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Research Reviews

Research reviews aim to summarize current knowledge and discuss substantive contributions relevant to the broader water, sanitation and health community. The interpretations and conclusions expressed are entirely those of WHD authors. We encourage you to submit ideas for future research review topics to stanfordwhd@stanford.edu.

Issue 1: Effective Targeting of Water Supply Subsidies

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has taken a tremendous toll on the health and well-being of people around the globe, driving many low-income households into poverty. Recent analyses shows these economic impacts will be long-lived, with reports suggesting all progress made in reducing global poverty since 2015 was lost in the first half of 2020.  In the months and years ahead, a growing number of households will struggle to meet their basic needs for food, shelter and services such as water supply. Relief measures such as the provision of highly subsidized infrastructure and service delivery that have been launched as part of the COVID-19 emergency response will likely need to be extended for some time.

This Research Review provides an overview of subsidy targeting strategies and the conditions under which they have proven successful or not, drawing on more than three decades of applied academic and professional research.