Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Report
Title Improving access to infrastructure services by the poor: Institutional and policy responses
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2001
Publisher World Bank
URL http://web.mit.edu/urbanupgrading/waterandsanitation/resources/pdf-files/Brook-ImprovingAccess.pdf
Governments around the world—rich and poor alike—confront the problem of how to ensure their people have access to efficient, reliable, safe and affordable infrastructure services. This challenge is particularly acute in developing countries, with many low income households and communities and where density, distance and resource availability often conspire to increase costs. Governments and stakeholders have addressed the problem in different ways, providing a rich body of experience with policy responses to this problem. Technology and economic thinking continue to evolve, opening up new policy options and opportunities for addressing the challenge of improving access. This paper provides an overview of current evidence on the nature and magnitude of the access challenge in developing countries, of the policy options available to governments seeking to improve service access by the poor, and of the institutional drivers that shape both feasible policy options and policy effectiveness. Part A summarizes available information on access to infrastructure services by low-income households and communities. Part B focuses on the key levers for policymakers to address the access challenge, looking at the roles of reforms to ownership, market structure, pricing policies, and subsidy and regulatory systems. Part C outlines how policy approaches might be adjusted to different institutional environments. Part D offers some concluding
observations on implementation strategy.

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