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TitleCase studies on decentralization of water supply and sanitation services in Latin America
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsFragano, F, Linares, C, Lockwood, H, Rivera, D, Trevett, A, Yepes, G
Secondary TitleStrategic report / EHP
Volumeno. 1
Paginationix, 137 p. : fig., tab.
Date Published2001-01-01
PublisherEnvironmental Health Project (EHP)
Place PublishedArlington, VA, USA
Keywordscase studies, decentralization, institutional framework, latin america, rural communities, safe water supply, sanitation, sdilac, sdiman, sdipol, small towns, water authorities

In several case studies on supporting community-managed water supply systems, a number of different experiences with decentralisation of WSS services in Latin America are described. Three distinct themes are elaborated : 1) the role of small municipalities in the provision of water and sanitation services; 2) institutional arrangements for backup support to rural communities, and 3) regulation of water supply and sanitation services in small towns. The case studies reflect experiences in five countries : Paraguay, El Salvador, Colombia, Honduras and Nicaragua.
They show what can be achieved when local communities are given increased responsibility. They do not advocate for a particular institutional model; rather they illustrate what several countries and municipalities have done and allow key lessons to be passed on to a wider audience. Key lessons learned are : 1) the importance of cost recovery; 2) the need for meaningful community involvement; 3) the impact of the selection of technology on sustainability; 4) the need to focus on operations and maintenance; and 5) the key role of institutions.
Given the number of countries that are using decentralisation as the approach to reform their WS&S sectors, there will continue to be examples from which to draw lessons. The effect on management models of paying more attention to sanitation has to be determined. Current efforts are underway to use private sector capital, but there is little documentation of this approach for small towns and rural areas. Regulatory approaches have to be developed, and health and environmental concerns addressed.

NotesIncludes references
Custom 1202.2, 827
Original PublicationEstudios de caso sobre la descentralizacion de los servicios de agua potable y saneamiento en Latinoamerica


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