February 2020
Juma Kisoma, a mechanic hired by SWS partner Whave, operates a hand pump in Kamuli District, Uganda. Photo by Patrick Nease / Environmental Incentives.
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Special Edition SWS Newsletter:
Preventive Maintenance
This edition of the Sustainable WASH Systems newsletter focuses on experiences with developing and scaling effective and innovative approaches to maintenance of rural water service delivery. With 10 years until the SDG target, this topic is a focus for the sector as we seek effective and durable solutions to the challenges of poor functionality of infrastructure and limited sustainability of water services, with the associated lost opportunities of investments provided by both public spending and donor aid.

SWS is working with a number of in-country partners to assess promising maintenance models, capture information about their performance, and, critically, analyze the systems that underpin these models, recognizing these "sub-systems" as part of a wider WASH system, nested in a broader political economy both at local and national levels. Our work focuses on preventive maintenance models, which are those that proactively service, repair, and replace hardware to deliver a more reliable, guaranteed service.

Upcoming Events
AfWA International Congress
February 24–27, 2020 | Kampala, Uganda
For more information on USAID participation in AfWA, click here.
SWS partners Whave, IRC, Oxford/FundiFix, and the University of Colorado at Boulder (UCB) will be participating in the upcoming African Water Association’s (AfWA) International Congress and exhibition in Kampala. SWS will participate in a number of presentations on rural water service sustainability, including:

  • “The Rural Water Utility Solution in Uganda” (Whave)
  • “Rural Water Utilities in Kenya and Uganda: Assuring Universal Access and Reliable Functionality” (Whave and Oxford/FundiFix)
  • “Enabling Rural WASH Systems: Mapping Rural Water Maintenance Approaches and Identifying Key Support Requirements” (UCB)
Colorado WASH Symposium 2020
March 4–5, 2020 | Boulder, Colorado
SWS will be participating in the Colorado WASH Symposium, hosted at the University of Colorado Boulder. Look forward to the following sessions on water service delivery and preventive maintenance presented by SWS researchers and partners:
Monitoring as an Entry Point for Improving Water Supply Maintenance Services in Afar, Ethiopia
IRC WASH | Wed 9:30–10:30
Systems Approaches to WASH: Perspectives from the Literature and Sector Professionals
UCB & George Fox University | Wed 3–4
Making the Sustainability Commitment: Build Your Own Preventive Maintenance Agreement
UCB | Wed 11–12
Long-Term Strategic Planning Essential for Sustainable WASH Services (Case Study of the Uganda's Kabarole District WASH Master Plan)
IRC WASH Uganda & Kabarole District Government | Thurs 11–12
Using Machine Learning to Inform Strategies for Water Service Delivery
George Fox University | Thurs 3–4
Concept Highlight: 
Whave's Preventive Maintenance Model
SWS partner Whave is cultivating a sustainable model for rural water service delivery as a regional service provider in Uganda. By incentivizing local technicians to prevent breakdowns by paying them based on the number of days a water source is functional instead of paying them to make repairs, Whave maintains hand pumps that consistently function with fewer than 8 down days per year. This video explains how Whave implements this model by partnering with local government and working with water committees to collect operation and maintenance (O&M) tariffs appropriate for each community. By aligning incentives and recovering costs locally, the system can scale and increase the sustainability of rural water service provision.

Featured Knowledge Products
Sustaining Rural Water: A Comparative Study of Maintenance Models for Community-Managed Schemes
As rural water supply coverage rates rise across many countries, attention is increasingly being paid to finding and implementing cost-effective mechanisms to ensure this improved initial access is sustained over time. Conventional approaches to maintenance have largely been based on voluntary community-based management with communities taking on the burden of maintenance themselves, with limited — if any — support from external agencies or local government. Recently, there have been attempts to professionalize maintenance services and make these services affordable at the point of delivery. This study considers different variations of maintenance approaches. It provides a typology for characterizing maintenance service provision models, a framework for analyzing them, and an in-depth study of seven maintenance models that represent different cases from the typology of approaches. Based on this comparative analysis, the study outlines emerging trends and recommendations for broader consideration.
Maintenance Approaches to Improve the Sustainability of Rural Water Supplies
Numerous studies have sought to understand the factors that most influence the sustainability of rural water supply services. This understanding has led to the development of maintenance approaches, both reactive and preventive, that seek to improve functionality rates and maintain reliable continuity of rural community water services. This document reviews literature about the factors influencing the sustainability of rural water services and the emerging maintenance approaches seeking to address these factors and improve service reliability.
Emerging Lessons on Sustaining Rural Water Services in Uganda: A Case Study of Whave’s Preventive Maintenance Model
This case study focuses on results in three districts where Whave has operated their preventive maintenance model for more than 4 years, achieving high rates of hand pump functionality — consistently above 97 percent, following the government’s functionality metric — with a short duration for breakdowns (fewer than 3 days of downtime on average). Sustaining this level of service quality will require a greater share of O&M costs financed by water user tariffs than from development partner organizations, and increased investment by local and national government to build a professionalized O&M framework. Whave has been successful in designing and implementing a maintenance service model that addresses many key barriers. However, government ownership and leadership in mobilizing public sector resources, combined with community tariff payments, is necessary to sustain the functionality assurance demonstrated.
Global Waters Radio Podcast: Sustainable Rural Water Improvements in Kenya
In the series' latest podcast,  Global Waters Radio  takes you to Kenya's Kitui County, home to more than 1 million people, to hear from two veteran development practitioners, Cliff Nyaga and Pauline Kiamba, as they share insights, best practices, and lessons learned from SWS efforts to create and sustain rural water supply improvements. They not only talk about the importance of preventive infrastructure maintenance, but also spotlight the key role that WASH forums play in improving governance accountability, strengthening WASH service delivery, and cultivating relationships with county governments and the residents they serve.
Factors Influencing Revenue Collection for Preventive Maintenance of Community Water Systems: A Fuzzy-Set Qualitative Comparative Analysis
This article analyzes combinations of conditions that influence regular payments for water service in resource-limited communities. The study investigated 16 communities participating in a new preventive maintenance program in Kamuli District, Uganda under a public-private partnership framework. The findings from this study reveal distinct pathways of conditions that impact payment compliance and reflect the multifaceted nature of water point sustainability. A comprehensive understanding of the combined factors that lead to payment compliance can improve future preventive maintenance programs, guide the design of water service arrangements, and ultimately increase water service sustainability.
Webinar: Preventive Maintenance Models for Sustainable Rural Water Services
SWS held a webinar in 2018 to present learning about preventive maintenance and how it can help local governments, communities, and the local private sector to shift the paradigm from paying pump mechanics to fix broken pumps to paying them to keep water services running.
 Visit the SWS Microsite!

The SWS Microsite features a curated library of documents about systems approaches and up-to-date information on SWS's activities. Check it out here! 
For more information on SWS, contact or Elizabeth Jordan ( ejordan@usaid.gov ) or Daniel Hollander ( daniel.hollander@colorado.edu ).