Implementation is an integral portion of project development which needs to receive as much thought as the proposed solutions. In this arena, much can be learned from studying examples of past successes and failures. A Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) in India and the dysfunctional operation of City Water Services Limited (CWS) in Tanzania both serve as examples in which implementation changed the outcome of the project – sometimes for the better, but for these examples, largely for the worse. Thereafter, a variety of implementation options are pursued with links to more in-depth articles in order to provide options for solution implementation.

Implementation case studies

The total sanitation campaign (TSC) in India, created in 1999 and continued into 2011, failed due to a lack of community involvement and enforcement. The government officers that were assigned the task of leading the implementation process were over-worked and under-paid, and thus had little motivation to thoroughly implement the new measures providing sanitation access. Without motivated local leaders, community members in villages were less and less encouraged to increase sanitation access. Toilets and latrines would be built quickly and positive reports sent out without long-term verification. Government officers and village leaders also tended to focus on the construction of sanitation infrastructure over the motivation and education of the community, further decreasing the input of community members. The TSC turned from a community-led campaign into a government program and community participation was minimal if not absent entirely. Many latrines and toilets were left unfinished and unused. From 2001 to 2011, rural sanitation coverage increased by less than 10 percent and in late 2011, India’s Minister of Drinking water and Sanitation stated that the “TSC has been a failure.” [1].

With its implementation shortcomings, there were small areas, however, in which the TSC was successful. These places introduced a greater focus on the human aspects of implementation. In the GP (local government) of Chhaprahan, community theatre and door-to-door visits encouraged families to build their own toilets without external support. As a result, toilet coverage rose from 32 to 100 percent over a few months in 2007. In the village of Dhindar, when a model latrine was built at the community center and families were encouraged to building latrines without an upfront subsidy, latrine coverage increased up to 84% in 2011. In contrast, the low focus on awareness and the provision of a upfront subsidy in Namuda resulted in a sanitation coverage of only 57 percent in 2011 [1].

In another example and a different situation, the United Republic of Tanzania aimed to use public-private partnerships (PPPs) to improve water supply and sanitation services. However, the PPP failed spectacularly from an utter lack of collaboration and regulation. After six years of negotiations, two failed bidding processes, and against the advice of the World Bank, the Parastatal Sector Reform Commission accepted the bid of Biwater Gauff Tanzania Limited (BGT) in 2002, a company that never completely met the qualification criteria. BGT and an investor, Super Doll Trailer Manufacture Company Limited (STM), created the operating company City Water Services Limited (CWS) and made a lease contract with Dar es Salaam Water and Sewerage Authority (DAWASA) to provide water and sewage services in Dar es Salaam. CWS was contracted to increase revenue and renovate the city’s infrastructure and reduce water losses from 70 to 44 percent in three years [2].

The government failed to enforce the operator’s responsibilities in the contract. Leaks, non-metered connections, and illegal usage were not attended to and water losses remained high. Water supply and quality remained unsatisfactory. The water that did reach consumers was often unsafe for drinking and consumers were forced to turn to other, more expensive, private water suppliers. The government also failed to enforce the operator’s financial obligations. CWS introduced a new consumer database and billing software, but quickly fell short of collection requirements. CWS’ monthly water bill collections reached only 52 percent of the projected collection, 21 percent lower than the bill collections that DAWASA had done alone in 2002-2003. The Rental Fee was not paid, tariff collections were often withheld to pay operating costs, and First Time Connection Tariffs were not deposited appropriately. By March 2005, accumulated losses were about $12.3 million. A mediator was called in to help revise the contract, but CWS was not willing to commit to a higher collection performance. Ultimately, the contract collapsed in less than two years with the expulsion of CWS’ managers [2].


With better collaboration and implementation strategies, Tanzania’s PPP debacle and India’s TSC could have been avoided. Mission 2017 acknowledges that merely proposing solutions to a problem is not enough to solve it. These solutions must come with more than just an end goal of an ideal political system for regulating water usage, or a design for water infrastructure to improve water access – they must also come with a method for realizing these ideas in consideration of the social, economic, and political obstacles that they will face, such as:

  • Educating citizens and industry about the importance of water security
  • Collaborating with the people to ensure sustainment of the solutions
  • Enforcing responsible use of water
  • Establishing collaboration between countries
  • Financing the cost of the projects.

