Communal Services in Tajikistan

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  • 1. Communal services in Tajikistan: A poverty and social impact assessment
    C. Stephen Lam
    Almaty, Kazakhstan
    13 April 2011
  • 2. Presentation overview
    Communal services: Sectoral overview
    Poverty and social impact assessment
    Social assistance policy and reform
    Lessons learned, recommendations
  • 3. Key sectoral challenges
    Have risen as infrastructure has deteriorated
    Remain too low to finance infrastructure investment
    Linked to norms, not actual service consumption
    Budget, donor financing for central water, sanitation projects woefully inadequate
    Many households are unable, or unwilling, to pay higher tariffs
    Options to bypass central service are available—especially for sanitation, solid waste collection
    Expansion of meterage:
    Possible in some urban areas . . .
    . . . But nearly impossible in rural areas
  • 4. Water and sanitation: Context
    Key institutions:
    Urban areas: KhojagiManiliyuKommunali (KMK) owns, operates services
    Rural areas:
    The Rural Water Supply Department focuses primarily on irrigation
    Sewage systems nearly non-existent
    2009-2010 reforms let local governments:
    own services and infrastructure
    outsource service provision to private firms, non-governmental institutions
  • 5. Solid waste management: Context
    Urban areas: KMK owns, operates services
    Rural areas: No analogous agency to Rural Water Supply Department for solid waste management
    Institutional vacuum
    Services mostly absent
    It’s now possible for local governments to:
    Own services and infrastructure
    Outsource service provision to private firms and non-governmental institutions
  • 6. Inflation rates: Big increases in communal service tariffs
    Source: National Statistical Agency, UNDP calculations.
  • 7. Tariffs: Water, sanitation, waste management
    Do not fully cover costs of operations and upgrades
    Based on estimated, not actual, use
    Households benefitting from and paying tariffs for centrally managed services are:
    Relatively small numbers
    Mainly in urban areas
    Short-/ medium-term constraints on raising household tariffs to cost recovery levels:
    Willingness to pay (by-pass options available)
  • 8. Source: KMK
  • 9. Source: KMK
  • 10. Water and sanitation: finances
    2006 Water Sector Development Strategy: Tajikistan’s investment needs ≈ $1 billion
    Huge financing gaps:
    2009 state budget for spending on water sector ≈ $1.1 million
    Donors provided $1.5 million
    Donor-financed projects:
    Concentrated in urban areas
    Largely absent in rural areas
  • 11. Solid waste management: finances
    Investment in service infrastructure below WSS levels
    Donor-financed projects underway in urban areas
    EBRD $4 million loan
    Netherlands $4 million grant
    EC $1.7 million grant to Dushanbe for upgrade, including landfills for next 15 years
    In rural areas, international organizations not implementing projects
  • 12. Focus groups
    Discussions held in:
    late 2010, early 2011
    Dushanbe, villages outside capital
    Results indicate that:
    Households view:
    Service quality, dependability as low
    Tariffs as high
    Consumers see need for more funding, but do not see themselves as funding source
  • 13. Prospects for improvements
    Services can be improved via:
    Implementation of local governance reforms
    Outsourcing to private- , third-sector service providers
    Appropriate oversight needed
    Much depends on:
    Large infrastructure projects funded by donors, central government
    Local governments’ abilities to finance infrastructure expansion
  • 14. Improvements in governance and legal environment
    Legal framework for local provision of communal services in place
    Many local government officials and technical staff do not understand how relevant legislation pertains to their offices and responsibilities
    Government officials and service personnel need training to:
    Upgrade knowledge and technical skills to maintain and operate infrastructure
    Supervise service providers
    Attract private capital and know-how
    Engage with consumer organizations
    Provide better customer service
  • 15. Social assistance policy and reform
    Social assistance policies:
    Have not significantly reduced poverty
    Are now undergoing reform
    Case for linking social assistance to communal service tariffs is weak:
    Most poor rural households are not paying tariffs for communal services
    It’s better to link social assistance to low income levels
  • 16. Lessons learned and recommendations
    Proper legal framework needed for local governments to establish and appropriately manage service providers
    Local governments need to be accountable to their constituencies
    Public participation should be an element of local decision-making
    Introduction of water meters should be accelerated
    Public education about conservation and meterage should accompany service provision
    Communal service providers, local officials need capacity development
  • 17. Thank you