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TitleMoving down the ladder : governance and sanitation that works for the urban poor : paper presented at the IRC symposium : sanitation for the urban poor : partnerships and governance, Delft, The Netherlands, 19-21 November 2008
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsAllen, A, Hofmann, P, Griffiths, H
Pagination32 p.; 63 refs.; 8 notes; 2 tab.; 12 boxes; 3 fig.
Date Published2008-11-19
Place PublishedDelft, The Netherlands
Keywordsgovernance, government organizations, poverty, private sector, privatization, sanitation, sanitation services

The paper argues that the widespread privatisation of basic services in the 1990s has in turn led to a redefinition of the role of an “instrumentalised state”, in which the traditional functions of legislation, regulation, direct provision and investment have been significantly redefined, in many cases bringing the role of the state closely aligned with the creation of “new business opportunities for transnational corporations” (Finger, 2005:275). However, neither the public nor the international private sector is filling the gap of meeting the WATSAN needs of the urban and peri-urban poor. The essay contrasts a so-called “rationalist perspective” dominated by the public-private controversy with an empirical perspective concerned with gaining a better grasp of the multiple – and often neglected – practices and arrangements by which the urban poor effectively access sanitation on the ground. The concept of service co-production is presented in this context as a means to draw lessons from the ground of sanitation provision to and by the urban poor, and to devise meaningful ways to empower the poor to fully exercise their rights and to become agents of change, fostering a type of governance that is people-centred rather than producer-centred. The discussion then moves to examine how to move down the sanitation ladder (depicted on page 16) in order to acknowledge and to support the actual options by which the urban poor effectively access sanitation, looking in particular at the roles and responsibilities of the different actors involved. Last but not least, the links between sanitation, land, housing, health and livelihoods are briefly examined, calling for the need to go beyond a sectoral approach to sanitation.(authors abstract)

Custom 1302, 302.1


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