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water and sanitation

Cleaning Up with Small-Scale Sanitation

Julia Bucknall's picture

One of the most repulsive moments in cinematic history is the outhouse scene in the Oscar-winning films SlumdogMillionaire. The hero, Jamal, is trapped in an outhouse when his favorite celebrity lands nearby in a helicopter. The only way to see his hero is to jump into the excrement. Happily, he gets to see the star and get an autographed photo: nothing parts a crowd like a filth-covered child.

A New Breed of Private Sector: Entrepreneurs and Urban Water

Julia Bucknall's picture

“Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.” Lao Tzu

In the film Quantum of Solace, James Bond battles a corrupt environmentalist to prevent a company from taking over Bolivia’s water supply. The company planned to enrich itself by creating a monopoly and charging excessive rates for water. Fortunately, Bond foils the plot, and the people of Bolivia do not lose affordable access to their water resources.

(Don’t) Carry Your Own Water

David Lawrence's picture

Not long ago, I carried a 20-liter bottle of water three blocks to my apartment (there is an artesian well in a nearby park). At first it was easy. I lifted it up onto my shoulders and walked boldly along the street, drawing admiring looks from everyone I passed.

But it didn’t take long for my muscles to feel the burn. Then my back started to ache. By the time I got home, I was wiped out. Never again, I thought.

Is the mainstream ready for output-based aid?

There is an ongoing conversation in the development community, certainly amongst donors, about the need to make sure that aid is well spent and reaches the people it is intended to help. Most recently the UK shared its vision for international development, highlighting Value for Money and the use of results-based approaches.

An open door for firms

Ryan Hahn's picture

A new note in the Viewpoint series provides a handy summary of much of the recent research on the impact of business entry reforms. Unsurprisingly, cutting the costs and number of procedures to start a business results in more firms entering the formal market. To give one example, the creation of a one-stop shop in Mexico resulted in a 5% increase in new firms. 

Whatever happened to output-based aid?

Ryan Hahn's picture

Back in 2003, the World Bank and DFID launched the Global Partnership on Output-Based Aid (GPOBA). Output-based aid ties payment to service providers to the actual delivery of services in water, education, ICT, etc. The appeal is obvious—this is the kind of mechanism that helps "get the incentives right", thereby transferring risk to the service provider, increasing efficiency, and enhancing targeting of the poor.

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