Improving service levels and impact on the poor: a diagnostic of water supply, sanitation, hygiene, and poverty in Indonesia

The objective of this report is to provide an empirical basis for more inclusive and equitable service delivery in the water and sanitation sector in Indonesia. Despite recent gains, there are close to 100 million people without improved sanitation and 33 million without improved drinking water. These figures hide the persistent divides between urban and rural populations and among different income levels in access to services, and they mask underlying gaps in quality faced by all households, regardless of income or geographic location. Unequal access to services at the beginning of life is a key driver of inequality, placing children at a unfair disadvantage from the outset. The report shows that children living in communities where open defecation is practiced and where the quality of drinking water is poor are more likely to be stunted and suffer from cognitive deficits later in life. Improving the ability of and opportunity for the poor and vulnerable to benefit from water and sanitation services can help to ensure that Indonesia not only achieves its service delivery targets, but that water supply and sanitation become key drivers of a reduction in inequality, enhanced health and well-being, and economic growth and prosperity.