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
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
There has been a lot of debate about the well-designed and well-conducted WASH-B (Kenya, Bangladesh) and SHINE (Zimbabwe) trials of rural WASH interventions in the past year or so. Most recently, researchers active in WASH epidemiology published a consensus paper. Many funders may not read it, which would be a shame, as it is easy… Continue reading Funders shouldn’t misinterpret WASH-B and SHINE results as “WASH doesn’t work”
The JMP’s online analysis tool allows water supply data to be cut by service level (safely managed, basic etc.) or facility type (piped, non-piped), as set out in their 2018 methods doc. "Piped", W2 in their indicator list (p.4) includes all tap water classifications (p.9), i.e. both on-plot piped and off-plot kiosks or public taps.… Continue reading Recent increases in rural water access in African countries relied predominantly on groundwater
Seeing a paper published a few weeks ago in Nature Communications (more on that below) reminded me of some reading I did last year on WASH and antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and got me thinking about the economics of this. What is AMR? Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) occurs when microorganisms adapt after exposure to antimicrobial drugs (e.g.… Continue reading The economics of antimicrobial resistance and the role of water and sanitation services
An update to the WHO-led systematic review of the ‘Impact of drinking water, sanitation and handwashing with soap on childhood diarrhoeal disease’ by Wolf et al. (2018) was published in TMIH in May. I re-read it last week with a water supply hat on, and was interested to see how they’ve improved on the 2014… Continue reading Water supply & diarrhoea – latest systematic review and economic implications
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?