Liberalisation and Universal Access to Basic Services

Telecommunications, Water and Sanitation, Financial Services, and Electricity

image of Liberalisation and Universal Access to Basic Services

Building on a recent groundbreaking OECD/World Bank seminar, this volume explores whether and how trade liberalisation can contribute to achieving universal service goals and the types of complementary policies required.  It focuses on experiences in four sectors - telecommunications,  water and sanitation, financial services, and electricity. The unique multi-sector perspective taken in this book, together with the national case studies, yield insights which can help countries promote their universal access goals. A horizontal assessment also helps determine how far the current services negotiations in the WTO, under the General Agreement on Trade in Services, can aid the attainment of universal service goals.



Universal Access in the Water and Sanitation Sector

This chapter presents an overview of the question of access in the water and sanitation sector. It draws attention to problems of definition, discusses sectoral reforms and their impact and mechanisms for developing a framework of universal service. It looks at contract stipulations, pricing devices and consumer subsidies and evaluates their effectiveness in terms of increasing provision for the poor. Possibilities for alternative technologies are considered. The chapter also discusses the role of regulatory bodies and the sustainability of reforms involving the public and private sectors.


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