Economic regulation is being introduced into the water services sector in developing economies, where widespread poverty and service inadequacies affect regulatory rationales. This paper analyzes the regulatory experience in 11 metropolitan areas with respect to the challenge of reaching all urban consumers, particularly the poor. Case study evidence suggests that pro-poor regulatory outcomes have been constrained by inadequate framework conditions and a limited understanding of alternative providers. In many cases regulatory governance has been equally vulnerable, although some regulators have demonstrated a capacity and willingness to achieve a balance between the social and financial objectives of water service regulation.
World Development (2010) 38 (9) 1229-1240 [doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2010.02.006]