Goldberg, J, 2011 –– WaterSHED Asia program, Cambodia
WaterSHED Asia is a public-private partnership supported by the US Agency for International Development and managed by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. WaterSHED's core work involves supporting local water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) NGOs and entrepreneurs to bring effective, affordable water and sanitation products to rural communities (e.g., latrines and water filters, among others). For his project, Jeff explored specific contexts where microfinance may be used to improve the scalability of water and sanitation products among rural households.
In particular, Jeff helped WaterSHED to form partnerships with three local microfinance institutions (MFIs), so that working capital loans could be offered to WASH product manufacturers, and ŒWASH Savings accounts and group loan schemes could be made available to rural households. Jeff's work shed light on key lessons for practitioners and the development community about new and effective financing approaches to secure pro-poor WASH solutions.
As a capstone to this industry placement, Jeff presented his work at the WASH 2011 conference, jointly organised by the International WaterCentre in Brisbane, Australia. Jeff's presentation, "Partnerships to Facilitate Improved Financing for Water and Sanitation: Cambodian Case Study", examined the key criteria required to facilitate effective partnerships between MFIs, WASH service providers, and target communities. It highlighted the benefits and challenges (financial, operational and health-related, among others) associated with such partnerships, along with key recommendations and lessons learned to promote their replication elsewhere.