Output-Based Aid for Delivering WASH Services in Vietnam: Ensuring Sustainability and Reaching the Poor
This briefing paper utilized internal monitoring and evaluation data to determine lessons learned from the implementation of Output-Based Aid (OBA) water supply, sanitation and hygiene programs in rural Vietnam, the first of their kind in the country.
In 2007, East Meets West (EMW) was awarded a grant to provide sustainable access to clean water services, using OBA, to low-income rural communities in the central region of Vietnam. The project later expanded to include the Mekong Delta where EMW established an innovative partnership with the private sector to build, own and operate village water supply systems.
Lessons learned from the OBA for rural water supply program
- The OBA approach provides incentives to reduce costs and streamline implementation.
- A two-part grant payment ensures that the service provider not only connects households but also provides a high-quality water supply service.
- Service quality rather than the tariff level seems to be the main determining factor for households’ willingness to pay for clean piped water.
- Private operators had better performance overall compared with schemes owned by commune governments.
Lessons learned from the OBA for rural sanitation and hygiene program
- The OBA sanitation model is working effectively in terms of reaching the poor, and the consumer rebate is a trigger to encourage latrine construction “not later, but now”.
- The operational experience confirms that the program is scalable and cost efficient.
- The availability of microcredit enables the poor to move up the sanitation ladder.