Category Archives: Economic Benefits

USAID  Desk Review on Market-Based Rural Sanitation Development Programs

Below is the link to the release of a new USAID desk review prepared under the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Partnerships and Learning for Sustainability (WASHPaLS):

 Desk Review on Market-Based Rural Sanitation Development Programs.

 The USAID/WASHPaLS project prepared a desk review that investigates the current state of knowledge in market-based sanitation (MBS) and establishes a framework to analyze, design, and improve MBS interventions. This report is based on a survey of approximately 600 documents on MBS, in-depth research into 13 MBS intervention case studies across the global south, and interviews with sector experts and program personnel. usaidlogo

This review offers a framework that draws upon and contributes to existing evidence across the three crucial challenges to scaling MBS—appropriate product and business model choices, viability of sanitation enterprises, and difficulty of unlocking public and private financing for sanitation. It also helps funders and implementers design, analyze, and improve MBS interventions and offers guidance for stakeholders and governments interested in using sanitation markets to expand sanitation coverage and reduce open defecation. In addition, this review highlights the larger contextual parameters that determine the applicability of MBS within a given market.

This review was made possible by contributions from Rishi Agarwal, Subhash Chennuri, and Aaron Mihaly (FSG); Dr. Jeff Albert (Aquaya); Dr. Mimi Jenkins (University of California, Davis); Morris Israel (Tetra Tech); Hannah Taukobong (Iris Group, Inc.); Elizabeth Jordan and Jesse Shapiro (USAID); and others.

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Becoming part of a mainstream movement – blended finance in water and sanitation

Becoming part of a mainstream movement – blended finance in water and sanitation. Water Blog, May 2018.

Persuasion does not always involve an epiphany. Often, attitudes are formed and opinions are shaped by the steady accumulation of evidence and examples. And so, it has been for me when it comes to blended finance. waterblog
While anecdotes of transformation may be catchier, the gradual absorption of the work of experts and practitioners is frequently how one’s thinking evolves.

I left the recent 2018 Global Water Summit not feeling transformed or possessed by the idea that blended finance is THE solution for bridging the humongous financial gap required to meet SDG6, but more convinced than ever it has a key role to play. I was also positively surprised that this financial solution is no longer an exotic stranger to our sector and that a significant number of water supply and sanitation (WSS) practitioners are implementing blended finance schemes.

What exactly is blended finance? The OECD representative at the summit explained it as a strategic use of development finance to mobilize private capital flows to emerging and frontier markets. From my experience in Europe, I know that blended finance is not new but for multilateral developmental organizations (MDO) supporting WSS projects, it is definitely a new way of working.

Read the complete article.

Recent posts from the WASHeconomics blog

Below are links to posts from the WASHeconomics blog: A blog about the economics and financing of water and sanitation in developing countries:

WSUP – The bottom line: understanding the business of sanitation

This game was produced by Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) as an exploration of some of the challenges around involving the private sector in sanitation service delivery in cities. wsup-logox2

In the fictional African city of Bafini, 80% of residents have no access to a sewer connection, relying instead on toilets with pits or septic tanks.

This creates a need for better faecal waste collection services, and a market opportunity for a smart entrepreneur.

You run a waste management business in Bafini, and have just decided to expand into faecal sludge management. You have a positive cash flow, which you will need to maintain.

Play the game.

Fecal Sludge Management – Water Currents

Fecal Sludge Management – Water Currents, January 17, 2018.

Worldwide, 2.7 billion people rely on on-site sanitation, but many lack the means to manage fecal sludge—the muddy mix of fecal matter that accumulates over time in septage or pit latrines, which can have significant health and environmental implications. As a result, fecal sludge management (FSM) has become a key component of providing universal sanitation access. fsm.png

This issue of Water Currents contains studies from 2017 that focus on FSM, including research that discusses the health-related aspects, technological aspects, and related economic/financing issues. Also included are links to upcoming courses, announcements, and websites.

