Unpackaging Demand for Water Service Quality: Evidence from Conjoint Surveys in Sri Lanka
World Bank Publications, 2006 - Public-private sector cooperation
"In the early 2000s, the Government of Sri Lanka considered engaging private sector operators to manage water and sewerage services in two separate service areas: one in the town of Negombo (north of Colombo), and one stretching along the coastal strip (south from Colombo) from the towns of Kalutara to Galle. Since then, the government has abandoned the idea of setting up a public-private partnership in these two areas. This paper is part of a series of investigations to determine how these pilot private sector transactions (forming part of the overall water sector reform strategy) could be designed in such a manner that they would benefit the poor. The authors describe the results of a conjoint survey evaluating the factors that drive customer demand for alternative water supply and sanitation services in Sri Lanka. They show how conjoint surveys can be used to unpackage household demand for attributes of urban services and improve the design of infrastructure policies. They present conjoint surveys as a tool for field experiments and a source of valuable empirical data. In the study of three coastal towns in southwestern Sri Lanka the conjoint survey allows the authors to compare household preferences for four water supply attributes-price, quantity, safety, and reliability. They examine subpopulations of different income levels to determine if demand is heterogeneous. The case study suggests that households care about service quality (not just price). In general, the authors find that households have diverse preferences in terms of quantity, safety, and service options, but not with regard to hours of supply. In particular, they find that the poor have lower ability to trade off income for services, a finding that has significant equity implications in terms of allocating scarce public services and achieving universal water access. "--World Bank web site.
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0.000 Standard deviation access and affordability attribute levels boiling choice question choice set conditional and mixed conditional logit model conjoint analysis conjoint methods conjoint questions conjoint survey contingent valuation costs current option day 200 liters demand for WSS descriptive statistics design and evaluation diarrhea experimental design Galle Hensher heterogeneity hours a day hours of supply Kalutara kilometers liters per day Louviere marginal utility methodology mixed logit results monthly water bill Negombo non-poor households opt-out p-value Pattanayak payment method percent of households piped water network poor and non-poor poor households prefer their current private connection private taps public stand posts public taps respondents Rupees safe for drinking safety sample scenario service alternatives service attributes service delivery programs service options Sinhalese statistics Study area supply hours supply per day water and sanitation Water is safe water quality water sources water supply network WSS alternative WSS programs WSS services