A question for the constituencies

How can your constituency contribute to bridging this financing gap?

#HLM2017 Partners Perspectives Series Constituencies

20 Apr, 2017 in

A common challenge across many SWA countries and other constituencies, is the financing gap that exists between the funds the sector currently has and what is needed to achieve universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene by 2030.

According to the World Bank, this amounts to US$114 billion globally per year until 2030, or three times current investment levels. Addressing this challenge, by both attracting more resources and using existing ones more effectively, is a priority for SWA and the focus of the 2017 HLMs.

How can your constituency contribute to bridging this financing gap?

 

Research & Learning

Jaime Melo Baptista, Investigator-Coordinator, National Laboratory of Civil Engineering (LNEC)

JaimeWe must pave the way and encourage effective and sound public water policies at country level. The IWA Lisbon Charter for public policy and effective regulation recommends a methodology. A public policy needs an integrated approach and includes, among others: the adoption of strategic plans; definition of the legal framework; definition of the institutional framework; definition of the governance of the services; definition of the tariff policy; provision and management of the financial resources; human resources capacity building; promotion of research; and provision of information.

The successful implementation depends on the ability to manage at relatively the same time all these components. Yes, a huge amount of money is needed to provide adequate water infrastructure across the globe. How can we attract it to the sector? This depends on the trust that financial organizations have in the sector, and for that it’s key to implement sound and credible public policies.

 

Civil Society Organizations

Frank van der Valk, Executive Director, Water Integrity Network Association (WIN)

Frank_The many formal and informal members of WIN could make a crucial contribution to the challenge of bridging the finance gap.

New financiers need to have trust that their investments are used efficiently and responsibly. Too often this is still hampered by lack of integrity or risks of corruption in any of its many forms, including not only “simple” bribery, but also diversion of funds, nepotism and (lack of control on) sub-standard practices. Integrity in decision making is crucial for the required trust and stability and is therefore a key challenge. As the Water Integrity Global Outlook (WIGO) 2016 demonstrated (www.waterintegritynetwork.net/WIGO), adequate control systems need to be in place BEFORE new investment programmes start to be implemented. WIN can contribute tools and capacity development for such systems, provided that stakeholders agree to take on these issues and invest in resolving them. In this way a better investment climate develops.

 

Private Sector

Hanna WoodburnHanna Woodburn, Director, Global Public Private Partnership for Handwashing

While it is incumbent upon governments to both enact good WASH policies and budget for WASH, the private sector can also help foster investment in WASH. To be clear, governments should not approach the private sector as a panacea to fill funding gaps. But, the private sector, through partnerships, innovative financing mechanisms, and investments can assist in funding WASH projects. I believe that this is just one of many ways that collaboration amongst different sectors can yield better potential returns.

 

It is my hope that during the upcoming High-level Meetings, governments—and representatives from the private sector and civil society—will be able to identify how to make this collaboration a reality. Because it is essential that we don’t neglect this great opportunity that we have—to make clean water, sanitation, and hygiene a reality for all, always and everywhere.