This report presents the results of a Global Economic and Sector Work (ESW) Study on the Political Economy of Sanitation in Brazil, India, Indonesia, and Senegal that was conducted by the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) and the World Bank. Its purpose is to help WSP and the World Bank -- through a better understanding of the political economy of sanitation -- in their efforts to support partner countries and development practitioners in the design, implementation, and effectiveness of operations that aim to provide pro-poor sanitation investments and services to improve health and hygiene outcomes.
- The interplay of political and economic factors played a major role in influencing pro-poor investment. Career advancement, electoral support, and decentralized governance of sanitation investment cane be strong incentives.
- An instrumental case for sanitation investment can be built in contexts where pro-poor sanitation faces resistance as a policy priority. With increasing evidence of improved economic and health outcomes of extended sanitation coverage (or equally, the negative economic outcomes of poor sanitation), the political incentives for investment in sanitation are increasing, including such investment for low-income communities.
- Lender and donor attention to the institutional arrangements for sanitation investment has been crucial in strengthening accountability in the delivery of sanitation services.