Benefits, economic evaluation, health economics, Sanitation, Water

The intrinsic and instrumental value of water & sanitation

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

Benefit-cost analysis, Climate, economic evaluation, Planetary Health

Adapting WASH services to climate change – the “low-regrets” principle and benefit-cost analysis

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

Climate, Planetary Health

Planetary health and WASH: causes and consequences

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

Benefits, hygiene, Sanitation, Water

Human capital and WASH – a note

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

economic evaluation, funding & financing, the WASH sector

What is transformative WASH?

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?

Costs, economic evaluation, My papers, Sanitation, the WASH sector

New paper – trial-based cost-benefit analysis of a CLTS intervention in Ethiopia

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

economic evaluation, health economics, Sanitation, SanQoL

Better lives with better toilets – SanQoL translated for public engagement

[I was chuffed to be joint winner in the ESRC 'Better Lives' writing competition with the below piece intended for a general audience. The Guardian published an abridged version. Deadlines are 80% of writing, for me at least... so I would recommend competitions like this for forcing oneself to write to a hard deadline for public… Continue reading Better lives with better toilets – SanQoL translated for public engagement

health economics, Quality of Service, Sanitation, SanQoL, welfare economics

Quality of Service vs. Quality of Life – ways of measuring sanitation outcomes

In a previous post I explored the concept of sanitation-related quality of life (SanQoL). In that post I distinguished between “quality of service” (and/or infrastructure) and quality of life. The present post expands a bit on that distinction. 1. Different ways of measuring "quality" Consider these three questions for assessing the concept of privacy: [observe]… Continue reading Quality of Service vs. Quality of Life – ways of measuring sanitation outcomes

economic evaluation, Sanitation

CLTS, targeting and economic performance – reflections on two seminars

Today I attended not one, but two, seminars on CLTS. The first was Britta Augsburg presenting results of a recent cRCT of a WaterAid CLTS intervention in Nigeria (at LSHTM). The second was Dale Whittington reflecting on CLTS trials in the last few years and his recent CBA paper incorporating their results (at Oxford). A… Continue reading CLTS, targeting and economic performance – reflections on two seminars

costs., Sanitation

Recall bias and cost data

I've been working on costing a few programmes recently where the intervention happened between 3-10 years ago. Both used household surveys asking people what they spent (in cash and in kind) towards the original infrastructure output (CapEx), towards regular operational and maintenance (OpEx) and irregular capital maintenance (CapManEx). It's got me thinking about the various… Continue reading Recall bias and cost data