The Political Economy of Village Sanitation in South India: Capture or Poor Information?

Ban, Radu ; Das Gupta, Monica ; Rao, Vijayendra

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Despite efforts to mandate and finance local governments' provision of environmental sanitation services, outcomes remain poor in the villages surveyed in the four South Indian states. The analysis indicates some key issues that appear to hinder improvements in sanitation. Local politicians tend to capture sanitary infrastructure and cleaning services for themselves, while also keeping major village roads reasonably well-served. Their decisions suggest, however, that they neither understand the health benefits of sanitation, nor the negative externalities to their own health if surrounding areas are poorly served. Our findings suggest that improving sanitary outcomes requires disseminating information on the public goods nature of their health benefits, as well as on the local government's responsibilities. It also requires putting public health regulations in place, along with measures to enable accountability in service provision.

Document type: Working paper
Place of Publication: Washington, D.C.
Date: 2008
Version: Secondary publication
Date Deposited: 19 June 2015
Number of Pages: 15
Faculties / Institutes: Miscellaneous > Individual person
DDC-classification: "Social services; association"
Controlled Subjects: Indien <Süd>, Dorf, Sanitäranlage
Uncontrolled Keywords: Südindien, Dorf, Sanitäre Anlage / South India, Village, Sanitary Facility
Subject (classification): Politics
Countries/Regions: India
Additional Information: © World Bank. License: Creative Commons Attribution CC BY 3.0