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24x7 water supply in Punjab: international funding for local action

Rural water supply in Punjab has undergone a substantial change due to the World Bank funded Punjab Rural Water Supply and Sanitation project. Service levels been improved markedly in the successful villages studied – to 24x7 supply – with communities taking full ownership and responsibility. During this process the local government department (DWSS) has begun a systematic process of change, which will see it move from an engineering body, focused on building infrastructure, to one committed to service delivery.

  • The project invested in high quality infrastructure, with an excellent service from the very start: people are more willing to pay when they see a transformative change in the service they receive. By ensuring that the infrastructure was of the best quality, it not only helps ensure service delivery into the future – for example mitigating reduced groundwater levels – but provides a service people feel is aspirational.
  • There is a high level of transparency and accountability with the water committees: each village studied had comprehensive records, and a commitment to sharing this information: such as 'transparency boards' located outside the pump-house. When users know where their tariffs are going, they are less likely to question if the money is being spent appropriately, and more likely to pay willingly.
  • The programme has been statewide: from the outset this project was seen as part of a Sector Wide Approach (SWAp) to rural water supply. This change has required considerable political leadership, but the scale generated by the SWAp has been essential. This has allowed a systematic IEC programme to be implemented, and in particular the development of 'role model' villages to inspire others, now reportedly reaching over 500 villages
Title24x7 water supply in Punjab: international funding for local action
Publication TypeResearch Report
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsHarris, B, Brighu, U, Poonia, R
Pagination39 p. : 8 fig., 15 tab.
Date Published07/2015
PublisherIRC and Malaviya National Institute of Technology Jaipur (MNIT)
Place PublishedJaipur, India
Publication LanguageEnglish
Abstract

Rural water supply in Punjab has undergone a substantial change due to the World Bank funded Punjab Rural Water Supply and Sanitation project. Service levels been improved markedly in the successful villages studied – to 24x7 supply – with communities taking full ownership and responsibility. During this process the local government department (DWSS) has begun a systematic process of change, which will see it move from an engineering body, focused on building infrastructure, to one committed to service delivery.

  • The project invested in high quality infrastructure, with an excellent service from the very start: people are more willing to pay when they see a transformative change in the service they receive. By ensuring that the infrastructure was of the best quality, it not only helps ensure service delivery into the future – for example mitigating reduced groundwater levels – but provides a service people feel is aspirational.
  • There is a high level of transparency and accountability with the water committees: each village studied had comprehensive records, and a commitment to sharing this information: such as 'transparency boards' located outside the pump-house. When users know where their tariffs are going, they are less likely to question if the money is being spent appropriately, and more likely to pay willingly.
  • The programme has been statewide: from the outset this project was seen as part of a Sector Wide Approach (SWAp) to rural water supply. This change has required considerable political leadership, but the scale generated by the SWAp has been essential. This has allowed a systematic IEC programme to be implemented, and in particular the development of 'role model' villages to inspire others, now reportedly reaching over 500 villages
Citation Key81201

Disclaimer

The copyright of the documents on this site remains with the original publishers. The documents may therefore not be redistributed commercially without the permission of the original publishers.