Life-cycle costs

The performance of piped water systems versus handpumps in rural growth centres

The performance of piped water systems versus handpumps in rural growth centres

By  Dr. Christelle Pezon, IRC Piped water systems provide a better service than handpumps, at a lower cost. This conclusion is derived from the in-depth study of the water provision in four rural growth centres (2500 to 7500 people), in Sahel, the poorest region of Burkina Faso (Pezon, 2013).

Insurance for rural water supplies – a good idea?

Insurance for rural water supplies – a good idea?

Email requests sometimes trigger the most interesting thoughts and ideas, particularly when there is no straightforward answer. Today, I received a question on whether at IRC we know of any experience with insurances for rural water supply. This question has reached us several times in the past year. Whereas my first answer to the question […]

Paris, s’éveille – waking up to the Paris Declaration

Paris, s’éveille – waking up to the Paris Declaration

“Paris, s’éveille” (Paris wakes up), sang Jacques Dutronc, observing how the mess of the night is cleaned away, making place for the buzz of another day of work. Likewise, the WASH sector is waking up to the Paris Declaration, cleaning up the mess of often uncoordinated aid efforts. This declaration laid out the principles for […]

“We ate all the meat; there are only bones to chew on now”

“We ate all the meat; there are only bones to chew on now”

“Comimos toda la carne; sólo nos quedan los huesos” (we ate all the meat; there are only bones to chew on now”, said Luis Romero of CONASA (the water and sanitation policy making body in Honduras), in response to the graphs below, when we presented these as part of the sharing of the results of […]

Subverting bad policy for the better

Subverting bad policy for the better

By Richard Ward, Aguaconsult The most recent Global Water Challenge (GWC) webinar hosted at http://www.sustainablewash.org gave another useful opportunity to highlight the findings of the Qualitative Document Analysis (QDA) policy and practice research that has been disseminating during this (slightly cold) first part of 2013. Adding to the ‘reality content’ of those findings were two […]

A visit to Gammarth, Tunisia, or what I learnt at the African Development Bank’s retreat for rural water and sanitation

A visit to Gammarth, Tunisia, or what I learnt at the African Development Bank’s retreat for rural water and sanitation

By Harold Lockwood Last week in Gammarth, Tunis the African Development Bank called a meeting, attended by about 160 sector experts and other government officials, to launch a new coordination mechanism for its flagship Rural Water Supply and  Sanitation Initiative, or RWSSI. It was an interesting couple of days and through the various presentations, discussions, […]

Everyone? Yes, everyone!

Everyone? Yes, everyone!

Anyone who works in the water sector cannot have missed the various consultations and debates on the post-2015 goals for water and sanitation, with the official one taking place here, but also good online discussions, such as the one on The Broker online. At the same time, technical proposals have been developed by working groups […]

Apples and oranges: a comparative assessment in WASH

Apples and oranges: a comparative assessment in WASH

A few weeks ago, an interesting email discussion was held on “water point mapping” D-Group of the Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN). Part of the discussion focused on how much it costs to map or monitor all water systems in a country. Various figures were floating around in the discussion. But when looking at these […]

Stagnating coverage and functionality in rural water in Uganda: can this nut be cracked?

Stagnating coverage and functionality in rural water in Uganda: can this nut be cracked?

Next week more than 200 practitioners and policy makers from government, civil society, private sector and donors will come together for the annual Joint Water and Environment Sector Review in Uganda to review progress and set-backs during the past year and discuss and decide on priorities for the coming year.  For rural water Uganda is […]

Monitoring, learning and adaptation – important lessons from Uganda for development partners

Monitoring, learning and adaptation – important lessons from Uganda for development partners

By Harold Lockwood  -   Yesterday I read an excellent report on how the water sector in Uganda has managed to build a truly national monitoring system. The report is written by the Rural Water Supply Network – RWSN – and so naturally focuses on the rural sector as it looks back at the detailed steps […]

It’s fun to work with the L C C A

It’s fun to work with the L C C A

I have written before about our work on life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA) in Honduras. The idea is to look into the real costs of investment programmes and projects in Honduras, so see which intervention model is the most cost-effective. The reason for that is that within the sector, and sometimes even within an institution, various […]

The water sector’s Orpheus complex – and what it costs

The water sector’s Orpheus complex – and what it costs

Just as Orpheus descended into the underworld to bring his wife Eurydice back to life, the water sector invests heavily in bringing broken-down water supply systems back into function; often to find those same systems slipping back into disuse, as soon as the engineers turn their head to look away from the system they just […]

Overcoming the danger zone

On April 20, Ministers of Water and Sanitation from around the world will meet with their Ministers of Finance in Washington D.C. as part of the Sanitation and Water (SWA) for All High Level Meeting. There, they will discuss sector goals and progress, and it goes without saying that the recent announcement that the Millennium […]

Who is your biggest competitor? The MDGs.

This week, I had to pleasure to present a scoping study we did with IWMI on multiple-use services (MUS) in 5 countries to the client, the Rockefeller Foundation. During the meeting, there was the opportunity for staff of the Foundation to ask critical questions about the studies. One of the most intriguing questions I got […]

Water and sanitation: priceless but not costless

“We just take the programmes as they fall upon us, with their conditions. One donor uses a per capita threshold of 150 US$/capita and wants us to follow one approach, and we will do that. Another uses a threshold of 250 US$/day, but with another approach, and a different degree of community contribution to capital […]