BPD | The Water Page

BPD can demonstrate that tri-sector partnerships:can provide win-win benefits to all three parties;can be much more widely used throughout the world;can be scaled up to national and regional levels.BPD Partners decided to spend three years working intensively with 30 “focus projects” (i.e. pilots) in 20 countries and grouped into four “clusters”. The purpose of the Business Partners for Development “focus projects” was to share practical experience building partnerships and to learn together how to achieve the greatest impact on businesses and communities.Natural Resources ClusterWater & Sanitation ClusterGlobal Partnership for Youth DevelopmentGlobal Road Safety Partnership The BPD Water and Sanitation Cluster is an informal network of partners who seek to demonstrate that strategic partnerships involving business, government and civil society can achieve more at the local level to improve access to safe water and effective sanitation for the urban poor than any of the groups acting individually.Among the three groups, perspectives and motivations vary widely however, and reaching consensus often proves difficult. Different work processes, methods of communication and approaches to decision-making are common obstacles. When these tri-sector partnerships succeed though, communities benefit, governments serve more effectively and private enterprise profits, resulting in the win-win situation that is the ultimate aim of BPD and its divisions, or clusters.The Water and Sanitation Cluster aims to improve access to safe water and effective sanitation for the rising number of urban poor in developing countries. By working in partnership it is presumed that governments can ensure the health of their citizens with safe water and effective sanitation while apportioning the financial and technical burden, the private sector can effectively meet their contractual obligations while ensuring financial sustainability over the long term, and communities can gain a real voice in their development.For the last three years the Water and Sanitation Cluster has been working with eight focus projects around the world, most of which predated the Cluster. The approach to extracting information from which to analyse the efficacy of tri-sector partnership is three-pronged:by supporting partnership-oriented research on thematic project elements (cost recovery, education and awareness, etc.)by creating forums for analysing the sector specific (civil society, public and private sector) benefits and challenges of working so closely with organisations from other sectorsby documenting the evolution of the partnership in specific focus projectsCo-convened by Générale des Eaux/Vivendi, WaterAid and The World Bank since 1998, the Secretariat for the Water and Sanitation Cluster is hosted by WaterAid and governed by an international Steering Group. The Steering Group includes representatives from the private sector; focus projects; international NGOs; and donors, such as The World Bank Group, the UK Department for International Development (DFID), and UNICEF. Funding for this learning initiative is provided by The World Bank Group, DFID and participating private sector companies.The BPD Water and Sanitation Cluster has been working with 8 ‘focus projects’ around the world. The 8 partnership projects varied widely in scope, scale, and structure. Several of them had only just been formed when the BPD was created.1) Drinking water supply and sewer system in the El Poz¢n quarter, Cartagena, Colombia2) Water supply improvements to Marunda District, Jakarta, Indonesia3) Restructuring public water services in shanty towns, Port-au-Prince, Haiti4) Developing water supply and sanitation services for marginal urban populations, La Paz and El Alto, Bolivia5) Innovative water solutions for underprivileged districts, Buenos Aires, Argentina6) Sustainable water and wastewater services in underprivileged areas, Eastern Cape and Northern Province, South Africa7) Management of water services, Durban and Pietermaritzburg, South Africa8) Upgrade and expansion of local water networks, Dakar, SenegalThe Secretariat has determined that the best way to learn from the focus projects is through a three-angled line of inquiry. The iterative and complementary approaches are as follows:Ultimately the aim is to bring the three strands together in some coherent analysis of findings. This will result in a checklist (and a body of work documenting the experiences) for potential partners and donors advocating tri-sector partnership. It is doubtful that the Cluster will determine a ‘model’ for tri-sector partnerships. Given the different incentives and disincentives, capacities and resources, and contextual factors involved, the Cluster will not be able to make meaningful blanket recommendations, but will be able to highlight factors to be considered by all partners involved.In the latest (fifth) edition the BPD showcases an article by Steve Waddell extracted from analysis on emerging models for providing water and sanitation to the rural poor (based on the South African experience). Two recent research pieces are highlighted: a short synthesis of the findings from the three sectoral workshops held in 2000 and a summary of a Cost Recovery in Partnership survey. Finally two recently released research reports on Education and Awareness in Partnership and Alternative Approaches to Service Provision are previewed. (12 pages)Project synopses (Project Information Sheets)These exist in English, Spanish and French for each