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  • Richard

Regulation: Responsibilities, Regulations and Regulating for WSUP

Very pleased to be working with WSUP to prepare ‘a WSUP Discussion Paper focused on progress to date and future challenges to implementation for regulatory initiatives now underway in WSUP programme countries. WSUP’s own experience has demonstrated that regulation is a critical component of a functional urban WASH sector; in the case of sanitation business development, for example, WSUP’s focus has shifted over time from direct business support towards creating the regulatory environment required for safe and professional sanitation services to develop.’ Absolutely – so looking at three WSUP involvement cases from Kenya, and one each from Bangladesh, Mozambique and Zambia. Have found that the cases are predominantly about sanitation and so the narrative appears to be about sorting out the Responsibilities, particularly for full sanitation chain FSM, then the Regulations or standards before being able to, and needing to, empower regulators to do the creative, flexible bit of Regulating. That is adjusting the funding flow to incentivise the service providers to deliver efficiently, recognizing that it all takes time – so much time!

Some developing headlines: ‘Rights need regulating’; ‘Regulations are the foundation’; ‘Regulating delivers the progressive realisation’; ‘Regulating solves the conundrum of systems thinking’; and ‘Regulators always get it wrong!’ – of course, regulating can never be a precise science, never knowing in advance how the multiplicity of stakeholders will respond to the various ‘carrots, sermons and sticks’ but good regulators know that being a little bit wrong is so much more effective than being precisely wrong and then missing the goal by a mile!

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