Performance-based Funding for Reliable Rural Water Services in Africa

A graveyard of failed water supply infrastructure across Africa points to the legacy of well-meaning but poorly-executed investments. The enduring problem is that providing maintenance services to rural and remote populations is not financially viable in many contexts. Without credible data on observed delivery costs, government, donors, private finance or other investors cannot allocate current funding efficiently. We report on major improvements in functionality of rural water infrastructure in Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Kenya and Uganda achieved by performance-based providers where rural water users pay a share of the costs. A global consortium provides evidence to support the case for a long-term, multi-country funding facility for SDG 6.1 delivery that "leaves no one behind".

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Webinar: Performance-based funding for rural water in Africa

Monday 13 May 2019, 2pm/UK - Zoom meeting

How might we fund reliable rural water services at scale to leave no one behind? In 2018, five service providers collectively maintained over 2800 rural waterpoints serving an estimated one million people in Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, Kenya, and Uganda. This webinar reviews findings from a new report assessing their performance and discusses implications for funding reliable rural services to achieve SDG 6.1.

Listen to the recording here


Sustainable financing of reliable rural water services requires three conditions to be satisfied: 1) appropriate institutional arrangements; 2) effective maintenance contracts; and 3) robust operational data. Fulfilling these requirements and implementing robust revenue collection systems could deliver high-quality services with concessional funding targeted towards areas of greatest need. Our analysis shows that all three requirements are achievable but not ubiquitous. If policymakers and funders insist on fulfilling these requirements, leaving no-one behind could become a reality.

Figure: Annual Operational Working Ratios

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About 'Uptime'

Uptime is a global consortium to deliver drinking water services to millions of rural people through long-term, performance-based funding to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6.1.

University of Oxford FundiFix Whave Uduma Vergnet Hydro Water for Good Water Mission