Government engagement with non-state providers of water and sanitation services

2012-05-23T10:50:19Z (GMT) by Kevin Sansom
Increasingly, governments in developing countries recognise that the public sector alone cannot provide adequate water and sanitation services to all. Non-state providers (NSPs) including both formal and informal private providers, as well as civil society institutions, also have important roles to play. There are clear challenges for governments intending to work with NSPs, not least of which is the institutional compatibility between bureaucratic agencies and informal water and sanitation NSPs. However, positive examples of government agencies working effectively with NSPs are emerging in many countries. Government engagement with water and sanitation NSPs can be split into five main types: recognition, dialogue, facilitation/ collaboration, contracting and regulation. In many situations, a lack of formal recognition of water or sanitation NSPs is an impediment to more productive forms of engagement. There are a number of potential intervention options within each of the five types of engagement that government agencies should carefully consider when supporting the development of NSP water and sanitation services.