This special edition is devoted to the theme of water institutions, infrastructure and performance indicators and how they matter to the effectiveness and efficiency of the water sector. It explores many questions which have not been adequately addressed in the literature. For example, what do we know about institutional reforms in the water sector? Can regulation improve the performance of government-controlled water utilities? What explains the choices amongst governance mechanisms in the water sector? How do political institutions affect water sector performance? How do we construct an index of drinking water adequacy? Can the media influence the formation of beliefs about the “yuck” factor in water reuse? Empirical examples are drawn from various countries and regions around the world. Contributors include economists, sociologists, political scientists, consultants, water policy professionals and staff of donor agencies. The methodological approaches employed range from meta-analyses, comparative analyses, content analyses, statistical and econometric analyses, as well as single case studies.

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