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Sector reforms: lessons and challenges from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia

Published on: 19/12/2008

A paper commissioned by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, summarises critical water and sanitation sector reform implementation issues by drawing from recent experience in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. It was written by a group of policy advisors of the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), who, as long term advisors, have supported these reforms.

The experiences examined in the four case study countries clearly demonstrate that the reform process is unique to the specific institutional, historical, socio-economic and other conditions prevailing in each country, as well as the existence of individuals who champion a reform process, or strong interest groups who try to prevent change. As a result, the authors said it was not possible to develop overall guidelines that would precisely match the reform needs in other countries. However, they did draw a number of lessons learned from the experiences that may help other countries to design and implement sector reforms, on the following issues:

  • Reform history and timing
  • Policy and strategy development
  • Reform management set up
  • Reform communication
  • Role of development partners (including Sector Wide Approaches [SWAp])
  • Establishing effective regulatory institutions
  • Commercialisation and clustering
  • Private sector involvement
  • Community participation
  • Addressing the staffing challenge
  • Information management
  • Resources management
  • Pro-poor approaches

Richards, T. ... [et al.] (2008). Water supply and sanitation sector reforms in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia : challenges and lessons. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ). 33 pp.


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