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This learning note describes and analyses the four business models elaborated by USAID Transform WASH, which have been applied over the last six years, with recommendations to improve their financial viability.

TitleUSAID Transform WASH business models
Publication TypeBriefing Note
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsOsterwalder, L, Hailegiorgis, B, Mebrate, E
Secondary TitleUSAID Transform WASH learning note
Pagination18 p. : 17 fig., 5 tab.
Date Published12/2022
PublisherUSAID Transform WASH and IRC WASH
Place PublishedAddis Ababa, Ethiopia
Publication LanguageEnglish

Since its launch in 2017, USAID Transform WASH (T/WASH) has adapted and tested business models designed to ensure a sustainable supply of WASH products and services. These business models have been evolving. This learning note describes and analyses the four T/WASH business models, which have been applied over the last six years: (1) Product manufacturing and construction by "advanced manufacturers" or "contractors"; (2) Product manufacturing and installation by "basic manufacturers"; (3) Door-to-door simple upgrades by "mason/installers"; and (4) Plastic sanitation (and other hardware) product sales and support by "retailers". The main lessons learned are: Transform WASH business models are feasible; On average, sales and profits are relatively low; and Door-to-door simple upgrades are the most promising approach for scaling. Recommendations are provided to improve the financial viability of the business models.


About Transform WASH

USAID Transform WASH aims to improve water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) outcomes in Ethiopia by increasing market access to and sustained use of a broader spectrum of affordable WASH products and services, with a substantial focus on sanitation. Transform WASH achieves this by transforming the market for low-cost quality WASH products and services: stimulating demand at the community level, strengthening supply chains, and improving the enabling environment for a vibrant private market.
USAID Transform WASH is a USAID-funded activity implemented by PSI in collaboration with SNV, and IRC WASH. The consortium is working closely with government agencies, including the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, the One WASH National Program, and regional and sub-regional governments.

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