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TitleMore, better, or different spending? Trends in public expenditure on water and sanitation in Sub-Saharan Africa
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2011
Authorsvan Ginneken, M, Netterstrom, U, Bennett, A
Secondary TitleWater papers
Paginationxii, 105 p.; tab.; fig.; boxes
Date Published2011-12-01
PublisherWorld Bank
Place PublishedWashington, DC, USA
Keywordsaccess to sanitation, access to water, sub-saharan africa, water supply

Improvements in water supply and sanitation access in Sub-Saharan Africa have fallen short of national and international targets. Past explanations for this slow progress toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) include lack of capacity, low levels of financing, inappropriate technologies, and institutional and governance challenges. This overview paper zooms in on the public financing for water supply and sanitation (WSS) in the anticipation that knowledge of the quantity, quality, and drivers of public expenditure is a prerequisite for governments and donors to adjust their policy and practice, which is itself a prerequisite to improved access to WSS. This overview paper aims to determine the size and composition of the flow of funds, assess the quality of public spending, and identify common issues in public expenditure in the water sector. How much public money (domestic resources and donor financing) was budgeted for the sector? Was it spent in a timely manner? Who benefits from public spending? What are the major bottlenecks in increasing expenditure and the efficiency of these expenditures?
This overview paper presents an assessment of the findings of public expenditure reviews (PERs) conducted by the World Bank in 15 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa in the past few years. Eight of these PERs concentrated on rural WSS only (“rural-only countries” in this executive summary) and seven considered both urban and rural WSS (“rural-and-urban countries”). [authors abstract]

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