Blue Planet Network (BPN), a program of Thrive Networks, has announced funding for critical work on 44 water-supply systems in five low-income countries in Africa and Central America. The funds, provided by an anonymous donor, will support the rehabilitation, expansion, and/or upgrade of these systems through seven of BPN’s member organizations. The projects were selected by an expert panel of practitioners from a total of 21 proposals submitted by 18 BPN member organizations.
Failure of rural and small-town water systems is widespread in the developing world. A reasonable estimate is that at least one in five such systems globally is non-functional. Repairing a water system can be more efficient and less costly than building a new system from the ground up. But given the complex mix of factors required to keep water services functioning at a high level of performance, rehabilitation efforts that focus strictly on technical problems may not be sufficient for success. Thus, the organizations selected for funding will combine the repair and upgrade of infrastructure with broader operational reforms that pay attention to financial viability and other long-term management challenges.
“These funds address a critical gap in the development world – moving beyond infrastructure toward sustained water service delivery for low-income people in developing countries,” said Melinda Griffith, Thrive Network’s interim CEO. “Our review process ensures a high likelihood of promising outcomes from these projects.”
Support through Blue Planet Network for the selected projects ranges from $2,800 to $35,000 each. Payment will be based in part on performance outcomes. The nine projects selected are as follows:
In addition to choosing the funded projects, the Selection Panel has provided written reviews to the applicants that were not chosen, so that they understand how they might strengthen their work and qualify for future funding opportunities.