We are now going to ask the question of whether improved ways of planning water, sanitation, and hygiene investments will result in better outcomes. Changing the way wash investments are planned and delivered is one type of policy intervention that we could use to achieve our objectives in the water and sanitation sector. In other words, we might be able to deploy better methods of designing and implementing water and sanitation programs. During my career, I've seen a variety of different planning protocols used by professionals in the wash sector. Some of these are proposed by wash professionals, but often they come from planners and scholars working in other fields. An important question for us is, will using different planning protocols give better results? And what evidence do we have about what planning approaches work best? In this video, I'm going to ask you to think about the problem of how we should select communities to be included in a new real water supply program. I'm going to ask you to think about three questions. Suppose you are working for the InterAmerican Development Bank on a rural water supply program in Bolivia. A loan has been made to the Bolivian government to finance the construction of simple piped water systems in a few hundred rural communities in a particular province. But there were twice as many rural communities in the province that could be served and can be funded by the project. A colleague suggests that the government randomly assign water systems to a few hundred communities. The argument is this approach would then enable a rigorous evaluation of the success and value for money of the investments. In other words, some communities would randomly receive a new piped water system. These would be the treatment communities. Other communities would not receive a new water system. These would be the control communities. You can think of the random selection of communities as one part of a planning protocol. My question to you is, would you support your colleague's proposal? When I asked my students here at the University of Manchester this question, some say they would not support the proposal and they give three main reasons. First, random selection process isn't efficient because it doesn't take account of the differences, and the cost of providing water to different communities. Second, a random process isn't fair because richer communities might be selected instead of perhaps more deserving poor ones. And they feel that the poorest communities should be targeted for the new projects. And third, they say that a random selection isn't ethical. Their argument here is typically that big development banks shouldn't be running experiments on poor people. But some of my students feel that random selection is a good idea and they also give three main reasons. First, the result of the research will be valuable and will be worth any problems random selection might cause. Second, random selection is transparent and likely to avoid problems of corruption and patronage in selecting rural communities for the projects. And third, random selection is equitable because every community has the same chance of being selected. Now, let's move on to my second question for this case. Now, suppose your supervisor does support your colleague's idea of random assignment. But random assignment can be achieve in two different ways. First, government officials can do the random selection of the communities in their office. Potential beneficiaries would then simply be told the results afterwards. The second way is to hold a public lottery that people from potential communities could attend. In this case, the beneficiaries can observe and participate in the selection process. Which option would you support? When I ask my students here at the University of Manchester this question, again, they have different opinions. Some say that the lottery should be held in private because it would be a waste of time for people to attend a public lottery. Also, in a public lottery the losers would feel bad and their could be public unrest. On the other hand, some like the idea of a public lottery because it is transparent. People can see what is happening. Some students also feel it might be fun for people to attend a public lottery. In 2013, Germans Sturzenegger and Gaston Gerter, together with a team of IDB specialists and government officials from Bolivia's ministry of environment and water went to a municipality named Sica Sica, located in the La Paz department. The purpose of their visit was to supervise a random selection of communities through a public draw. The lottery would select 12 of 25 eligible communities in the municipality that would benefit from a water and sanitation program funded by the Inter_American Development Bank and the Spanish Cooperation Fund. German Sturzenegger is a social specialist working in the water and sanitation division of the Inner American Development.Bank. And Gaston Gertner is an impact evaluation consultant in the Inner American Development Bank. Describing their experiences, Sturzenegger and Gertner wrote, in conversations with Bolivian government officials, we originally proposed to conduct the selection through the first mechanism. That is, in private. We argued that this would accelerate the process and avoid any type of conflict associated with negative reactions related to who would benefit and who would not. But the government officials did not accept our proposal. They said, if we want to do this properly, we need to publicly engage community leaders and local authorities. So in fact, a public lottery was held. Before the drawing was held, the mayor addressed the audience and said, dear fellow companions, the municipality of Sica Sica has changed. Things are no longer like they used to be. Today, with you all, we will select beneficiaries in a transparent manner, without the Mayor or the Municipal council selecting the beneficiaries according to their preferences. The Inter-American Development Bank staff wrote, at the end of the draw, which lasted about an hour, you could naturally perceive some frustration in the faces of those community leaders who were not selected as beneficiaries. However, as we held informal discussions with them, they all acknowledged the importance of choosing beneficiaries in an open and transparent way. All communities had the same probability of being assigned to the program regardless of the political color or their proximity to local, state or national authorities. Sturzenegger and Gerter concluded, this random selection methodology has not only allowed us to conduct an impact evaluation design that will provide important inputs for policy making in the country. It has also shown Mayors in Bolivia a powerful mechanism. To choose beneficiaries in the best possible way. My third question for this case is do you agree that this random selection methodology is the best possible way to choose project beneficiaries? When I asked my students, they again give different answers. After hearing the story that this random selection process was actually used, some students who seem skeptical at first are more inclined to give it a try. Other students still feel that something better than random selection must be possible. This could be by picking communities that are among the poorest and avoiding communities with the highest cost. Others are still worried about the ethics of the random selection and the fact, that the people have seek seeker themselves were not involved in the decision making about whether a public lottery should be held in the first place. I will encourage you to think more about these three questions and to read the inter-American Development Banks project document for this loan. We've posted it up for you. We've also provided a link to a YouTube video about the project in the random selection process in Sica Sica Bolivia. I suggest that you watch it and then let us know what you think about this planning approach for selecting communities in a rural water supply program.