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Public-private community partnerships in infrastructure for the poor

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  • Richard Franceys

    (Cranfield University, Institute of Water and Environment, Bedford, UK)

  • Almud Weitz

    (Asian Development Bank, Philippines)

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    Abstract

    There is an urgent need to improve the delivery of water and environmental sanitation services to the urban poor in low and middle-income countries to protect health and to promote sustainable livelihoods. Conventional support to public providers through loans for capital investment linked to capacity building has not achieved the desired results. There is a growing awareness of the need for institutional reform to overcome the all too common failures if service to the poor is to reach an acceptable level. The urban poor in Asia typically represent one quarter to one half of a fast growing urban area's population often dwelling in unplanned areas without any security of tenure. A study was undertaken in ten Asian countries to investigate the roles of and interaction between the public sector, private entities and civil society in serving the urban poor with water supply, sanitation and solid waste management. Case studies, including focus group discussions with low-income slum residents, were undertaken by country-based researchers distributed over a spectrum of service type, country population, city size and institutional|contract type to investigate the benefits of infrastructure partnerships. Analysis of the 20 studies confirmed the limited ability of existing public entities to reach the poor. The essential need for some level of service provision was being met by a mixture of poor quality self-provision, by informal private entities often at high, unregulated prices, or by innovative civil society involvement experiencing difficulties in scaling-up. A number of the new public private approaches were found to be successfully reforming the direct public providers; however these were usually serving poor people only by default through the general improvement in performance. A very limited number of public private community partnerships with international operators were found to be dramatically improving service to some of the poor, with better quality at lower price, but often with long-term uncertainty over contractual stability. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of International Development.

    Volume (Year): 15 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 8 ()
    Pages: 1083-1098

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:15:y:2003:i:8:p:1083-1098

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    Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/5102/home

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    Cited by:
    1. Argentino Pessoa, 2008. "Public-private partnerships in developing countries: are infrastructures responding to the new ODA strategy?," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(3), pages 311-325.
    2. Ramani, Shyama & Mukherjee, Vivekananda, 2010. "CSR and market changing product innovations: Indian case studies," MERIT Working Papers 026, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    3. Ramani, Shyama V. & Thutupalli, Ajay & Medovarski, Tamas & Chattopadhyay, Sutapa & Ravichandran, Veena, 2013. "Women entrepreneurs in the informal economy: Is formalization the only solution for business sustainability?," MERIT Working Papers 018, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    4. VKaren Bakker, Michelle Kooy, Nur Endah Shofiani, and Ernst-Jan Martijn, 2006. "Disconnected: Poverty, Water Supply and Development in Jakarta, Indonesia," Human Development Occasional Papers (1992-2007) HDOCPA-2006-01, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
    5. Philippe Marin, 2009. "Public-Private Partnerships for Urban Water Utilities : A Review of Experiences in Developing Countries," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2703.
    6. Crow, Ben & Odaba, Edmond, 2010. "Access to water in a Nairobi slum: women's work and institutional learning," Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, Working Paper Series qt4xh4c7q4, Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz.
    7. Ramani, Shyama & SadreGhazi, Shuan & Duysters, Geert, 2010. "On the Delivery of Pro-Poor Innovations: Managerial Lessons from Sanitation Activists in India," MERIT Working Papers 018, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    8. Bakker, Karen & Kooy, Michelle & Shofiani, Nur Endah & Martijn, Ernst-Jan, 2008. "Governance Failure: Rethinking the Institutional Dimensions of Urban Water Supply to Poor Households," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 1891-1915, October.
    9. Crow, Ben & Odaba, Edmond, 2009. "Scarce, costly and uncertain: water access in Kibera, Nairobi," Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, Working Paper Series qt8c10s316, Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz.
    10. Crow, Ben D & Odaba, Edmond, 2010. "Access to water in a Nairobi slum: women’s work and institutional learning," Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, Working Paper Series qt7h52n89v, Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz.

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