Guest editorial: Quantifying the impact of water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions
Impact study of the One Million Initiative rural water and sanitation programme in Mozambique
This paper presents the findings of a longitudinal study that measures the public health impact of a multiple intervention rural water and sanitation programme termed the One Million Initiative in Central Mozambique. Data from a 2008 multiple indicator panel survey baseline is compared with results from the 2010 midline using a random selection of 1,600 households divided over 80 clusters (control and intervention communities). The study reports the impact using two statistical methods: 1) statistical analysis of double differencing; and 2) calculation of DALYs (disability adjusted life years). The results indicate a self-reported reduction from 30 per cent to 14 per cent in cases of waterborne diseases between 2008 and 2010 in the intervention areas. Regression analysis suggests that 3.1 percentage points of this 16 point decline can be attributed to interventions under the programme. Furthermore the paper noted a 2 per cent reduction in DALYs between 2008 and 2010 in the target communities.
China and Africa: the new water world
Dambisa Moyo’s 2010 publication Dead Aid notes that, in the past 50 years, more than $1 trillion in official development assistance (ODA) has been transferred to Africa. Moyo argues that the African countries that are dependent on ODA have made less economic progress when compared with African nations that have supported a model of trade-based financing. One of these forms of trade-based financing is ‘other official flows’ (OOF). China provides overseas assistance to the water sector in Africa both as ODA and as OOF. China’s involvement in the African water sector is clearly visible, with projects ranging from the construction of city water supply systems to its involvement in rural water well drilling. International literature recognizes the importance of China’s investments and private sector presence as one of the main catalysts behind rapid water infrastructure growth in Africa. China’s history of lifting 500 million Chinese out of poverty over the last 30 years by providing essential water and sanitation infrastructure in urban areas is a strong lesson for Africa, which is predicted to be 64 per cent urbanized by 2050. Concerns over the substitution of local skilled professionals with Chinese experts combined with quality assurance and procurement transparency issues have resulted in the development of a number of innovative models of Chinese engagement in the water sector.