Supporting Poor-Inclusive WSS Sector Reform

Objective: WSP will support poor-inclusive sector reform by working with national and  subnational governments to develop pro-poor policies, strategies, and plans to define  institutional arrangements, and to design and implement investment programs by providing  evidence-based knowledge for reforming outdated approaches. In FY12, WSP is broadly on track in terms of progress for improving enabling policy and regulatory frameworks and  enhancing government capacity at national and subnational levels.
Context: Weak policies and institutions lead to weak service standards, especially for the poor.  The provision of basic services, including safe water and sanitation, is a cornerstone of a  functional state. In many countries, however, there is a lack of clarity in institutional mandates,  structures, roles, and capacities to provide improved WSS services. 
Providing effective technical assistance on service sustainability must be tied to sector  governance and to overarching institutional and accountability frameworks. This focus on supporting policy reform and institutional capacity-building is increasingly important as reforms  in aid modalities, as well as economic growth, increase the resources channeled through government systems.
Economics of Sanitation Initiative
The Economics of Sanitation Initiative (ESI) was launched in  2007. The ESI initiative was introduced as a response by  WSP to address major gaps in evidence among developing  countries on the economic impacts of sanitation. The study is  the first of its kind to attribute dollar amounts to a country‘s losses from poor sanitation, and the public awareness  raised by ESI has turned out be an effective advocacy tool in spurring Governments to take action. In FY12, WSP continued the initiative with studies in Bangladesh, Pakistan and, 18 countries in Africa. These results were used by the Governments of  Bangladesh and Pakistan in all high-level meetings.The ESI India report was cited in the US House of Representatives in December 2011 during the introduction of the  bipartisan Water for the World Act of 2012, which aims  to  strengthen US foreign assistance in water and sanitation. Studies conducted in 18 African countries were also launched  across Africa in April 2012, in English and French, receiving widespread coverage in the international media.