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Résumé : The principal objective of this study is to compare countries’ performance in the water and sanitation sector and to analyse how effectively they used the associated development aid. Specifically, the paper addresses the following questions in the WSS sector in SSA: What is the current magnitude of WSS ODA, and how did it evolve over the past two decades? How effective were the countries in utilising the disbursed WSS ODA? How did the SSA countries perform in safe drinking water and sanitation service provision to their citizens? What are the factors that explain the performance differences in WSS sector among SSA countries? In this context, an innovative standardised measurement framework known as the Watsan Index of Development Effectiveness (WIDE) was used to compares drivers of progress with results achieved, and ranks African countries by the level of outcome obtained per unit of available input. In particular, it determines how effectively they used the development aid received for the water and sanitation sector. The WIDE is made up of two composite information layers: Resources and Progress Outcomes. The first one refers to input drivers, such as the aid received, GDP, water resources, and governance level, while the latter relates to access to water, access to sanitation, and progress in the two. Each of these is calculated as a composite index, based on a number of pre-defined factors influencing progress in the water and sanitation sector. These analyses are further validated by presentation of the WSS sector situation of four case study countries, namely, Kenya, Madagascar, Burkina Faso and Uganda.
In spite of its importance, the share of development aid allocated to water and sanitation has been low. Between 2001 and 2006, the region received 24 percent of global aid to the water and sanitation sector. When the figures are deflated by population, the trend is, however, less impressive. Per-capita ODA to the sector grew from USD07 1.28 a year in 1995 to USD07 1.75 in 2008. Furthermore, in spite of increasing international support, aid provided for WSS projects as a percentage of overall ODA only reached 4.1 percent in 2008, rising from just 2.8 percent of total ODA in 2002. Overall, this indicates that while the level of aid available to the water and sanitation sector has been increasing in real terms, it is still the case that the allocation to that sector is just a small fraction of the total, which may not be sufficient to meet the targets of the MDGs. Progress towards target 7c of the Millennium Development Goal of halving by 2015 the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation facilities, remains slow. The rate of access to improved water sources increased from 49 percent in 1990 to 60 percent in 2008 – a marginal increase of less than one percent a year. Over the same period, growth in access to improved sanitation facilities was even more disappointing. It rose from 27 percent to 31 percent. Rural areas face the most serious problems in sanitation coverage. Rural access in the region increased only by three percent between 1990 and 2008, and over three quarters of SSA rural populations still lacked access in 2008. Yet, some relatively good performers can be identified. For example, rural access to sanitation grew by 33 percent in Rwanda, 23 percent in Central African Republic, and 21 percent in Cape Verde. Based on the WIDE assessment, the six best performers, all with WIDE values of 20 or above, include Angola (25), Rwanda (23), Zimbabwe (23), Central African Republic (23), Malawi and Comoros (both with 20). Angola’s performance, for example, is commendable. In spite of ranking 30th in resource availability, it achieved the 5th highest outcomes. This suggests that the scarce inputs were used relatively more effectively than in other SSA countries. Angola’s exceptional performance can be explained by the government’s aggressive capital investment programme in the sector and institutional reforms after decades of persistent civil conflict. At the other end of the distribution, Sierra Leone (-18), Tanzania (-21), Congo Rep (-23), Gabon (-24), Madagascar (-30) and Equatorial Guinea (-35) recorded the worst results, displaying low WIDE scores. For these countries, the input drivers are stronger than the progress outcome, hence poor WIDE scores. This suggests that available resources, including ODA, are not being used effectively in these countries in generating the desired results. The country case studies on Madagascar, Burkina Faso, Uganda, and Kenya involved discussions with relevant stakeholders in each country, to generate further insights into the performance of WSS. Overall, in all the studied SSA countries, inadequate finance and capacities to implement the various national strategies are the major constraints to meeting the MDG targets in WSS. Progress in WSS are slowed down because the relevant departments are understaffed, not just in absolute numbers, but also in terms of the required technical qualification. Operation and Maintenance is a key factor for infrastructure sustainability and development aid effectiveness. However, inadequate operation and maintenance programmes to support projects that have been donor financed are a major reason why development aid effectiveness is lower than it should be. Given the fact that many facilities are not optimally operating after completion of projects, involvement of the Bank and other development partners beyond project term is worth considering. The design of innovative solution to resolve the issue of operation and maintenance is critical to increase results sustainability. A capital sum should be included right from the project proposal stage, to create a revolving fund that could then be used as the ‘cash float’ to support the operational maintenance of schemes. The weak technical and administrative capacities call for more donors’ investment in capacity building for the sector’s operators in both public and private sectors. Donor’s support is also required to ensure budgetary discipline, increased transparency, fiscal decentralisation, and streamlining of the procurement process. Increased investment in sanitation facilities, particularly in rural areas, is highly recommended. Greater attention should, however, be given to adequate public awareness and sensitisation, especially hygiene education, for the correct use of latrines and cleaning of hands after defecation. For the WSS sector to achieve greater performance and increase the effectiveness of development, the Bank and development partners have a role in the implementation of effective monitoring and evaluation systems. These would reduce or eliminate the divergence of information from different data sources in the WSS.
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Cette série présente les résultats de la recherche sur des sujets ayant trait aux questions de politiques de développement en Afrique. Les soumissions de Travaux de Recherche en Economie peuvent émaner de tous les professionnels, veuillez consulter l’information aux auteurs pour de plus amples détails.