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PF4WASH at the 2015 UNC Water and Health Conference

Published on: 12/11/2015

Guy Norman (WSUP) summarises some of the interesting stuff presented in the public finance session at the 2015 UNC Water and Health Conference.

This blog was originally posted on the Public Finance for WASH website by Guy Norman.

I recently wrote a blog post around ways forward for urban sanitation research, following a session on this topic run by WSUP and BMGF at the UNC Water & Health Conference. Later in the same conference, we (that’s Catarina Fonseca and myself of the Public Finance for WASH initiative) organised a similar session around ways forward for public finance research. Here I summarise some of the interesting stuff presented in this session.

So... there is wide consensus that domestic government investment in WASH will be a critical factor, possibly the critical factor, in achieving genuine progress towards universal WASH over the SDG period. How can research support this? What types of research can genuinely impact on the amount and effectiveness of government investment? 

Again we approached this question by asking four leading researchers to come up with ideas for a research project that could to drive a massive increase in government investment in pro-poor WASH, within the lifespan of the project. We asked the researchers to assume a $5 million research budget over a 5- to 10-year period, and we requested that the research be situated in a single country. 

As I noted before, it’s a tall ask, of course: a research project that will drive “massive progress”. But if research can’t drive massive progress, or at least major progress… why do it?

To keep the audience on their toes, we gave them each $1 million hard cash, and asked them to allocate it to that project or those projects they thought would be most effective. With about 60 people in the room, there was a lot of (Monopoly) money sloshing around in there!

The rest of the blog can be read on the Public Finance for WASH website.

  Tanvi Nagpal, Jenna Davis, Clarissa Brocklehurst (here hatless hat) & Matt Freeman. [Photo: Patrick Moriarty, CEO & paparazzo]

Left to right: Tanvi Nagpal, Jenna Davis, Clarissa Brocklehurst (here hatless hat) & Matt Freeman. [Photo: Patrick Moriarty, CEO & paparazzo]

 

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