Additionally, though it will increase the necessary amount of upfront costs, it is important to include the area’s people in the development of any plan. Solutions must be customized for differing social, economic, political, and geographical climates. Because of this, Mission 2017 recommends finding volunteers or representatives from the area to assist in the contextualization of implementations, to help the solution fit best into the specific context where it is going to be implemented. In Chhaprahan, that would have entailed understanding how effective door-to-door communication could be. In Dhindar, that meant noticing how placing a model latrine in a community center led to an 84 percent increase in latrine coverage. This act of contextualization cannot be completed without collaboration with representatives in the area. It must occur in order to best foster collaboration between stakeholders, the government, and those proposing the solutions to be implemented in the area. After contextualization occurs, Mission 2017 also recommends reviewing below for various context-based methods of implementation for governmental and independent entities to consult when developing solutions. Examples for situations are taken from Mission 2017’s model and maps of current figures.

Encouraging Social Change

After establishing public support, in order to enact solutions that need to be self-sustaining, education is an important pathway that should be pursued. Rather than just building better agricultural infrastructure in Kenya, Japan International Cooperation Agency funded educational opportunities through the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. There, agricultural training is seen as a way “to improve practical farming activities.” [3]. If the civilians are knowledgeable about the projects, they gain the ability to continue to effect change even months and years into the future. There are several areas in which education can be pursued.

Industrial Education

If governments find that their water resources are inefficiently consumed by industries, such as Germany, Canada, and Serbia, they should require programs to improve the sector’s water efficiency. This section will take examples from a general agricultural sector. Certification programs could be used before allowing water-intensive industries to operate. A country may realize that their agricultural sector is unacceptably water-inefficient, prompting the government to work to improve the sector’s water resource management through regulation. Along with normal farming/irrigation practices, they would need to complete certification before gaining classification as an approved agricultural producer and continue thereafter to send in reports on consumption data in return for subsidies. This process linked with awareness campaigns could result in losses of profits for companies who do not follow the regulations and could be equivalent to the government hiring people to collect data instead of hearing directly from the farmers. Additionally, grants could be given out to companies showing improved practices which make a difference on water efficiency.

Domestic Conservation Education

Other countries may see a excess water being consumed by citizens, such as Croatia, Central African Republic, and Papua New Guinea. In these cases, the people should be educated on how to use water in a way that protects its availability as a natural resource today and for future generations. Considering Brisbane, Australia as an example, when facing a drought, the government implemented various conservation measures. Bans on lawn watering, shortened showers, and public awareness campaigns nearly halved water consumption from a peak of 87 to 43 gallons per day [4]. Citizens’ habits impact the water resources on local, regional, and national levels. Children should be educated about the problem of water scarcity starting at an early age. Irresponsible usage of water resources should be reversed and awareness campaigns should be utilized to achieve more immediate social change [4]. See Education and community involvement for details on educational reform.

Political Education

Countries may sometimes underutilize their citizens as well. The people must also be aware of the role they play in impacting political decisions. Governments should hold and advertise opportunities for citizens to give their input, facilitating political involvement from the people. This method can provide the government with valuable insight into the problems that its country faces. Communities could create water committees which address local water problems and bring them to a higher government when necessary. This is similar to the idea behind having both a national government and state governments and having a state government and local municipality government. Establishing a network of accountability and avenues for input to enter political decisions can empower citizens to effect change.


These projects being implemented will directly affect individuals in the area and most situations will require maintenance systems to be in place to ensure it works after completion. If possible, those individuals should assist in post-implementation maintenance through training programs. Once the project establishes public support in the area, this connection can assist with the training of the citizens. The volunteers can continue to monitor the project post-implementation, increasing the sustainability of solutions. See local context for more information.

Education is the foundation for social change and upward mobility and for situations like Brisbane and Kenya, it has the propensity to drastically change conditions. It is the responsibility of governments to sponsor awareness campaigns for adults as well as for children through local school systems, thereby promoting improved water habits.

Cooperative Regulation

When dealing with shared water resources, water scarcity and water pollution are not solely problems of an individual country. The way a country manages its natural resources also affects neighboring countries, as seen in the example studied in the local context article and other examples [5][6][7][8]. As a consequence, trans-boundary agreements are integral to ensuring sustainability and better management of water resources.

