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Policy and legislation

Government's vision and strategy (policy) and legal framework (legislation) for delivering WASH services.

The legal framework for WASH service provision

Through policy and legislation, governments provide the framework for service authorities, service providers and service users to interact with each other and provide WASH services.  Policy needs to identify - over the short, medium and long-term - targets for service delivery (who gets what type of service).  Legislation is needed to provide a framework of legally enforceable rules for different WASH actors.  Policy and legislation need to talk to each other and clearly identify answers to critical issues such as: who is allowed to own and operate water and sanitation services; how are service providers held to account; what options are open to service users to demand their rights.  Lack of clarity in these critical area is a major reason for WASH finding it difficult to attract investment.

Links to other building blocks: clear policy and legislation is an essential precursor to effective regulation. By defining the limits of what is allowed (the different types of permissible service delivery models) policy and legislation defines the roles of different sector institutions as well as conditioning what kind of finance is likely to be available to the sector (e.g. if there is no provision for private provision of services - or ownership of assets - private service providers will not invest in the sector)