RWSN Topic

Financing Life-Cycle Costs

Financing life-cycle costs

Emphasis will be on enhancing capacity in the sector to undertake lifecycle costing as well as asset management for rural water supply, and the use of this in planning and budgeting at local government level. Building on the outcomes of the 2014 e-discussion on local governments, advocacy messages will be developed on the need for public financing of local government to play its designated role in water service provision.

Topic: Financing Life-Cycle Costs

Expected outcomes (2015-2017):

  • In at least three countries, life-cycle costs of services have been clarified and used to improve the sector’s financial frameworks
  • Water service professionals have a good understanding of lifecycle costs of water service provision.

Activities & Publications (2015-2017):

  • Development of guidelines on lifecycle costing for water supply
  • Training and tool for lifecycle planning and budgeting at local government level
  • Advocacy for increasing public financing for sustainable rural water services

Related Resources

Harnessing water point data to improve drinking water services

This document introduces what water point data are, why they are collected, and how they are used in “The Value of Water Point Data”. The chapter “A Deep Dive: The Case of Uganda” illustrates the use and progressive improvement of water point data in a country that is actively updating and publishing its National Water Atlas.

“From Water Point Data to Improved Water Services” provides an overview of how water point data can be used more effectively to measure services and water resources, strengthen the enabling environment, and improve coordination. It also reviews some innovative approaches under development, such as the remote monitoring of water points. Finally, “Recommendations” provides actionable guidance to a) national governments, b) local governments, c) NGOs and implementers, and d) donors and investors. | more information »

What’s Working, Where, and for How Long

A 2016 Water Point Update to the RWSN (2009) statistics

• An average of 78% of water points are functional across the 11 countries analyzed.

• The high failure rates early after installation are troubling: almost 15% after one year and 25% of water points are non-functional by their fourth year after installation. This indicates widespread problems with poor quality water point installation, due to a range of problems that may include professionalism and skills around contracts, construction and supervision; borehole siting; lack of quality control of hardware; or lack of post-construction monitoring and problem resolution.

• Handpumps are often singled out as technology that fails, but analysis of other water point types show similar functionality levels, and that tens of thousands of handpumps are providing a service

This poster was peer-reviewed and presented at the 7th RWSN Forum in Abidjan, Cote'Ivoire 2016.

It replaces "Handpump Data 2009 Selected Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa" (2009) | more information »

Community management of water points: more problem than solution?

RWSN Dgroups discussion synthesis

This note summarizes some of the broad points of a June 2017 RWSN blog written by Dr Ellie Chowns on communitybased management (CBM) and the ensuing discussion on the RWSN Sustainable Services DGroup, to which many RWSN members contributed .

CBM is the prevalent management model for rural water supply. So what are the issues?
• Lack of accountability: Community management enables government officials and donors alike to abdicate responsibility for ensuring long-term sustainable water services.
• Inefficiency and lack of sustainability: Preventive maintenance is almost never done, repairs are often slow and sub-standard, and committees are unable to collect and save funds.
• Disempowerment: CBM reinforces existing community power relations, thereby breeding conflict rather than strengthening social capital.
• Lack of scalability and dependence on external support: The CBM model has never reliably worked at any scale but is continued due to a lack of viable, or proven alternative. One can always find 'successful' case studies of where it has worked fantastically well – but these tend to be isolated systems, reliant on constant | more information »

Delivering Universal and Sustainable Water Services

Partnering with the Private Sector

The objective of this Guidance Note is to offer practical, experience-based guidance to those considering or currently
engaging in PPP in the water sector, and to provide a basic understanding of water PPPs and the PPP cycle to better
inform dialogue with governments that are considering PPP arrangements.

It builds on the experience of WSP in supporting PPP reforms in developing countries, especially through the domestic private sector. Key stakeholders in this dialogue include government at all levels, service providers, policy makers, customers, civil society, and professionals.

Many water PPP engagements in developing countries are more domestically oriented and at a smaller scale than international transactions. This Note outlines a rationale and approach for launching a water sector PPP so that government leaders and private sector providers can have informed discussions about the path forward should they choose to explore this approach in their countries. | more information »

Proceedings of the 7th RWSN Forum

29 Nov - 2 Dec 2016, Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire

The 2016 Rural Water Supply Network Forum in Abidjan was the first global gathering to consider the practical challenge of how everyone worldwide can get access to safe, affordable water by 2030. It was also the first RWSN Forum to take place in a francophone country, in the 25 years since the creation of the network.
The Forum gathered 467 rural water sector practitioners from over 300 organisations from 64 countries in Africa, Asia, Americas, and Europe, in a bilingual (English/French) four day event. It was opened by the Prime Minister of Côte d’Ivoire, Mr Daniel Kaplan Duncan. We were joined by HE State Minster James Dengchol Tot, Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity of Ethiopia, as well as a delegation from AMCOW.

