Research

​Peer-reviewed publications:

ABSTRACT: Worldwide, 844 million people still lack access to basic drinking water, especially in the rural areas of low and middle income countries. However, considerable progress has been made in recent years due to work on the Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals. Nevertheless, countries’ national characteristics have often impacted on this progress. This paper analyzes whether specific socioeconomic factors affect access to improved water sources in the rural areas of developing countries. In particular, we analyze access to ‘total improved’, piped on premises, as well as other improved sources of access in rural areas for low income, low-middle income, and high-middle income countries. Our results suggest that gross national income (GNI); female primary completion rate; agriculture; growth of rural population; and governance indicators, such as political stability, control of corruption, or regulatory quality are variables related to water access, although specific associations depend on the source of water and income group examined. Understanding these interrelations could be of great importance for decision makers in the water sector as well as for future research on this topic.

 

ABSTRACT: The use of biofuels for heating and cooking is the main cause of indoor air pollution in developing countries, and one of the main causes of acute respiratory infections. To tackle this problem, in 2012, the Peruvian Government created the FISE program, which subsidizes the replacement of traditional stoves with gas cookstoves. This paper describes the challenges faced during the implementation of the FISE, such as the selection of beneficiaries and the creation of a national network of suppliers for the delivery of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders. Using a dataset with information collected from five districts in the department of Ayacucho in 2015, we apply propensity score matching at the household level to evaluate the effects of the program. We show that the FISE favored the adoption of the LPG cookstoves, but that many households still combine their use with traditional cookstoves. We find no evidence that the use of LPG stoves has reduced respiratory problems in the beneficiary households; however, the program has been found to increase the use of LPG stoves for boiling water, which may reduce the exposition of child in beneficiary households to water-related diseases.

 

ABSTRACT: Due to lack of economic resources and the geographical dispersion of the population, state and private for-profit water provision is not feasible in many remote rural areas of developing countries. In such instances, community-managed water systems emerge as an alternative mechanism to provide safe water. Despite their importance, little is known about this type of organizations. This article examines the Juntas Administradoras de Servicios de Saneamiento (JASS), communal organizations that provide water services to more than 3 million people in rural and peri-urban areas of Peru. We focus on two important and related dimensions of the JASS. First, we empirically identify the factors associated to their existence (economic resources of the municipalities, tradition of communal work, and ethnic homogeneity). And second, we examine their organization and how they manage the water systems, which is importantly affected by the socioeconomic characteristics of the communities. Using the Peruvian JASS as a showcase, this article sheds then some light on the potential viability of this type of organizations. We conclude that the JASS might be an important and effective alternative to organize the provision of water services in rural and isolated areas. However, the consolidation of these institutions requires adequate supervision to ensure that water systems are correctly designed and managed and that internal governance problems do not compromise their sustainability.

 

​Working papers:

  • Perdiguero, J., & Sanz, A. “Cruise activity and pollution: The case of Barcelona”
  • Calzada, J., & Sanz, A. “The regulation of water provision in developing countries: coverage, quality and prices”
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