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  • Harold Lockwood

Conrad N. Hilton Foundation - Safe Water Initiative Portfolio Review Findings

Aguaconsult delivers workshops in Ethiopia, Ghana and Uganda to disseminate the findings of Safe Water Initiative Portfolio Review

Over the past two months, Aguaconsult has been delivering a series of workshops co-convened by national ministries of water and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation as part of disseminating the findings of a major portfolio review of the Safe Water Initiative which we carried out in 2023 at a global level and across Ethiopia, Ghana and Uganda. These involved meetings with governments, grantees and other key actors in Accra in March with the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources and in April with the Ministry of Water and Energy in Addis Ababa and the Ministry of Water and Environment in Kampala. The full reports from this review process are now available.


Several common themes emerged from across all three workshops including:


  • Governments have a clear vision for professionalizing rural water services but are following different pathways with a mix of public utility, private enterprises and better supported community-based management.

  • Further clarity in policy and associated legislation is required to ensure that investments ‘on the ground’ in support of different management models can be sustained and are in line with government approved approaches – the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation is committed to working with government and its grantees to support this element of system strengthening.

  • In all three cases, participants recognise the need to extend regulatory arrangements as rural service provision is improved and professionalised, but this will take time and require building additional capacity.

  • In almost all cases, existing sources of financing to support professionalisation are inadequate – this means looking for alternative sources and engineering subsidy mechanisms that are efficient and respond to clearly evidenced performance criteria.

  • Working at the unit of scale of one district only has proven to be present challenges to professionalising different service delivery models; there is a clear intent to now support service delivery across multiple districts and regional levels where relevant.


There is much more to be done in all three countries but these series of convenings demonstrate a clear commitment on the part of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to align more closely with government approaches and to consolidate the lessons from past grant-making to be more focussed on supporting professionalisation in different forms across these three focus countries.


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