Our Business Approach
To support the development of the private sector to sustainably improve WASH infrastructure and knowledge
Our interventions are targeted to the needs of underserved and remote communities. Existing WASH infrastructure and MSABI intervention mapping aims at facilitating the targeting of our program to areas most in need. A mobile team, including social marketing and water point drilling tams, enables us to provide services to the most remote areas, far from the main roads and areas of activity of most other developmental programs. As an example, MSABI recently onstructed 30 water points at more than 30 Km from the nearest road, providing access to water for remotely located Masaii and Sukuma tribes.
Whenever possible, MSABI works through a demand driven and market based approach.
MSABI is supporting the creation of sustainable local WASH businesses. The aim is to incubate these businesses over a prolonged period of time and build their capacity to manage and deliver WASH interventions through a sustainable market approach. Currently MSABI is working with several businesses including two water point drilling enterprises, a water point maintenance enterprise, three water pump production workshops, a ceramic filter production workshop, several sanitation private sector players and a drama education performance troupe.
Job creation and local service provision keeps financial resources in local communities. This market creation and stimulation facilitates the creation of amore cost-efficient and self-sustaining culture. It is our aim to create local service delivery businesses that can sustainably generate income and have the local community, government or other organisations and institutions as their clients.
With an average income of less than 2 USD per day, we foresee a low probability of direct beneficiaries covering full capital costs of expensive infrastructure. MSABI therefore uses a mixed approach, not subsidizing affordable products, partially subsidizing more expensive products (such as water points or school sanitation installations) and establishing supporting structures such as micro-financing or subscription based payment systems.
Our water point program works on the basis that water points are subsidized with an amount dependant on the user group type. The subsidy schemes are set at slightly higher than local market prices for locally drilled yet lower quality boreholes. Together with national partners, we are lobbying the government to cover subsidy costs and make the program independent from international aid programs and therefore financially sustainable on a national level.
Water pumps, water point maintenance services, ceramic filters and household sanitation products are not directly subsidized.
We strongly believe in the critical role for the private sector to improve water and sanitation access coverage and sustainability of created assets. Our hardware is affordable and locally available through efficient supply chains. We use cost-efficient and locally adapted technologies.
We not only promote new hardware approaches but put strong emphasis on innovative management systems (such as tailored asset management systems), financing systems (such as microfinance, subscription based service delivery systems, mobile payment systems) and surveillance systems (such as mobile phone mediated reporting and coordination systems).
We developed robust quality assurance and monitoring and evaluation feedback mechanisms, which allow us to constantly fine-tune and adapt our hardware and software approaches. This system is new and innovative and sets new standards within the sector that can be replicated by other organisations.
MSABI also uses innovative monitoring and evaluation and ICT solutions to improve intervention targeting and efficiency. This enables MSABI to be more efficient, limit data entry mistakes, facilitate data visualization and analysis and improve data accuracy and transparency.
Several components of our program aim at improving sustainability of our approach:
1. MSABI uses low-cost and efficient technologies coupled with local manufacture and a focus on reparability, available spare parts and efficient supply chains.
2. MSABI is empowering communities to own and manage their own assets as an important precursor for sustainability – particularly when they are charged with the responsibility of on-going operation and maintenance.
3. Providing affordable, safe and reliable WASH services leads to community demand – particularly when coupled with targeted awareness and social marketing campaigns. Private sector businesses that meet demand and provide high quality products and services offer a sustainable solution for supply and on-going upkeep of WASH assets.
4. Demand based and pay-for-service models strengthen ownership. Communities have to decide if they want the service, which families they will partner with for ownership and management, and how they will pay for the service and manage the asset when in operation.
5. Multi-layered fail-safe mechanisms to improve functionality of installed infrastructure. In the case of water points, MSABI have facilitated the creation of local enterprises that provide affordable drilling services and pump manufacture and installation. Owners are encouraged to sell water, and therefore have a vested interest in ensuring their water point works. And there is the option to subscribe to maintenance and repair service that guarantees functionality. Repair is performed by trained decentralized maintenance units.
Together with national partners, we are currently lobbying the government to cover subsidies required for the water point and school sanitation programs. This would make the program independent on international aid and therefore financially sustainable on a national level. We will also gradually increase the net community contribution towards a new assets (already increased by more than 100 per cent over the past 4 years).
We have found market-based solutions for WASH service delivery to be an effective and empowering implementation method. We have trained and capacitated an effective WASH team, capable of delivering a modern and locally adapted program. The opportunity exists to take this success to other regions of Tanzania and beyond.
MSABI works within an established and efficient national partner program network. Similar organisations (such as, SHIPO, SEMA, SAWA, IDYDC) are active in other regions within Tanzania (Njombe, Morogoro, Iringa, Singida, Mwanza). Regular meetings and open communication are held to share findings, promote innovations and set new standards for implemented interventions. Together, we have the capacity to facilitate capacity building and support programs to scale in new regions, nationally and internationally.
To facilitate regional scaling of the MSABI program we are currently evaluating the potential to open a new office in the city of Morogoro and hire a liaison person in the city of Dar es Salaam. This would give us access to new target areas and enable us to be closer to decision makers.