The overall framework of this book is laid on two major assumptions – that water and sanitation services (WSS) constitute a social right of citizenship, and that there is a need to better integrate the public policy and management aspects of WSS within both analysis and practice. The book also recognizes that the particular forms of organization characterizing WSS worldwide are historically shaped and affected by multidimensional constraints and local conditions. The first assumption implies that although water supply and sanitation can be subject to a number of social forms of delivery, it is a state obligation to guarantee the universal access to these essential services. Of course, the acknowledgment of the right of access to WSS does not imply that these should be free of charge, as the costs of providing these services have to be covered in order to ensure their financial sustainability. The second assumption focuses on the need to promote a more balanced approach to the organization of WSS, an area of activity that has been, and is still largely, dominated by technical and managerial considerations. In order to overcome the grave problems affecting WSS worldwide, and particularly in less developed countries, it is crucial to bring together both the technical-managerial and the public policy aspects of the activity. Finally, the book also departs from recognizing the historical diversity of WSS organizational forms, also captured by the notion of ‘insdiversity’ (institutional diversity) discussed elsewhere in this volume (see Chapter 5). In this regard, the ownership and management of water and sanitation services is, in many respects, a mainly local issue.