Accounting for Poverty in Infrastructure Reform
Authors: Estache, Antonio; Foster, Vivien; Wodon, Quentin
Publication date: March 2002
This comprehensive study identifies the concepts that are central to assessing the effect of infrastructure reform on the poor, based on a detailed analysis of the effects of a decade of reforms in Latin America. It demonstrates that because the access to, and affordability of, basic services is still a major problem, infrastructure investment will be a core component of poverty alleviation programs in the region. The book shows that although affordability of service tariffs is often an issue, in many instances, access is a much more pressing concern in meeting the infrastructure needs of the poor. In this context, the book makes a valuable contribution to the debate about privatization and deregulation, striking an excellent balance between enthusiasm for reform, and concern for the potentially perverse effects. It provides guidelines to assess infrastructure needs, and to ensure that strategies addressing such needs, are cost-effective. By placing special emphasis on data collection, and explanations of quantitative methodologies, that serve as inputs to studies needed to ensure inclusion of the poor in the provision of infrastructure, the study offers a combination of research, policy analysis, and capacity-building efforts. Concluding remarks stipulate the need for political commitment in the redistribution of welfare policies, regulatory reform, and on how will the private sector participate.
Publisher: World Bank