What can be done to force the local government to increase the budgetary allocations for sanitation?

  • F H Mughal
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What can be done to force the local government to increase the budgetary allocations for sanitation?

Advocacy for Sanitation
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Sanitation in most developing countries receives low priority. Consequently, investments in sanitation, or, more specifically in the present context, budgetary allocations for sanitation are low. In Pakistan, relative to water supply, sanitation works receive low budget allocations. Budgetary allocations in Pakistan are based on yearly financial year (FY). FY runs from 1 July to 30 June. To borrow the local words, the “books” are closed on 30 June.

What can be done to force the local government to increase the budgetary allocations for sanitation?

To answer this question, I came across a flyer by WSUP (Water and Sanitation for Urban Poor) titled: How can we influence municipal governments to allocate more money to sanitation?

In 2014, WSUP commissioned the Washington-based Urban Institute to carry out research aimed at identifying the best ways of encouraging city-level decision-makers to prioritize sanitation. The Urban Institute developed strategies for three cities: Nakuru, Kenya; Ga West, Ghana; and Maputo, Mozambique.

While the detailed strategies are given in the flyer (attached), I highlight some of the strategies that, according to me, have universal appeal. The strategies are:

• The establishment of a cross-government working group for WASH, aimed at improving coordination and financial planning among relevant county line agencies;

(I would add involvement of major international agencies (World Bank, WaterAid) to scale-up investments in sanitation. Involvement of international agencies would serve as an incentive.)


• The creation of a fund dedicated solely to sanitation, covering both capital expenditure and operation & maintenance costs - - engage key stakeholders identified as having influence over budget process; increased engagement with the media and civil society; organising workshops with selected journalists;


• Improved commitment to sanitation financing from key stakeholders, specifically municipal assembly representatives;

(This looks a bit difficult, as the assembly member are generally politicians and, it is difficult to motivate them.)


. Improved collection of the internally generated fund and payments, and correspondingly higher allocations to sanitation derived from that fund;

(This is a key aspect in generating revenue. It is like receiving payments for the services provided.)


• Increased adoption of innovative approaches to sanitation service delivery by the Municipal Assembly, e.g. regulation of exhausters and provision of household subsidies or loans;


• Engaging local officials at all levels to raise awareness of the political opportunities offered by improved sanitation; and

(This is a good point, if only it could be achieved.)


• Boosting consumer demand by engaging local media and community-based organisations (CBOs) to strengthen coverage of sanitation issues.


Despite the setbacks in sanitation, a new report by Geneva-based WSSCC: Global Sanitation Fund - Progress Report 2014 (attached), gives significant overall improvement in sanitation. The report says:

Key results as of December 2014 are as follows, with end 2013 results presented as well:

• 4.2 million people with improved toilets, up from 2.7 million in December 2013

• 7 million people in more than 20,500 communities now live in cleaner environments free of open defecation, up from 3.7 million in 14,400 communities in December 2013

• More than 37,300 communities have participated in demand creation / triggering activities, up from 24,500 in December 2013

To further the point, just look at: www.propoor.org/news/?n=82306 where one finds a Indian village named Tamnath near Karjat, Maharashtra, as clean as it can! This is simply unbelievable!!

And, here: www.propoor.org/news/?n=82306 one finds 5 Indian unsung heroes. Bravo!


F H Mughal

F H Mughal (Mr.)
Karachi, Pakistan

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  • pf4wash
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  • PF4WASH is a research and advocacy initiative around domestic public finance for water and sanitation. Public Finance for WASH was set up in late 2014 by a group of individuals from Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP), IRC & Tremolet Consulting.
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Re: What can be done to force the local government to increase the budgetary allocations for sanitation?

Hello Mr Mughal!

Nice to meet you through this SuSanA forum! I work with Public Finance for WASH ( www.publicfinanceforwash.com ), a research and advocacy initiative hosted at WSUP in partnership with IRC and Trémolet Consulting.

