Measuring disparities in access to water based on the normative content of the human right

Abstract

Measuring access to water in the Sustainable Development Goals era involves taking into account the human rights framework. Therefore, its content should be considered to conceptualize the level of service through adequate indicators and to follow-up inequities reduction at global, national and local level. This research develops and tests a methodology to measure intra-community disparities based on human right to water normative criteria through a stratified sampling, splitting households served by community based organizations and those self-provided. This approach implies considering much reduced populations, thus special care needs to be taken with sample sizes and uncertainty of estimators. The proposed methodology is practical to locate and accurately characterize minority sectors within rural communities and allows moving beyond central-tendency estimators. It implies higher costs for field data collection than traditional approaches, but this can be assumed given the relevance of the approach from a human rights perspective, which calls for adequate tools for equity-oriented policy making at local level. The research point out how results might be used to shape decision-making processes.

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    Rich and poor, urban and rural, slums and formal urban settlements and disadvantaged groups –which encompasses prohibited grounds of discrimination such as gender, ethnicity, race, colour, religion, caste, national or social origin- and the general population.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank ONGAWA-Engineering for Human Development and the Centre for Cooperation and Development (CCD) of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) for supporting this research. Moreover, authors would like to express their gratitude to technical staff from San Sebastián de Yalí Municipality and Ministry of Health (Minsa) and students from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua (UNAN-León) for their valuable contribution during field work. The authors are grateful to Ricard Giné Garriga (UPC) for his useful comments and suggestions.

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Flores Baquero, O., Jiménez Fdez. de Palencia, A. & Pérez Foguet, A. Measuring disparities in access to water based on the normative content of the human right. Soc Indic Res 127, 741–759 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-015-0976-8

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Keywords

  • Disparities
  • Human right to water
  • Non-discrimination
  • Sampling
  • Self-supply
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)