I often hear people say "sanitation is a public good", but sanitation services are not strictly speaking public goods according to the definition of such goods. In this post, I explain that it's the excreta-free environment they enable which is the public good A toilet (≠ sanitation) is a private good / asset. It is… Continue reading Sanitation as a public good and private asset
Wikipedia's definition of economics is, partly, "a social science concerned with the factors that determine the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.” While that is accurate, I prefer Robbins' definition that it is the study of "human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses". WASH is water supply, sanitation… Continue reading What is WASH economics?
I first got interested in health economics about 10 years ago when reading various chapters of Disease Control Priorities in Developing Countries (DCP2) - its third edition is currently being worked on. Ranking interventions by cost-effectiveness is a compelling way to frame discussions about prioritisation. See for example the graphic below, which comes from p.41 of this chapter of DCP2. It… Continue reading To what should we compare the economic performance of WASH interventions?
The more I read on health economics, the more I realise how far WASH economics is "behind", especially on economic evaluation. I mean this in terms of methods, the extent/level of debate on key questions, and the size/engagement of the community of people working on it. The "how" question (in what ways it is behind,… Continue reading Why is WASH economics so far behind health economics?
[nb. this is an old post from when I started - the post here probably best represents what I'm working on] A few weeks ago I started an economics PhD at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, after The topic is an economic evaluation of an urban sanitation intervention in Maputo, Mozambique. I'll be… Continue reading A PhD on urban sanitation economics