Investigations conducted by Practical Action in 2005/6 shows that market-led reforms in the electricity and water sectors are going to adversely impact the poor in accessibility and affordability unless special measures are taken to mitigate them. Work done on water reforms also lead us to recognise indigenous principles and mechanisms for water management that are more holistic in nature and could serve the interests of poor better. Previous studies conducted by the programme on the impacts of GATS in 2005/2006 gave a clear picture of how trade agreements could have an impact, in general, on development policies that could have been used to reduce poverty and how the poor could get affected by the liberalization of services.
The proposed work for the year 2006/2007 to 2007/2009 is built on the studies and increased understanding of the global vs. national policy arena arising out of the 2005/06 work. From April 2007 to 2009, the project will work with the University of Colombo to establish a study programme to investigate the impact of globalisation.
The Water Policy Conference organized by Practical Action was an avenue in which research and position papers were presented on (current and proposed) water and energy policies and their implications on the poor. The advocacy work was directed towards political parties, media, relevant ministers, and the public at large.
See also GATS and Reforms, a new website from Practical Action South Asia, addressing service sector liberalization from a developmental perspective through informative policy advocacy