The Municipal Services Project has undertaken in-depth examinations of the gendered effects of privatization of public services, with a particular emphasis on the ways in which privatization creates additional burdens for women and exacerbates the power imbalance caused by the gendered divisions of labour. Several publications have been produced from this research, including a book entitled Dumping on Women: Gender and Privatization of Waste Management.
The MSP is now building research capacity on questions of gender in ‘alternatives to privatization’. We aim to build a multi-dimensional gendered analysis within our research methodology, data collection process and advocacy work. Beyond initial questions of access and equity, we want to better understand the gendered implications of particular service delivery models. How, for example, should non-commercialized models be evaluated to ensure that the diverse voices and experiences of women are included? Are there unique methodological approaches to investigating gendered aspects of public, versus private, service delivery? What is the role of gender in community decision making on service delivery?
We have released a first pilot study, Gender justice and public water for all: Insights from Dhaka, Bangladesh, and will be building on this research to 'engender' our analysis of public services.