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)

Investment is desperately needed in the rural water supply sector, but funding needs to be targeted properly. According to the WHO-UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme, over 740 million people worldwide still do not have access to improved water sources, and the overwhelming majority of those people are in rural areas.

This section is for funding organisations, trusts, foundations and development partners who are looking for guidance that can support their decision-making processes.


Useful links:

National Development Partner Networks

  • Swiss Water Partnership: The idea of the Swiss Water Partnership is to create an independent, value-based platform that brings together members from the Swiss academic, civil society, public and private spheres.
  • U.S. Water Partnership: Announced in March 2012 by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the U.S. Water Partnership (USWP) unites and mobilizes U.S. expertise, resources and ingenuity to address water challenges around the globe, particularly in the developing world.

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