Monitoring Public Providers for the Poor
Following the introduction to regulation and water and sanitation services to all, the first two case studies consider service providers where there was no existing proclaimed economic regulation. However, in the case of India, it had been decreed that all states should establish a water regulator (a requirement since withdrawn) and in Uganda there is a level of performance monitoring which was, perhaps, as good as a regulator might achieve. The fieldwork researchers first investigated the sectoral organization for water supply, the legislative framework and the operational and any regulatory performance for the conventional service. They then examined in detail to what extent that service was reaching the poor, whether there was a role for alternative providers, independent or intermediate, and how customers, particularly poor customers, were involved in the process, beyond payment that is. To complement that investigation the researchers convened participatory discussions, focus groups, within a selection of poor communities to hear first hand the challenges those consumers faced and to gain a better understanding of how any regulatory system might incorporate their views in the future.