Value is a critical concept in economics and philosophy. Economics is a discipline concerned with resource allocation informed by the value placed on alternative uses of those resources. In welfarist economics, value is taken as the strength of preference for a good or service (Brouwer et al., 2008). In that paradigm, strength of preference can… Continue reading The intrinsic and instrumental value of water & sanitation
Summary: the severity of climate impacts on WASH services is uncertain. “Low-regrets” investments or interventions are those which generate net economic benefits under a range of the most plausible scenarios of climate impact severity. The concept is explored in Figure 1, which illustrates relationships between net benefits and the severity of climate impacts for different… Continue reading Adapting WASH services to climate change – the “low-regrets” principle and benefit-cost analysis
I've previously written about defining hygiene. In this post, I discuss what counts as a "handwashing facility" (HWF) for global monitoring purposes. Points arising that may not be obvious include: (i) an on-plot water point can be considered a HWF if that's where handwashing is most often practised (e.g. tubewell with handpump, yard tap); (ii)… Continue reading What counts as a “handwashing facility” in global monitoring?
What is planetary health? Humanity is emitting too much CO2 and using ever-increasing amounts of energy and water. The human population is set to swell for the foreseeable, requiring both more food and the water to grow it. At the same time, climate change is threatening progress across the board. These trends have spurred a… Continue reading Planetary health and WASH: causes and consequences
Possible mechanisms by which WASH increases human capital In labour economics, human capital is a worker’s stock of knowledge and skills which contributes to their productivity and earnings. Human capital accumulation is a process of developing skills within and beyond cognitive domains, in which the first 1,000 days of a child’s life are crucial. In… Continue reading Human capital and WASH – a note
My rough Venn diagram of aspects of hygiene I’ve been doing a fair amount of work on hand hygiene since November, e.g. this piece on the economics of hygiene for the Hygiene Hub and some costing work for WHO/UNICEF. It bothered me that definitions were not clear, so I put together this Venn diagram. It… Continue reading What is hygiene?
Figure 1: Transformative in respect of what? This post summarises a note I have drafted on the definition of "transformative WASH", available here, with references. There has been a lot of talk about “transformative” WASH since the WASH-B, SHINE and MapSan results came out. I have previously written about those results here. The argument runs… Continue reading What is transformative WASH?
Yesterday I was on a panel at the UNC Water and Health conference side-event entitled “What is “Quality” Sanitation? Investigating Service Standards and User Experience in Rural and Urban Settings”. You can watch back the event here (if registered for the conference, which is free). Below follows some of my views on the measurement of… Continue reading Quality of what? From whose perspective? Thoughts on measuring sanitation quality
My colleague Seungman Cha has a paper out this week, which I co-authored with him and others. It’s a trial-based cost-benefit analysis (CBA) of a community-led total sanitation (CLTS) intervention in rural south-western Ethiopia. We estimated intervention delivery costs from financial records and recurrent costs from the trial's surveys. All outcome data are from the… Continue reading New paper – trial-based cost-benefit analysis of a CLTS intervention in Ethiopia
I’ve just arrived at the UNC Water and Health conference 2019 this week (verbal abstracts book here). I have three verbal presentations, a poster, and am involved in a side-event. Short summaries are below. Further below, I highlight others’ economics-related presentations/sessions that I’m looking forward to seeing. All my stuff is on Thursday… but please talk… Continue reading My and others’ WASH economics sessions at #UNCwaterandhealth 2019