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TitleApproach to cost information in the WASH sector in Colombia : paper presented at the IRC symposium ‘ Pumps, Pipes and Promises: Costs, Finances and Accountability for Sustainable WASH Services' in The Hague, The Netherlands from 16 - 18 November 2010
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsZamora, A
Pagination10 p. : 5 tab.
Date Published2010-11-01
Place PublishedThe Hague, The Netherlands
Keywordsaccess to water, colombia, sanitation, WASHCost, water supply

According to the last census held in 2005, the national coverage rates for piped water systems and sanitation services in Colombia were 83.4% and 41.1%, respectively. There are, however, significant differences between urban and rural areas where the service coverage rate is 47% for water supply and 18% for sanitation access. The analysis by the national government entities suggests that the resources available in this sector have increased, but the local governments budgets allocated to water and sanitation investments have had low
impact. This paper presents the results of the case study entitled "Approach to cost information in the WASH sector in Colombia", which analyzes cost components in the investment programs executed by local and regional entities and two communities in a peri-urban and a rural area of the city of Cali. Information about costs has been collected using the WASHCost cost terminology. Unit cost information is a valuable and pertinent issue because it is needed to determine the financial resources that the country needs in order to: improve WASH services in rural areas; evaluate the efficiency of investments; and make progress in the social control and transparency practices in the sector. Although the case study explored a small sample, it was a first step to recognize how cost information is being used in Colombia. One of the relevant conclusions is that there is no disaggregation of costs in the available budgets of national entities, and there are no specific items allocated to WASH services. Also, information at regional and local level is not systematized; it requires data analysis to obtain some cost components. The analysis of cost components allows for an approximation of some variables which in turn have an influential effect on the components themselves. In the water supply programs, the investment purpose, existence of scale economies, population size, and location can affect the cost indicators. On the other hand, the comprehensiveness of investments is a key factor in understanding the differences in the unit cost indicators for sanitation. [authors abstract]

Notes5 ref.
Custom 1202.7, 302.7




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