they have not been used to the same extent to assess trends in the access to or coverage of modern infrastructure services. In this paper, we use Demographic and Health Surveys from a larger sample of sub-Saharan African countries in order to collect comparable information across countries on coverage of piped water, flush toilets, electricity, and landline telephones over time. The results suggest that coverage rates for electricity, flush toilets have improved slightly over the last decade. Coverage of piped water has declined, at the same time as coverage of landline (as well as cellular) telephone has increased rapidly. The decline has been primarily in the urban areas while the infrastructure coverage has either increased or remained stable in rural Africa. For all four services, among the poorest households coverage remains virtually inexistent. If business as usual continues, it would take a very long time to reach universal or widely shared coverage even in countries where coverage has improved. These results point to the need to increase efforts by governments and international community to progressively increase access to modern infrastructure services in Africa.