Evaluation of decentralization and commercialization in the urban water sector of Yemen
The article analyzes decentralization and commercialization reforms in the Yemeni urban water and sanitation sector. The case study shows that sector reforms to increase the performance and independence of water utilities in developing countries can become entangled in conflicting political agendas, leading to the derailing of reforms. The reform process in the Yemeni case is presented as part of sector-wide policy change due to increasing scarcity, supply crises, and pressure from donors. A measurement framework for the level of decentralization and commercialization of water utilities is developed and applied. The future reform pathways are outlined, giving consideration to the current political reality in Yemen. Points for practitioners: Water decentralization reforms need to follow technical considerations regarding the capacity and independence of utilities in order to enhance any positive impacts of decentralization. Institutional conflicts are difficult to tackle during an ongoing reform process, particularly in a context of corruption, politicization, and state fragility. There is a need for more context-specific reform agendas and better strategies to deal with conflicts and shield utilities from political interference. Further, effective commercialization requires a level of accountability at the local level and improved capacities of staff. Such capacities can be enhanced through trainings ahead of reforms. The Author(s) 2018.
- Center for Sustainable Development Research [47 items ]