Thanks very much for the interesting comments. You and other readers can find publications related to this work here, in reverse chronological order:

Municipal finance for sanitation in three African cities (2015)
Edwards, B.; Nagpal, T.; Rose, R.; Nash Mohammed, Uandela, A.; Wolfsbauer, M. & Norman. G. (2015) Municipal finance for sanitation in three African cities. Discussion Paper 7, July 2015. Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP).and the Urban Institute (UI).
www.publicfinanceforwash.com/sites/defau...3-African-cities.pdf

How can we influence municipal governments to allocate more money to sanitation? (2015)
Bisaga, I.; Norman, G. and Drabble, S. (2015) How can we influence municipal governments to allocate more money to sanitation? Practice Note 20, May 2015. London: Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP).
www.publicfinanceforwash.com/sites/defau...unicipal-Finance.pdf

Municipal finance for sanitation in African cities (2015)
Norman G. & Trémolet S. (2015) Municipal finance for sanitation in African cities. Finance Brief 3, Public Finance for WASH, www.publicfinanceforwash.com/resources/finance-brief-3

Triggering Increased City -Level Public Finance for Pro-Poor Sanitation Improvements (2014)
Boex, J. and Edwards, B. (2014) Triggering Increased City -Level Public Finance for Pro-Poor Sanitation Improvements. The Role of Political Economy and Fiscal Instruments. Research Report. Urban Institute (UI) and Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP).
www.publicfinanceforwash.com/sites/defau...l-public-finance.pdf

As you say, influencing municipal governments is seriously challenging, and the people leading this research certainly wouldn’t claim to have cracked it! In particular, we agree that it’s very difficult to influence politicians, local and national. But it can be done… it just takes time! There is some very interesting work done in Kenya, for example, to influence public investment in schools WASH… we’ll be publishing a brief report about that soon, on the PF4WASH website. When given clear evidence on effectiveness of public investment (in this case, especially for improving girls’ school attendance), and clear guidance on exactly how best to spend money, the Kenyan Ministry of Finance substantially increased available funding.

Let me point out that this research is still ongoing: there will be a final workshop in Nairobi in October, and more publications are expected soon after.

Thanks for very interesting remarks, we’ll definitely take these into account. And we’re very interested to hear the experiences and opinions of other people from around the world!

Valeria Llano-Arias
PF4WASH

PF4WASH
Website www.publicfinanceforwash.com
Twitter @pf4wash
Facebook: www.facebook.com/publicfinanceforwash

*Check out our most recent Finance Brief here:
www.publicfinanceforwash.com/ZkA
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  • F H Mughal
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Re: What can be done to force the local government to increase the budgetary allocations for sanitation?

Dear Valeria,

Thank you for your enlightened response. The publications, posted by you, are interesting and useful.

You say that: “There is some very interesting work done in Kenya, for example, to influence public investment in schools WASH… we’ll be publishing a brief report about that soon, on the PF4WASH website.” In addition to your website, I request that the report may be shared on this forum, as like me, other users might miss it out.

You also say that: “Let me point out that this research is still ongoing: there will be a final workshop in Nairobi in October, and more publications are expected soon after.” I would love to attend the workshop. I trust some financial support would be available for participants from developing countries.

Good luck!
F H Mughal

F H Mughal (Mr.)
Karachi, Pakistan
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  • pf4wash
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  • PF4WASH is a research and advocacy initiative around domestic public finance for water and sanitation. Public Finance for WASH was set up in late 2014 by a group of individuals from Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP), IRC & Tremolet Consulting.
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Re: What can be done to force the local government to increase the budgetary allocations for sanitation?

Dear Mr. Mughal

Thank you very much again for your comments. Once the research is finished we will publish a report and also will organise an event for the dissemination of the results.

Regarding the upcoming workshop in Nairobi, I am afraid it is an internal event for researchers and research participants to review the different strategies implemented so far and design the final activities of the research project. But we will be fully publishing our findings, here and elsewhere!

We still hope to keep in touch with you as well as with other participants of the SuSanA forum. And if you like, let us know your own experience: are you involved in trying to influence municipal finance in Pakistan?

Best wishes,
Valeria Llano- Arias
WSUP

PF4WASH
Website www.publicfinanceforwash.com
Twitter @pf4wash
Facebook: www.facebook.com/publicfinanceforwash

*Check out our most recent Finance Brief here:
www.publicfinanceforwash.com/ZkA
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  • F H Mughal
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  • Senior Water and Sanitation Engineer
  • Posts: 782
  • Karma: 19
  • Likes received: 195

Re: What can be done to force the local government to increase the budgetary allocations for sanitation?

Dear Valeria,

Thank you for your response. It is good to note that you will be sharing the reports and publications. I'm afraid, I'm not involved in municipal finance here.

Best regards,

F H Mughal

F H Mughal (Mr.)
Karachi, Pakistan
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