Skip to main content

Rethinking the economics of rural water in Africa

Rural Africa lags behind global progress to provide safe drinking water to everyone. Decades of effort and billions of dollars of investment have yielded modest gains, with high but avoidable health and economic costs borne by over 300m people lacking basic water access. We explore why rural water is different for communities, schools, and healthcare facilities across characteristics of scale, institutions, demand, and finance. The findings conclude with policy recommendations to (i) network rural services at scale, (ii) unlock rural payments by creating value, and (iii) design and test performance-based funding models at national and regional scales, with an ambition to eliminate the need for future, sustainable development goals. [author abstract]

TitleRethinking the economics of rural water in Africa
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsHope, R., Thomson, P., Koehler, J., Foster, T.
Secondary TitleOxford review of economic policy
Volume36
Issue1
Pagination171- 190 : 2 fig.
Date Published01/2020
Publication LanguageEnglish
Abstract

Rural Africa lags behind global progress to provide safe drinking water to everyone. Decades of effort and billions of dollars of investment have yielded modest gains, with high but avoidable health and economic costs borne by over 300m people lacking basic water access. We explore why rural water is different for communities, schools, and healthcare facilities across characteristics of scale, institutions, demand, and finance. The findings conclude with policy recommendations to (i) network rural services at scale, (ii) unlock rural payments by creating value, and (iii) design and test performance-based funding models at national and regional scales, with an ambition to eliminate the need for future, sustainable development goals. [author abstract]

Notes

Includes 51 ref.

DOI10.1093/oxrep/grz036
Short TitleOxford Review of Economic Policy