In Kenya researchers will study a program to improve access to water and sanitation along with a social hygiene campaign. In addition to studying how much villagers are willing to pay for sanitation services, this evaluation will help experts in Kenya and elsewhere learn how to encourage behavioral changes that improve water quality and health.
In 1977, the international community declared the 1980s the “International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade.” The goal was to ensure that everyone in the world would have access to clean water and sanitation by the end of the decade. Nearly four decades later, development experts and governments are still struggling to reach these targets. The new deadline is 2015, by when the Millennium Development Goals have said that at least 88 percent of the world’s population should have access to improved drinking water, and at least 77 percent should have improved sanitation. While the goal for drinking water is likely to be met, the sanitation goal won’t be. Almost 40 percent of the world’s population remains without improved sanitation and by 2015, this will equal half a billion people.
Research area: Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene
Evaluation Sample: 220 village clusters in Nairobi, Kenya
Timeline: 2013 - 2017
Intervention: Subsidies; hygiene promotion activities
Researchers: Paul Gertler, University of California at Berkeley; Sebastian Galiani, University of Maryland; Alexandra Orsola-Vidal, Center for Effective Global Action; Aidan Coville, World Bank; Susumu Yoshida, World Bank; Victor Orozco, World Bank; Wendy Ayres, World Bank; Patrick Mwangi, Water and Sanitation Program; Yolande Coombes, Water and Sanitation Program; Andreas Rohde, World Bank
Partners: University of California at Berkeley; University of Maryland; Global Program on Output Based Aid; Athi Water Services Board; Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company; Center for Effective Global Action
Governments and development experts are working to develop approaches to boost access to improved water supply and sanitation. Both are critical for better health and development. Improved water supply and sanitation reduces the transmission of disease and is especially important for women and children. It doesn’t just mean healthier lives - it also has an impact on school attendance, health care costs and ultimately, on productivity of people and societies. One barrier to improving sanitation coverage is that poor people are often unwilling to pay for better service. This project will improve our understanding of how to encourage people to pay for better sanitation by evaluating the impact of subsidies and hygiene promotion on people’s willingness to connect their homes to public sewage systems.
The WHO Joint Monitoring Program estimates that 68 percent of Kenyan households do not have access to improved latrines. Many of these people are in informal settlements – also known as slums – which usually aren’t hooked up to the city infrastructure.
This evaluation will support ongoing World Bank work in Kenya through three interlinked projects:(1) the Water and Sanitation Service Improvement Project; (2) Kenya Informal Settlements Improvement Project; and (3) Global Program for Output Based Aid’s support for improving access to Nairobi’s sewerage network. It will do so by studying the determinants of demand for sanitation in Nairobi’s informal settlements to help inform public policy aimed at sustainably increasing improved sanitation coverage in the country.