Linking sanitation policy to service delivery in Rwanda and Uganda: From words to action

AbstractMotivation: The gap between policy, implementation and outcome is nei-ther new nor specific to the sphere of sanitation. This article attempts to apply policy implementation literature in the context of developing coun-tries, when much of the scholarly work on implementation and policy pro-cess and empirical research has been in the context of developed countries.Purpose: This article explores the gap between sanitation policy intentions and outcomes in a comparative study in Rwanda and Uganda with “good” and “limited or no” reported progress respectively towards the former Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).Approach and methods: From a multi-level governance perspective, the gap between strong political will and insufficient resources, implementa-tion and outcome, is examined by drawing on policy and implementation theories and empirical research. The selection of variables for comparison is based on a range of factors theorized as affecting outcome in contempo-rary governance.Findings: Whereas the policy climate and prioritization of sanitation has been favourable in much of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), resources and ca-pacity constraints, especially at the local level, negatively affect sector per-formance in an increasingly decentralized governance landscape. Progress in Rwanda is explained by stronger political leadership and support for sanitation, stringent performance monitoring and oversight, an institution-alized community-based approach, and investment in rural sanitation.Policy implications: This article shows that the management of sanitation de-pends on a changing governance landscape; leadership is important for overall sector improvement; networks present co-ordination challenges; approaching sanitation as a public concern requires strong government intervention; the move towards markets necessitates government oversight; approaches that foster inclusion and legitimacy at the local level need to be considered
Decentralization, implementation, multi-level governance, outcome, policy, sanitation
Ekane, Nelson, Marianne Kjellén, Hans Westlund, et al. 'Linking Sanitation Policy to Service Delivery in Rwanda and Uganda: From Words to Action', Development Policy Review, vol. 38/no. 3, (2020), pp. 344-365.