The political economy of the urban water-pricing regime in Freetown, Sierra Leone

Abstract

This paper presents the findings of one of two country case studies conducted as part of a broader project entitled ‘Analysing the governance and political economy of water and sanitation service delivery’. The objective of the research project is to develop the utility of political economy analysis for the water supply and sanitation (WSS) sector, with a focus on improving the operational impact of DFID (and other donor) country programming. While the objective of the case study is therefore to inform the development of DFID’s approach to sector-level political economy analysis (PEA), the paper and the research that underpins the paper have been undertaken with the primary goal of working with the staff and development partners of the DFID-Sierra Leone country office to think through the implications of a problem-driven political economy analysis approach for addressing the issues encountered in their work. Designed explicitly to address specific development challenges encountered in the course of donor operations, the analytical framework adopted in this paper, as in the research project more broadly, is the Problem-Driven Governance and Political Economy Analysis Good Practice Framework (PGPE).

The political economy of the urban water-pricing regime (setting, implementing, monitoring and enforcing) was selected as the focus of this country case-study research. The analysis focused specifically on the country’s capital city of Freetown, in light of the previous failed attempts by donors to intervene in Freetown’s water-pricing regime; the relative importance of the Freetown service delivery given the demographic shift to urban areas in the post-war period; and practical considerations concerning the limited time available to the researchers to spend in country.

Citation

Harris, D.; Kooy, M.; Jalloh, G. The political economy of the urban water-pricing regime in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Overseas Development Institute (ODI), London, UK (2012) 56 pp. ISBN 978 1 907288 69 2 [ODI Working Paper 348]

The political economy of the urban water-pricing regime in Freetown, Sierra Leone

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