Community management has become the leading concept for implementing water supply systems in rural areas in developing countries. It has yielded significant achievements, but it has not succeeded to supply water on a large scale and to secure long term sustainability of water supply systems. For that, institutional support to community managed water systems is needed.
That is the core and main objective of scaling up: indefinite sustainability (scaling up in time) and 100% coverage (scaling up in space) of community managed water supply systems.
Most implementing agencies and country policies put the full burden of operation and maintenance of water systems on the community. Sometimes this works out well, but very often communities struggle with the technology and management. That is why communities need some (post-construction) support to sustain their water services. Support is a crucial element of the Service Delivery Approach and the Life-Cycle Cost Approach, the two guiding IRC concepts for achieving sustainable WASH services at scale. The stories in this section show the struggle communities have in trying to keep their water services going. Not just their creativity and commitment, but also their confusion and despair. We publish these stories to support them.
The Thematic Group on Scaling up Rural Water Services in collaboration with the Ministry of Water and Environment of the Government of Uganda, is organising an international symposium focusing on providing sustainable rural water services at scale, in Kampala,13-15 April 2010.
Most of the case studies presented in this section are substantial studies looking into the details and depth of scaling up in a number of countries for instance Colombia, India, South Africa, Uganda and the USA.
Overview of available publications, documents and a literature review on Scaling Up Community Management both from IRC and other sources.