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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Water and sanitation institutions and governance: Impact on service provision in urban areas of low- and middle-income countries
by Manderino, Laurie Ann, Ph.D., University of Colorado at Denver, 2015, 318; 3739597
Abstract (Summary)

Rapid global urbanization over the last few decades has intensified the challenge of providing adequate water and sanitation services to urban residents. Meeting this challenge has been the focus of domestic and international development efforts, including Millennium Development Goal 7.C. This research studies three institutional and governance attributes theorized to improve government service outcomes, testing hypotheses that the attributes are associated with greater country progress on providing urban water and sanitation access. The attributes are: a) decentralized services; b) sector-wide strategy and investment coordination; and c) civil society engagement.

Country-level experience is analyzed using a series of ordered logistic regression models for a sample of 75 low- and middle-income countries. UN GLAAS survey data is used to derive country-specific variables for the three attributes. These, along with control variables representing country background conditions, are analyzed relative to four country progress outcome variables, two each for water and sanitation. The outcome variables, (covering the 2000 to 2012 time period), are derived from the UN JMP dataset that tracks urban access rates by country. Based on results from these models, four country case studies look in-depth at implementation of the attributes and highlight aspects that can help or impede country progress.

Overall, findings show that decentralization is helpful to sanitation progress, but not water progress, likely due limitations of capacity and funding faced by sub-national levels of government. Three explanations are proposed for why decentralization may impact water and sanitation differently. Results for sector planning were mostly inconclusive, except that it was shown helpful to water progress over the 12-year period. Study of this attribute would benefit from additional wide-scale data collection. Civil society engagement was consistently shown to help country progress in both water and sanitation, and several examples of engagement are profiled to demonstrate how it can improve service outcomes.

The last chapter relates findings to theories about government provision of public goods. The extent to which the three attributes help achieve efficiency, supply, equity, and social welfare goals is discussed. Finally, practical recommendations for strengthening sector institutions and governance are presented with application to governments and international aid donors.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Heikkila, Tanya
Commitee: Brett, John, Martell, Christine, Weible, Christopher
School: University of Colorado at Denver
Department: Public Affairs
School Location: United States -- Colorado
Source: DAI-A 77/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Water Resource Management, Public administration, Public policy, Urban planning
Keywords: Governance, Institutions, Public goods, Sanitation, Urbanization, Water
Publication Number: 3739597
ISBN: 978-1-339-30558-5
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