Serving those beyond utility reach in the Danube region
Description of the activity
Recent work published by the Danube Water Program (DWP) has revealed weaknesses in the availability of data and information relating to informal water supply and sanitation services in the Danube region, despite large-scale investments and advancements associated with urban and utility-based services. As a result of such findings, the DWP is currently implementing a regional study on rural water services to assess and compare the context of service provision in the rural areas across seven Eastern European countries which are at various stages of EU integration (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Moldova, Romania and Ukraine). Austria will also be included in this study as a comparator to understand how water and sanitation services by small providers have been formalized, quality of self-supply is being assured, and how those services have been expanded to rural areas.
Implementation of the activity
The objective of the study is to (i) analyze the situation of water supply and sanitation services in areas beyond the reach of formal providers and (ii) recommend possible paths forward to improve service quality. The study has been divided into two phases. The first phase of the study (June to August 2016), which involved secondary data collection and the development of an Institutional Sector Review Framework has been almost finalized in all countries. The second phase of the study (on-going) involves primary data collection through the implementation of structured surveys at three levels: service provider, service authority and households. The application of the surveys follows a deliberate sample across a number of service typologies/management models in different geographies (rural dispersed, rural agglomerations, small towns).
The key pieces to be produced as part of this research include: (i) a regional assessment report “Beyond Utility Reach in the Danube Region” which will present a comparative analysis of the service delivery situation outside of formal utilities in the seven selected countries for the Danube region on key transversal topics; and (ii) Country Briefs, presenting a short and structured diagnostic of the service delivery situation outside of formal utility providers, recommendations to improve access and quality of services in those areas and outline potential policy options for country governments. These results are expected to be disseminated in the next Danube Water Conference (May 2017).
For further information, please contact Susanna Smets, who will lead the implementation of this study on the Bank’s side.