Results-based financing to address the rural water gap

In 2017, almost 800 million people still lacked even a basic water supply and eight out of ten live in rural areas.

Text by Meleesa Naughton

After decades of investment in rural water supply, what’s left in some regions is a graveyard of failed rural water supply infrastructure and services. Many sector partners agree: not only is there a need for increased operations and maintenance funding; links between investments and results need to be more transparent, and the value of existing public funding needs to be maximized by incentivizing sector performance, improving subsidy targeting and promoting better sector planning and management.

Particularly in rural areas, concessionary funding is needed to guarantee reliable services for everyone. Results-based funding is a way to invest those funds in a manner that is targeted, transparent, data-driven and scalable, while motivating services to improve over time.

Exploring the role, challenges and success of rural service provision will feature during the 4th Global WOPs Congress (October 18-29, 2021) convened by GWOPA. For now, the 100M Initiative is undertaking a multi-stage data collection exercise to estimate the scale and potential of results-based funding globally for water service providers in rural areas.

GWOPA partners are invited to participate in a short survey aimed at collecting data to inform viability and design of results-based funding contracts across different contexts and service types – survey here until 25 June 2021 in English, French, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese and Mandarin.

The collected data and analysis will be used to finalise a strategy to develop results-based funding to support performance-based contracts for water service provision for 100 million people by 2030.