An Analysis of the Relationship Between Access to At Least Basic WASH Services and the Economy in Southeast Asia and Its Role on the Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals Open Access

Clemente, Jacob (Spring 2019)

Permanent URL:


INTRODUCTION: The water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sector remains a key focus of development. As a result of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the sector has its own goal—Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6—that calls for access to at least basic drinking water and sanitation services for all populations. SDG 6, and the WASH sector, can play an important role in the achievement of the SDGs. This role can be emphasized by examining the relationship between WASH and the economy. To support this claim, this thesis proposes a cyclical framework that may depict this relationship.

METHODS: To conduct the analysis, an aggregated dataset was created with publicly-available datasets. At least basic water and sanitation coverage data from the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme informed the WASH services while values for annual growth rate of real GDP per capita and total official financial flows to water supply and sanitation SDG indicators from the UN Statistics Division served as the economic indicators. Data was from Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam from 2000-2015.

RESULTS: Although there was growth in both access to at least basic drinking water and at least basic sanitation coverage, there was varied growth in the annual rate of GDP per capita and total financial flows to water supply and sanitation in all three countries. The relationships between the coverage of water services and the coverage of sanitation services were strong and significant for all three countries individually and in aggregate. There were similar relationships between WASH coverage and population. Lastly, the relationships between WASH coverage and the economic indicators varied in strength, direction, and significance.

DISCUSSION: There were no discernible patterns in the relationships between WASH coverage and economic indicators. Although there are some indications that there could be a relationship, the correlations were not consistently strong and significant across the three countries. The coverage for WASH services grew over the time period; however, the variability in the values for the economic indicators may be due to a plethora of inputs and outputs into the economy external to the WASH sector.

Table of Contents


Sustainable Development Goal 6. 2

Access to WASH Services, Economic Growth, and the SDGs. 3

Study Purpose. 6


Infrastructure and the Economy. 8

WASH Access and the Economy. 11


Water and Sanitation Services Dataset - Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene (JMP) 18

Drinking Water and Sanitation Indicators Selected for Secondary Analysis. 20

WHO/UNICEF JMP Dataset Aggregation & Creation. 23

Economic Indicators Dataset – UN Statistics Division (UNSD) 23

Annual Growth Rate of Real GDP Per Capita. 24

Total Official Financial Flows to Water Supply and Sanitation. 25

The Case for Southeast Asia. 26

Data Collection, Management, and Plan for Secondary Analysis. 27

Ethical Considerations 28


Population. 29

WASH and the Economy. 30

Mean Values for WASH and the Economy in 2000 and 2015. 32

At Least Basic Water Services Coverage. 33

At Least Basic Sanitation Services Coverage. 34

Relationship Between WASH and the Economy. 35

Indonesia. 35

Philippines. 39

Vietnam.. 42

Regional Trends of the Relationship Between WASH Services and the Economy. 45

Relationship Between WASH and the Economy. 45

Annual Growth Rate of Real GDP Per Capita. 47

Total Official Financial Flows to Water Supply and Sanitation. 49


Relationship of WASH Services to The Economy. 53

Indonesia. 54

Philippines. 54

Vietnam.. 55

Relationship of the Economy to WASH Services. 55

Official Development Assistance. 56

WASH and the Achievement of the SDGs. 57




About this Master's Thesis

Rights statement
  • Permission granted by the author to include this thesis or dissertation in this repository. All rights reserved by the author. Please contact the author for information regarding the reproduction and use of this thesis or dissertation.
  • English
Research Field
Committee Chair / Thesis Advisor
Last modified

Primary PDF

Supplemental Files