of the eight projects that the BPD works with. They introduce each partnership, covering the actors, context & project beneficiaries. The objectives and structures, roles and responsibilities, communications and feedback of the partnership are then summarised. Finally issues such as evolution and institutionalisation, results, next steps and replicability and wider lessons are looked at.Flexibility by DesignA multi-disciplinary team of experts engaged in municipal capacity building, corporate social responsibility, NGO-private sector relations, domestic water and partnership spheres assembled to draw out partnership lessons stemming from actual focus project experience. Their analysis was based on the Cluster’s internal ‘Partnership Analysis Reports’ which for each focus project document the context, formation process, partnership structures, individual and mutual goals and incentives, evolution and institutionalisation, impacts and key lessons. The team considered what we know about when and how tri-sector partnerships are effective at: 1) providing water and sanitation to the poor? & 2) building systems in which the poor have a sustainable voice? This exciting study presents their findings. (36 pages including appendices)Practitioner Note SeriesThese short pieces are aimed at field practitioners and policymakers. They briefly introduce (in around six pages) particular topics of interest and set them in the context of tri-sector partnerships.Contracting NGOs: Multi-sector partnerships often rely on NGOs to represent the interests of civil society. This practitioner note reviews the main issues, challenges and approaches associated with contracting NGOsPartnership Indicators: Measuring the effectiveness of partnerships between sector groups proves particularly challenging. However, the creation and maintenance of a carefully selected set of indicators tailored to specific partnership projects should enhance relations by increasing clarity and reinforcing communication channels. This paper provides considerations for the creation of such partnership indicators.Conceiving and Managing Partnerships: This paper aims to relate the BPD initiative to the existing body of research into partnerships. It provides a few guidelines on partnership formation, discussing the objectives of collaboration, setting-up governance structures, delineating roles and responsibilities and evaluating partnership impacts.Perceptions of Partnership: Based on a series of sector-specific workshops bringing together practitioners from partnership projects on the ground, this note looks at perceptions of style and competencies of the three sectors. Understanding these expectations at the outset allows partners to move from the “generic” to the specific qualities of their proposed partners.Cost Recovery: Cost recovery in water and sanitation projects is an integral component of long-term sustainability. This practitioner note outlines the ways in which a multi-sector partnership can both help and hinder the achievement of a financially sustainable project.Benefits to Business of Tri-Sector Partnerships: This note briefly surveys the benefits to business of working in partnership to serve poor customers. It suggests why private companies should be concerned with serving the poor and introduces the concept of tri-sector partnerships (TSPs). Reasons why private sector actors (whether large or small, international or local) should be interested in partnering with civil society and the public sector are discussed. Equally, circumstances where TSPs may not be the best option are suggested.The Interface between Regulatory Frameworks and Tri-Sector Partnerships: Addressing regulatory issues is rarely at the centre of tri-sector partnership’s concerns, even though the constraints set by regulation may have a great impact on what can be achieved. Similarly, regulatory institutions do not necessarily see the relevance of co-operating with partnerships for dealing with issues related to the provision of water and sanitation services to poor consumers. Based on BPD experience, this practitioner note calls for a greater dialogue between regulatory institutions and local-level partnerships.The NGO workshop, the first of a series of same-sector workshops, brought together NGO counterparts from the BPD focus projects. Practitioners analysed the various sectoral attributes and the ramifications these have for partnership. Two sets of preliminary recommendations were determined for NGOs considering entering into a tri-sector partnership: (i) recommendations for partnerships, which included contracting mechanisms, governance structures and partners’ responsibilities, and (ii) recommendations for project design in partnership, including the need for community participation in decision-making at every stage of the project cycle. Similar workshops took place for the Public Sector and the Private Sector and the reports from these contain similar recommendations specific to each sector concerned.As well as linking to its member organisations the BPD Water and Sanitation Cluster seeks to play a useful role by not only conducting and disseminating its own in-house research, but by acting as a resource centre for people interested both in partnership and in water issues. The Cluster therefore seeks to provide not only links to other organisations working in the field, but also background documents and other information of interest for both these two themes. The Secretariat is always open for suggestions for its resource centre.