The Political Economy and Coalitions in Botswana’s Water Sector Reform 2009-13: to what extent can the process of reform be understood?

Colman, Anthony John (2013) The Political Economy and Coalitions in Botswana’s Water Sector Reform 2009-13: to what extent can the process of reform be understood? Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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This thesis examines the process of water sector reform in Botswana, focusing on barriers to effective delivery of clean water and improved sanitation services (WSS) to all, and water resource management (WRM), in a water insecure country, dependent for surface water on international river basin organisations. The study provides a crtitical analysis of policy change in progress. The impact of the water reforms on the poor and the process of centralising control of WSS, from both tribal and local authorities and the problems encountered are addressed. This study first reviews Botswana’s historical and recent performance on WRM and WSS and examines the underlying drivers and early outcomes of the recent major reform process.
Advocacy Coalition Theory (Weible et al 2009, 2008; Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith 1999, 1993) provides the theoretical basis to give insights into the processes of policy reform. The research uses documents and observations of government policy planning and implementation processes from 2010 to 2013. Insights are also drawn from key informant interviews and focus groups from village to national level. The results show the relevance of Advocacy Coalition Theory to Botswana’s history of water sector reform; a struggle between a pre-2009 hydro-mission coalition comprised of an elite, grown successful on mining revenues and the culture of cattle; to a post-2009 coalition formed broadly around concern about water availability and an ecological culture that harks back to the past. Changes include new tariff reform policies, which could be seen as running counter to Water Demand Management (WDM), as they are mitigated within the Government’s policies of poverty eradication. The centralisation of WSS provision under a Parastatal, the Water Utilities Corporation, has been completed.
A new Water Policy and Regulator, set to be established, appears to reflect the gradual success of the more environmentally focused coalition, seeking stronger water secure independent IWRM and WDM policies. This process is still in play and it will require strong political will to complete Botswana’s transition to a sustainable water-based political economy. Lessons about surmounting the barriers to effective IWRM and National WRM and delivery of WSS elsewhere in developing countries could be learned from the policy processes in this geographically large, water constrained African country.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of International Development
Depositing User: Users 2259 not found.
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2014 14:09
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2014 14:09

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