Title: Introduction and reflection on benchmarking for the delivery of water and sanitation services to the urban poor

Authors: Meine Pieter Van Dijk; Maarten W. Blokland

Addresses: International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University, 3062 PA Rotterdam, Netherlands ' Blokland Advisory Services, Oosteinde 17, 2611 VA, Delft, Netherlands

Abstract: A dedicated benchmarking system to assess the availability of water supply and sanitation services for the urban poor will be explained. These services require the involvement of the utility and a host of other stakeholders, such as national and local government, a regulator, NGOs or CBOs and the slum dwellers themselves. Distributional justice arguments can be used to justify the development of systems for providing to the poor. The dedicated system covers both drinking water supply and sanitation, and emphasises and assesses the involvement and contributions by all stakeholders. It considers piped and non-piped drinking water and sanitation solutions, the mix of which often characterises the reality in the slums and the urban periphery of Third World countries. The lessons from the PROBE research project on this topic will be summarised. These comprise the need for the right policy and institutional environment, the provision of financial and other incentives to reach the poor, the involvement and collaboration of multiple stakeholders in mobilising the local resources, and the availability of a set of organisational, financial and technical tools with the concerned utility. When all these requirements are fulfilled there is a good chance to achieve the MDGs and SDGs in water and sanitation.

Keywords: performance measurement; benchmarking; stakeholders; pro-poor service delivery; drinking water; non-piped solutions; water supply; sanitation services; urban poor; poverty; slum dwellers; slums; distributional justice; developing countries.

DOI: 10.1504/IJW.2016.075563

International Journal of Water, 2016 Vol.10 No.2/3, pp.109 - 121

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 09 Feb 2016 *

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