"Workshops and seminars organized by WSP-SA provide excellent learning opportunities. I make it a point to try to attend all such WSP-SA events."
-- Col. (Retd.) Muhammad Shahbaz, Director General, Local Government Department, Punjab
WSP's South Asia sector reform agenda is designed to support governments in making services work for the poor. We recognize that limited budgetary resources are often improperly targeted, leading to subsidies for inefficient WSS service providers with the result that costs cannot be recovered. WSP-SA has carried out studies and assessments which clearly show the effects of poor targeting of investments and subsidies—deterioration in coverage and service levels, lack of sustainability of new investments, failure to keep up with population growth and the rapid pace of urbanization—and how the burden falls disproportionately on poor people.
To demonstrate more sustainable approaches, we organize workshops and study tours for participants from across the region to expose South Asian policy makers and utility managers to more robust fiscal mechanisms and best practices in water and sanitation utility reform and design. This advocacy has sparked demand for support to design sector reforms. We are working with governments and service providers to develop institutional approaches that will improve service to the poor by strengthening accountability to citizens, including utility benchmarking for urban water supply and sanitation, design and pilot implementation of a monitoring and evaluation system for rural water supply and sanitation, and establishing a network of community support organizations to facilitate exchanges on the subject of Voice and Client Power.
Across the region, WSP-SA has continued to support the move toward fiscal reforms that push for the decentralization and improved sustainability of rural water supply and sanitation interventions. We advocate for strategic communications as a reform tool to increase stakeholder understanding of the issues and stimulate government recognition of the need for reform.
For more information on the sector, please visit the World Bank's South Asia Region Water Website