Submitting proposals for funding rural water projects can be frustrating business for all concerned, so to help we are compiling general feedback and tips from donors:
- some donors do want to hear about lifecycle costs and would potentially consider contributing funding towards these as appropriate, and/or the capacity building of the local government/private sector to improve sustainability;
- we do want to know that the functionality of water points is being measured for many years after the end of the project, and that decisions on which organisations we will fund will be taken on current ability to demonstrate ongoing functionality of water points installed 5+ years ago;
- that the issues of sustainability extend to sanitation and hygiene eg that latrines continue to be used and hygiene behavioural change remains culturally embedded for years after the main project has been completed;
- there is a recognition that repair of, or continued maintenance of, water points which have fallen into disrepair could be a much more cost-effective method of increasing access to clean drinking water than establishing new infrastructure.
(with thanks to Simon Pickard of The Waterloo Foundation)