Application and critical assessment of qualitative comparative analysis: determinants for the presence of service provision models for water supply and sanitation services in Brazil

Nathalia Roland, Sonaly Rezende, Léo Heller
  • Water Policy, March 2018, IWA Publishing
  • DOI: 10.2166/wp.2018.164

Factors related to the presence of different water and sanitation management models in Brazil

What is it about?

In Brazil, water supply and sanitation services can be provided by different models. The most common model is the State Companies, a regional model in which the municipalities served grant the services to the company. The municipality itself can also provide the services, either directly (through a municipal administration office) or indirectly (by creating a specific decentralized management office for the provision of services, such as an autarchy). Another possibility is the provision of services by private companies. This last model is not very common in Brazil, but has grown in recent years. The article studies the factors that influence the choice of each model by the municipalities. Why do some locations choose a certain model and other locations adopt another model?

Why is it important?

Studies that analyze the models of provision of water and sanitation services contributes to improving the quality of public policies in this field and to higher quality debates and deliberation. Over time, this article applies an established research method, the Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA), which is not very commonly applied in water and sanitation research sector.


Nathalia Roland
Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais

The article shows, in the cases studied, how the combination of political, economic, social, institutional and legal factors can affect the decision-making process regarding water and sanitation services provision models. The QCA is a very interesting methodology to be applied in public policies studies and has proved capable of allowing the predominant factors in each of the studied management models to be identified as it uncovered how determining factors are inter-related.

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The following have contributed to this page: Nathalia Roland