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Innovative contracting arrangement to bring together development of infrastructure with capacity building

Published on: 02/09/2016

Innovative new contracting arrangement piloted in eight towns in Ethiopia combining infrastructure development and capacity building for town water utilities.

A ONEWASH Plus learning note on Build Capacity-Build Transfer (BCBT) is produced by IRC/UNICEF as a contribution to the One WaSH National Program.The Build Capacity-Build Transfer (BCBT) approach was developed by UNICEF with its partners in the ONEWASH Plus programme. The note identifies lessons learned to date from piloting in eight towns in four regions of Ethiopia (Amhara, Oromia, Tigray and Somali).

Infrastructure development is essential to improving water supply services in towns. Town water utilities also need the capacity to operate and maintain infrastructure to provide and sustain services. Often, utilities lack some critical skills, personnel, systems, technology and equipment, and end up providing services that are sub-standard and fail to meet customers' demands.

The services in many towns suffer from limited coverage, poor water quality, high losses (Non-Revenue Water or NRW) and frequent breakdowns with gaps in supply. Aiming to both speed up infrastructure development and improve the sustainability of services, the UNICEF/DFID ONEWASH Plus programme has developed an innovative contracting arrangement to bring together in one contract the development of infrastructure for water supply and sanitation with capacity building support to utilities.

Eight Ethiopian towns in four regions are now testing the BCBT approach and the initial piloting has been promising with most parties involved agreeing that it can improve efficiency.