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Regulation and accountability

Effectively holding decision makers, service providers and service users to account

Ensuring that the rules of the game are known and followed - by all

Good policy and legislation is only effective if it is practised and enforced.  Given the number of actors involved in providing WASH services, it is essential that there is a clear regulatory framework  in place that includes detailed explanations of their roles and responsibilities to each other across all administrative levels.  The regulatory framework covers critical issues such as: ownership and management of assets; tariff collection, setting and enforcement, service levels and quality, environmental protection, equality issues, etc. Regulatory authority should be clearly identified: who is the referee who ensures that the rules of the game are followed?   Increasingly - but not universally - this involves the creation of a formal regulatory agency.  The critical issues, however, are clarity and avoidance of conflict of interest between the roles of regulation and service provision.  Regulatory processes should be accompanied by clear mechanisms for mutual accountability in which service users are able to hold service providers to account.

Relations with other building blocks: regulation relies particularly on sound policy and legislation and reliable monitoring data