Considerations for productive dialogue
The synthesis report above outlines how dialogue, focusing on tangible short- to medium-term actions, can offer providers a more stable operating environment and slowly bring them into the formal regulatory frameworks that govern water provision. Recommendations are made about possible changes to market structures that could open existing small networks to competition and/or adapt technical standards to make things easier.
The process of engagement is crucial, and suggestions are made in the report about likely champions and brokers who can bridge existing gaps. Local authorities are one candidate. The report also outlines some key considerations for this process and some early confidence-building measures.
In summary, the work shed more light on independent network providers, the scope of their operations and the constraints they face. Their operations compare favourably with many larger, formal utilities, even without much support and subsidy, and users are broadly satisfied and appreciate their services.
This capacity and innovation can, however, be better leveraged to substantially contribute to increasing access to water and sanitation.