Exploring Informal Practices in Dakar?s Water and Sanitation Sectors

Client: World Bank
Faculty: Natasha Iskander
Team: Carolyn Dieckmann, Andrew Duddleston, Lara Gidvani, Marguerite Hanley, Jack Phillips
Year: 2009
Dakar, Senegal has recently achieved significant gains in water provision, as well as more measured gains in sanitation, with The World Bank providing major funding to both sectors. While prior attempts to understand Dakar's water and sanitation sectors have looked primarily at state-level institutional arrangements, this project asks what reforms have meant for households by examining the nuances of water delivery and waste management in three peri-urban neighborhoods: Dalifort, Hann, and Diokoul Kow. The Capstone team interviewed residents and local officials in the water and sanitation sectors, finding that communities employ a wide range of informal practices to supplement ? and in some cases act in place of ? formal services. The report draws lessons from these informal practices and provides recommendations for short-term solutions to inadequacies in waste management and water provision. The report's findings provide insight into how communities understand and relate to challenges in essential service provision, and its recommendations can help inform future policy decisions in both sectors.