Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2015

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


International Affairs

First Advisor

Dr. Krister Andersson

Second Advisor

Dr. Jessica Martin

Third Advisor

Dr. Victoria Hunter


Adequate access to water and sanitation services (WSS) is a fundamental component of human development and has hugely positive effects on health, education, economic productivity, gender equity, and regional stability. Achieving universal access to WSS in a sustainable manner is not only a focus of the UN Millennium Development Goals framework, but it is also a key priority for the entire globe. This paper utilizes qualitative case studies of Pakistan and India to reveal how properly channeling political will is a crucial element to improving the implementation of public service delivery for WSS. Currently, both countries exhibit huge theory-practice gaps, resulting in an inability to provide adequate WSS. The findings illuminate the necessity for a commitment at all levels of the government to revamping existing WSS schemes, as well as to take a multi-stakeholder approach that is both demand-driven and community-led. Combining national planning, user ownership, and cross-sectoral collaboration is the best way to implement a new WSS framework in the current development environment. Furthermore, governments should seek to create a system that both incentivizes and enables beneficiaries and mobilizes political will for all actors (governmental and non-governmental) involved in WSS provision.