Three additional considerations exist:

  1. Some countries have not pursued regional commissions before.
  2. Some groups of countries might not be able to reach agreements due to seemingly intractable interests.
  3. As a global community, international laws are still necessary though water security problems are highly contextualized.

Mission 2017 suggests cooperation with the proposed consulting branch to be added to UN Water to assist in resolving these considerations, the UN Transboundary Agreements Advisory Board (UNTAAB). This organization can act as a mediator and represent the international regulations and declarations necessary for responsible implementation schemes to come to fruition.

Financing New Infrastructures and Technologies

There is a range of ways to obtain funding to launch new programs, build new infrastructure, and bring new technologies to the forefront for improving global water security. For all of these projects, large investments need to be made. Often, a developing countries’ budgets and developed countries’ interest groups cannot pay for the projects that are needed to resolve a water security problem or support the development of new technologies. Mission 2017 recommends that projects utilize a combination of the creative and varied financing solutions summarized below.

To implement solutions in a variety of financial situations, governments and organizations should first consider the scale and economic capabilities of the region. Two trends help categorize the various financial strategies which can prove to be effective. Firstly, the scaling will help determine the scope of financial options needed. While some strategies are effective on both local and national scale, there are specific schemes which are more specialized. Secondly, the economic capabilities of the country helps determine from which organizations the project could receive funding.

With very large municipalities acting as the exceptions, local scale funding usually requires a similar approach, within developed and developing countries. One option is microfinancing, which has been implemented in an increasing number of places by organizations like WaterCredit. Through this option, individuals can apply for small-scale loans and other financing options. Another option is self-supply. When people have the interest in personally saving money and investing in new projects to better their situation. Charity organizations and local government subsidies are two final options to consider in local scale implementation. Due to the smaller scope of local projects, they generally do not cost as much as larger projects. This allows local governments and intra- and international charity organizations to fund the implementation.

When implementing on a national scale within developing countries, a different set of options can be used. Public-private partnership (PPP) financing has become increasingly popular in recent years due to many of its successes [9][10][11]. PPPs forms a collaboration between public and private organization when tasks exceed the capabilities of the local government. Another option is the selling of bonds. When a country has a strong credit rating, bonds can be a way to diversify project funding. Lastly, multilateral investors and charity organizations can help fund large projects in developing countries. Groups like the World Bank, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and United Nations Development Program provide advice and loans to specific projects concerned with their particular interests, whether they be for reconstruction or poverty reduction.

Within developed countries, national scale implementations funding follows similar patterns. These options include subsidies, taxes, PPPs, and equities. One of the first routes to finance a project in developed countries is assessing the feasibility of using taxes to finance government subsidies. Taxes can help subsidize different projects that industry and individuals would not be able to pursue due to economic limitations. Equities are similar to loans, however, they allow the investor to own a share of the company or project as well.

Through the use of these contextual implementation methods, solutions can leave the realm of theoretical political systems and infrastructures and actually become fully realized.



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2. Tanzanian tales: Why PPP failed to scale a mountain of water problems. (n.d.). WaterWorld. Retrieved December 2, 2013, from

3. Juma, C. (2011). Agricultural innovations and prosperity in Africa: Challenges and opportunities for higher education and research. Sixth GCHERA Conference Proceedings, 0. Retrieved from

4. Cart, J. (2009, November 24). Brisbane writes a case study on saving water. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 1, 2013, from

5. Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. (n.d.). International Rivers. Retrieved December 2, 2013, from

6. Brahmaputra river. (n.d.). Peak Water. Retrieved December 2, 2013, from

7. Overview. (n.d.). Lake Tanganyika Biodiversity Project. Retrieved December 2, 2013, from

8. Mission Statement. (n.d.). Black Sea Commission. Retrieved December 2, 2013, from

9. Marin, P. (2009). Public-private partnerships for urban water utilities: a review of experiences in developing countries. Washington, DC: World Bank

10. Uganda: Small Scale Infrastructure Provider (SSIP) Program – Water. (2010). Water. Retrieved November 23, 2013, from

11. Smallscale Water Projects – Rural and Peri-Urban. (n.d.). Public Private Partnerships in Infrastructure. Retrieved November 23, 2013, from