This Forum proceedings compiles all peer-reviewed materials. Separate downloads and links to the films can be found at: | more information »

Local Government and Rural Water Services that last: a way forward

Rural Water Supply Reality Check

This paper is a synthesis of the major themes discussed during the local government e-discussion held during May 2015, which included 75 contributions from 58 people presenting experiences in English, French and Spanish and cases from 43 different countries from across the globe. Each week focused on a specific theme. Dedicated week facilitators introduced the theme in the beginning of the week, led the discussion during the week and summarised the main discussion points at the end of the week. The paper highlights the discussed role local government can and does play in ensuring sustainable water service provision, the challenges that local government is facing in fulfilling these roles and responsibilities, and the opportunities for overcoming these challenges. | more information »

Rural Water Supply Network - Annual Report 2016

Enabling practitioners, professionals and ultimately water users to make informed decisions on how to improve and maintain access to safe water in rural areas.

The focus for the Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN) in 2016 was preparing for, and managing the 7th RWSN Forum in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, from 29th November to 2nd December with the title “Water for Everyone”. This was the first RWSN Forum to take place in a francophone country in the 25 years since the creation of the network.

Throughout 2016 specific in-country activities included a short-course on Procurement, Contract Management and Costing and Pricing in Zambia and a participative analysis of Manual Drilling in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Workshops organized by the World Bank in Bangkok and Lima on sustainable services drew together government agencies in both regions. Key lessons from both events fed into the RWSN Forum under the RWSN Theme “Sustainable Services”.

RWSN continued to work on strengthening the links between research and practice on groundwater by disseminating the outputs from UPGro (Unlocking the Potential of Groundwater for the Poor) research to the RWSN membership as well as fostering direct linkages between groundwater experts and water supply professionals. | more information »


SDC Briefing Note

This Briefing Note outlines the results from more than 15 years of experience in both Tajikistan and Uzbekistan by the International Secretariat for Water (ISW) funded by the Swiss Agency for Development & Cooperation (SDC).
The note outlines the ways in which cost recovery has been been acheived and social tariffs set locally. However when it comes to scaling up there are certainly many hindering factors, not the least being the centralised structure of the States apparatus and deciding power.
It is essential to overcome political tariff challenges as there is resistance that can emerge from a heavy centralised past and the belief that at local level things cannot work properly without keeping them under central control. | more information »

Revues Sectorielles Conjointes sur l'eau, l'assainissement et l'hygiène (WASH)


L'amélioration de l'eau, l'assainissement et l'hygiène (WASH) dans les États à revenu faible ou intermédiaire, plus particulièrement les États fragiles, ou ceux qui souffrent de crises prolongées, est grand défi.
Au cours de la dernière décennie,les revues sectorielles conjointes (JSR) ont émergé comme un moyen de coordination des parties prenantes,d'apprentissage commun,de collecte de données, de prise de décision et de construction de consensus, de partenariats et de mandats d'action. Les JSR offrent une opportunité de renforcement de la gouvernance et d'augmentation d'impact.
Dans les pays où plusieurs bailleurs de fonds financent la WASH et ne fournissent pas un appui budgétaire général, les JSR sont l'un des rares mécanismes pouvant susciter la responsabilité mutuelle au niveau des pays | more information »

Rainwater Harvesting in Thailand: Learning from the World Champions

RWSN Field Note 2016-1

This field note provides an overview and analysis of the historic developments of promoting Domestic Rainwater Harvesting (DRWH) in Thailand between 1980 and 2015. Based on literature reviews and interviews with stakeholders a series of factors were identified which made the promotion of DRWH in Thailand an exceptionally successful example of diffusion of innovations. Among the key factors identified were policies, market structure, pre-existing habits, affordability, supply chain and climate. No single factor was decisive but several of them occurring simultaneously made it possible for an enabling environment to form and make the initiative flourish even after government funding ran out (most of the Thai Jars, which are most commonly used for rainwater storage, were actually delivered through the private sector and paid by the consumers).
In spite of its large-scale success, the Thai Jar Experience is not a blueprint for replication elsewhere but points out to the importance of cultural and economic aspects, as well as to an enabling environment in general. | more information »