van den Berg, Caroline

Global Practice on Water
Profile Picture
Author Name Variants
Fields of Specialization
Water economics, Public finance, Monitoring and evaluation
Global Practice on Water
Externally Hosted Work
Contact Information
Last updated January 31, 2023
Caroline van den Berg is working as a Lead Water Economist in the World Bank’s Global Water Practice, focusing mostly on the economics of water supply, wastewater, sanitation and irrigation water services.  She has extensive experience in the preparation and implementation of investment and development policy operations, and in applied research projects – with a work experience that extends over more than 40 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.   She works on cost-benefit analysis, financial analysis, monitoring and evaluation, benchmarking of utilities, regulation and pricing, energy efficiency in water projects and public finance mostly in relation to the water sector.  She has published regularly in academic journals.  Prior to joining the World Bank, she was a research economist, financial analyst and project economist in the private sector. She earned her M.A. in macroeconomics from the Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands and a Ph.D. in spatial sciences from the University of Groningen (The Netherlands). 

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
  • Thumbnail Image
    Getting the Assumptions Right : Private Sector Participation Transaction Design and the Poor in Southwest Sri Lanka
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2006-10) van den Berg, Caroline ; Pattanayak, Subhrendu ; Yang, Jui-Chen ; Gunatilake, Herath
    The need for reform in urban water and sanitation service delivery is urgent. Countries are making moves to achieve reforms, bringing in changes to the way they manage utilities, charge for water, and regulate the sector. This paper investigates how a set of basic assumptions on service coverage, service levels, tariffs, and subsidies in the proposed transactions in southwest Sri Lanka held up against consumer preferences. This paper provides the background information and describes the main features of the survey data. The paper then discusses a set of features that were used in the initial transaction design. This is followed by information on the impact of the different household preferences on these transaction features, and what this means in term of redesigning these features to ensure that the transaction would be more pro-poor. Conclusions and policy recommendations follow in the final section of this report.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Understanding Demand When Reforming Water Supply and Sanitation : A Case Study from Sri Lanka
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008-06) van den Berg, Caroline ; Pattanayak, Subhrendu ; Yang, Jui-Chen ; Gunatilake, Herath
    Many countries are weighing urgent reforms to bring safe water supply and sanitation (WSS) services to hundreds of millions of poor city dwellers. Past reforms, unfortunately, have often ignored consumer preferences and perceptions, resulting in overly optimistic projections of the revenue potential of reform projects. When revenues fall short, private partners may seek to renegotiate their contract, resulting in tariff increases and other changes that increase project costs across the board. Such situations can undermine political commitment to reforms in general and to Private Sector Participation (PSP) in particular. Understanding consumers can help avoid such situations. Different groups of consumers have distinct preferences and perceptions that may influence their decisions about new water systems. Unfortunately, studies of consumers' water-related preferences are often deferred because collecting data takes time and costs money. Often there is pressure to complete reforms quickly sometimes to take advantage of a political opportunity so the necessary research is not done. In other cases, the challenge of increasing efficiency and improving governance may seem so daunting that the specific interventions required to make reform beneficial to the poor may be overlooked or consciously deferred.