Good Practices for Estimating Reliable Willingness-to-Pay Values in the Water Supply and Sanitation Sector

Publication | December 2007

Feasibility studies on water supply and sanitation (WSS) projects require to examine economic viability, where willingness-to-pay data constitute the basis for assessing effective demand and, sometimes, benefits of WSS services.

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Beneficiaries’ willingness-to-pay (WTP) estimates provide crucial information for designing water supply and sanitation (WSS) projects. Contingent valuation (CV) method is widely used to estimate WTP in WSS project preparation, and poor quality CV studies is cause for concern. There is a pressing need to improve the quality of CV studies conducted in developing countries because such study findings may provide misleading information on project feasibility.

This paper distills knowledge on CV methods generated during the last two decades to provide practical guidelines for skillfully undertaking CV studies. The paper recommends good practices in design, survey administration, and analysis, and provides a quality checklist for team/mission leaders to ensure quality of CV studies in the WSS sector.


  • Foreword
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Use of CV Method to Measure WTP
  • Planning and Design Issues
  • Implementation and Data Management
  • Willingness to Pay, Demand Analysis and Policy Simulations
  • Concluding Remarks
  • Appendixes
  • References

Additional Details

  • Water
  • 020908
  • 1655-5236 (Print)

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