Abstract

Poorly designed policies jeopardise ecosystems and their services and the expansion of basic services to vulnerable populations. In the water and sanitation (WatSan) sector, inadequate access of the urban poor to formal and public drinking water supply and sanitation services (WSS) calls for more inclusive policies. Inclusive development (ID) has social, environmental and relational dimensions. However, there is little research on operationalising ID dimensions in WatSan policy discourse analysis. Hence, this paper addresses: How can we elaborate on indicators for inclusive WatSan policies? How can these be applied to assess the design of Brazilian WatSan policies? It examines the literature on ID and WatSan, develops and applies an analytical framework with six indicators to assess ID in WSS through policy analysis: access to minimum WSS; access to WSS even if the urban poor do not have formal housing; domestic wastewater collection/treatment; water availability; participation; and WSS subsidies for low-income people. Comparison between two Brazilian WatSan policies shows that the current WatSan law scores higher on ID than the previous law but neglects key aspects of social, environmental and relational ID dimensions. The selected indicators were useful to operationalise ID in WatSan policy discourse analysis and can boost policy design assessment elsewhere.

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