We are always looking for ideas and suggestions to make Water Currents more useful and relevant, so we would appreciate your responses to this brief survey.

Courses 
Introduction to Faecal Sludge Management. This introductory course by the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne teaches how to apply concepts of sustainable FSM on a citywide scale. It started on January 8, 2018, but enrollment is still open. This course is one of four in the series “Sanitation, Water and Solid Waste for Development.” This is an online course and there is no charge for participating.

Announcements
Field Test Innovative Sludge Management Tools in Malawi. Mzuzu University Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation in Malawi invites self-funded graduate students or experienced researchers to field test their innovative tools and techniques for the emptying, transport, and treatment of pit latrine or septic tank sludge. The site is well suited for conducting field testing on local pit latrines or septic tanks for a period of several weeks to months. Visit the centre’s website or contact Dr. Rochelle Holm for further information.

FSM and Health
Designing a Mixed-Methods Approach for Collaborative Local Water Security: Findings from a Kenyan Case StudyExposure and Health, July 2017. The purpose of this research was to develop and pilot a mixed-methods-coupled systems (human and physical) approach to understand strengths, challenges, and health impacts associated with WASH in a rural Kenyan community. Both quantitative and qualitative data were used for the analysis.

Read the complete article.

The Power of Incentives: Lessons Learned from Designing and Implementing Results-Based WASH Programs

The Power of Incentives: Lessons Learned from Designing and Implementing Results-Based WASH Programs. by  by Elynn Walter, Guy Howard, Jan Willem Rosenboom, Jeff Albert, Susan Davis, Yi Wei. WASHfunders blog, November 2017.

This week we highlight lessons by UK Department for International Development (DFID)Bill & Melinda Gates FoundationiDE  and Thrive Networks in designing and implementing  innovative results-based WASH programs.

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Source: Thrive Networks

On September 20th in New York City, Improve International and IRC convened a conversation on innovations in grantee-donor relationships in WASH programs hosted by the Voss Foundation and the Wildlife Conservation Society at their offices next to the Central Park Zoo. This week on the blog we summarize key takeaways from the meeting.

Payment by results
Guy Howard from the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) presented on the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene results programme. WASH Results is a 12-country payment by results program involving three supplier contracts. Payments are made by DFID following independent verification of results achievement. The program is supported by a monitoring, verification and evaluation component which provides independent verification of suppliers’ results achievement, and includes an evaluation component including a randomized control trial on program sustainability.

Background
DFID wanted to quickly reach 6 to 7 million people with water access, and so needed to expand its supplier base (previously, 60% of their water programs had been implemented by UNICEF).  This was the first time DFID tried payment by results at this scale.

Benefits
NGOs started using robust hybrid monitoring systems that were input- and output-based, with third party verification. All suppliers worked well, and liked this method.  PBR has expanded to other programs.

Challenges 
Organizations need to have an asset base to take on risk because they only get paid at the end. Most large non-profits do have this, but it is set aside for contingency funding. DFID’s partners had to negotiate with their boards to be able to access these funds. Few people have the skills (WASH and auditing) to do verification. Also, because the results are time-limited they need proxies to measure the strength and sustainability of systems.

Read the complete article.

From new evidence to better practice: finding the sanitation sweet spot – Waterlines, October 2017

From new evidence to better practice: finding the sanitation sweet spot – Waterlines, October 2017.

A growing body of evidence shows that there is a strong causal link between exposure to poor sanitation and detrimental health, human capital, and economic outcomes. At the same time a number of recent impact evaluations of specific sanitation interventions show mixed results. waterlines.jpg

This heterogeneity in findings raises the questions of whether and how the demonstrated benefits of improved sanitation can be consistently achieved through regular project implementation.

This paper attempts to show that the benefits of improved sanitation can be consistently achieved through investing in interventions that address the drivers of latrine use and by divesting from interventions that do not address the drivers of latrine use.

Read the complete article.