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Book: Social Policies and Private Sector Participation in Water Supply: Beyond Regulation

27 Apr 2009



Private sector participation in the water industry is an emotional and controversial topic. During the 1990s, policy makers were made to believe that the private sector, along with appropriate regulation, would bring additional investment, increase efficiency and expand coverage, solving the problems that come with lethargic public utilities. Yet regulation is at the infant stages in developing countries, and the results are far from desirable: over 1.1 billion people worldwide still lack access to clean water.

Social Policies and Private Sector Participation in Water Supply: Beyond Regulation, part of the UNRISD/Palgrave Macmillan series Social Policy in a Development Context, investigates social policies designed to provide affordable access to safe water to determine if the policies are developmental, democratic and socially inclusive. This book, edited by Naren Prasad, demonstrates that when reforming the water sector, policy makers should put in place appropriate social policies in order to mitigate the negative impact of such reform. It does so through an in-depth analysis of the current issues from a historical perspective. By showing seven very different country cases (Brazil, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Great Britain, France, Hungary and Malaysia), this book offers an interesting dimension, as the nature of water provision as a policy problem varies immensely depending on geographical location, nature and strength of institutions, political ideology, and the role of international institutions such as the World Bank.

This book will be of interest to policy makers, government advisors and consultants, donors, development professionals and scholars, as well as businesses and NGOs.

Notes to editors
  • The United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) was created in 1963 and is an autonomous UN agency engaging in multidisciplinary research on the social dimensions of contemporary problems affecting development. Through its research, UNRISD stimulates dialogue and contributes to policy debates on key issues of social development within and outside the UN system.
  • Naren Prasad was a Research Coordinator at UNRISD, for projects on Small States, Social Policy Index, and Social Policy, Regulation and Private Sector Involvement in Water Supply. The last analysed the impact of private sector participation on the poor in terms of access to and affordability of the service. Holding a Ph D. in Economics from the University of Paris, he has worked with various UN agencies, including UNESCO as a programme specialist for the Asia Pacific region from 1998 to 2003. He is currently at the ILO as an economist.

Contents:
Overview: Social Policies and Private Sector Participation in Water Supply; N. Prasad
France; A. Reynaud
Great Britain: England and Wales, and Scotland; J. Sawkins and V. Dickie
Colombia; A. Gómez-Lobo and M. Meléndez
Brazil; A. Rossi de Oliveira
Malaysia; C. Lee
Hungary; Z. Boda, G. Scheiring, E. Lobina and D. Hall
Burkina Faso; I. Kouanda and M. Moudassir

[For this book, it is too late to request review copies.]
Social Policies and Private Sector Participation in Water Supply is copublished with Palgrave Macmillan; hardback; ISBN 978-0-230-52082-0; 257 pages; 2008; GBP 55.00.

To order, please contact Palgrave Macmillan Publishers Limited, Brunel Road, Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 6XS, United Kingdom. Phone: +44 (0) 1256 302866; Fax: +44 (0) 1256 330688; orders@palgrave.com; www.palgrave.com/order