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Professionalising rural water services: a response to the sustainability challenge

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  • 1. Professionalising rural water services: a response to the sustainability challenge Sustainable Services at Scale - Triple-S Stockholm World Water Week - September 2010 Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grantee Workshop
  • 2. The power of water Triple-S - sustainable services at scale
  • 3. Benefiting from ‘water capital’
      • Political interests - local, national and international
      • Fundraising - charity giving and tax payers
      • Development organisations – professional careers
    Triple-S - sustainable services at scale
  • 4. But after the ribbon has been cut? Triple-S - sustainable services at scale
      • Slippage
      • Lack of
      • sustainability
      • Low functionality
  • 5. Progress has been made, but many challenges remain
      • High levels of system failure - 30 to 40% - a universal problem
      • Wasted financial investments
      • Health, dignity, well-being and livelihoods affected
    Triple-S - sustainable services at scale @Fairwater
  • 6. Triple-S multi-country study
      • Better understanding of service delivery and drivers –
      • To inform principles framework
      • Participative process – national stakeholders
      • Understanding the political economy of the sector
      • ..... presentation of partial results - financing not included
    Triple-S - sustainable services at scale
  • 7. Thirteen study countries Triple-S - sustainable services at scale Range of sector maturity, aid dependency, business markets and reforms
  • 8. Decentralisation Triple-S - sustainable services at scale
      • Mixed experience with decentralisation processes
      • Rapid and complete – with support programmes (Colombia, South Africa and Uganda) or with less structured support (Burkina Faso)
      • Phased process – starts with deconcentration (Benin, Mozambique) or partial (Ghana)
      • Some evidence of re-centralisation (Colombia)
      • ....... and remember the timescale for decentralisation
  • 9. Sector reform for rural areas Triple-S - sustainable services at scale
      • Separation of functions with formalisation of community management (Ethiopia – legal issues remain)
      • New demands on local government as service authority
      • New roles for centralised agencies – often resistance to change (SANAA Honduras, PHED India, CWSA Ghana)
      • Reforms delivered through a series of projects with risk of fragmentation or gaps (Ghana) or limited commitment (Honduras)
  • 10. Study findings – sanctioned models Triple-S - sustainable services at scale
  • 11. Community management Triple-S - sustainable services at scale
      • Community management still predominant service delivery model
      • Trend away from volunteerism
      • Out-sourcing of specific functions - plumbing or billing functions (Honduras, Sri Lanka)
      • Full delegation of O&M and administration for more complex systems
      • Community decision-making retained (Ghana, USA)
  • 12. Beyond community management Triple-S - sustainable services at scale
      • Increase in commercial approaches - small towns and RGCs
      • Construction and/or maintenance contracts with area based contracting - Benin, Burkina Faso, South Africa, Uganda
      • Local government acts as service authority to let delegated contracts
      • Continued need for oversight and support from external agencies
  • 13. Delegation options – Benin Triple-S - sustainable services at scale Simple technology – hand pump More complex technology – mechanised boreholes and piped systems
    • Delegation of one supply to one local operator
    • Delegation of many similar systems to one local operator
    • Delegation to one operator of many different types of systems – geographic or territorial lease
    • Delegation by Commune of the operation to a private operator
    • Delegation by Commune through concession contract - for both operation and investment costs
    • Delegation by Commune to an operator with no risk (not depending on tariff income to make profit)
    • Delegation by Commune to an operator, but with no direct relation with consumers (no recovery of bills)
  • 14. Post-construction support Triple-S - sustainable services at scale
      • Mainly applies to community management models
      • Formally mandated and part of policy - Ghana, South Africa, Uganda, Sri Lanka, Thailand
      • But, not adopted systematically in most cases because of financial and capacity constraints
      • Exceptions in Honduras – Técnico en Operación y Mantenamiento and USA through RCAP and NRWA
  • 15. Capacity support Triple-S - sustainable services at scale
      • Typically provided by deconcentrated offices of central ministries
      • Technical Support Units in Uganda
      • Other examples from Ghana, South Africa and Benin – new efforts in Burkina Faso
      • ‘ Support to the supporters’ most commonly local government - districts, communes or municipalities
      • Addressing gap in (newly) decentralised contexts – both for community management and more commercial arrangements
  • 16. Monitoring of sustainable services Triple-S - sustainable services at scale
      • Few examples of comprehensive monitoring systems – focus on monitoring of outputs, not services (Ethiopia and Mozambique)
      • Only 6 of 13 countries have any indicator for functionality – exceptions like Honduras or Uganda with ‘10 golden indicators’
      • Fewer countries have specific sector goals relating to sustainability (Honduras and Colombia)
      • No globally agreed upon definition for sustainability - some promising examples of composite indicators - Honduras and Bolivia
  • 17. Accountability and regulation Triple-S - sustainable services at scale
      • Direct accountability mechanisms between consumers and service providers are vulnerable – cycle of poor service, low tariffs
      • Some evidence of ‘long-arm’ of accountability involving local or central government - Communes in Burkina Faso and Water Service Authorities in South Africa, DWD in Uganda
      • Weak local government capacity is a major constraint
      • Limited experience with regulation of rural service providers – Colombia case illustrates risk of in-appropriate regulatory frameworks
  • 18. Professionalisation as a trend Triple-S - sustainable services at scale
      • Move towards professionalisation across different service delivery models – increasing with system complexity and service levels
      • Spectrum of change in community management – specialisation of functions, partial outsourcing and fully delegation
      • Trend in Latin America to strengthen existing committees and associations (Colombia - programa cultura empresarial )
      • In other regions, out sourcing is done with NGOs/CBOs and ‘commercial’ operators – increasing delegation options with coverage and service levels
      • Space for innovative business approaches?
  • 19. A global taxonomy? RURAL (VILLAGE) RURAL - HIGHLY DISPERSED RURAL GROWTH CENTRES AND SMALL TOWNS VOLUNTARY BASED SEMI-PROFESSIONALISED FULLY PROFESSIONALISED Delegated contracts to private operators Community-based management Direct local government or municipal provider Urban utility (public, private or mixed) Association of CBM or user associations Self Supply New business models and packages
  • 20. Building blocks for professionalisation Triple-S - sustainable services at scale Institutional roles and separation of functions Post-construction and capacity support Monitoring of services as outcomes Appropriate accountability and regulation Strong national leadership and vision
  • 21. National leadership is all important Triple-S - sustainable services at scale
      • ‘ Political’ support for professionalisation of rural water
      • Long-term commitment to sector capacity building
      • Government vision and leadership is key – Honduras still struggling despite reforms since 2003
      • Need for common and widely sanctioned agreements on service levels and different service delivery models ( Ghana )
  • 22. Meeting the costs of professionalisation Triple-S - sustainable services at scale
      • Think beyond capital and operation expenditures
      • Financing of less politically expedient costs is essential through 3 ‘T’s
      • All costs have to be met to shift from ‘business as usual’ and really address the sustainability challenge
  • 23. Triple-S Triple-S - sustainable services at scale Supporting indefinite and sustainable rural water services at scale _______ www.irc.nl/page/45530 [email_address] [email_address]