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Our Work

Projects: Project
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A Water-Resilient Economy 

A Hydro-Economic and Climate Change Analysis for Rwanda

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This report from Bluechain Consulting and its partners analyses which sectors and geographical areas in Rwanda are likely to experience water resource challenges that could hamper future growth and transformation. It demonstrates the many intersectoral linkages in water resource management by examining the gaps between water demand and supply, and how those gaps play out in Rwanda’s macroeconomy. While, across the country, Rwanda is likely to have sufficient water to meet its economic targets, without effective planning to address seasonal and geographic variability and the uncertainty caused by climate change, there is a risk that water scarcity could hold back the country’s development. There is a need for more structured investment planning and streamlined, more strategic water allocations across water catchments and economic sectors, specifically agriculture, to meet growing demand and ambitious targets.

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Citywide Inclusive Sanitation as a Public Service Series 

To achieve the SDGs and to support safe, healthy urban living environments, sanitation services must be organized into public service systems. The concept of Citywide Inclusive Sanitation (CWIS) was proposed to address an urgent growing need to focus public and especially government attention on the need to shift priorities from narrow, expensive and limited infrastructure-investment focused "solutions" to service focused mandates, accountability systems, and resource planning and management. To understand how to change and improve systems, we must start by seeking to understand the incentives of key actors. With that foundation, we can then identify what institutional changes are needed to incentivise those actors (citizens, private companies, and public agencies) to continuously find ways to deliver and improve services in the context of a city's constantly changing resource levels, challenges, and needs. To understand incentives around public services in any city-country context, these papers explore three fundamental questions:

  • Who is responsible for what service outcomes?

  • How are they held accountable for that responsibility?

  • How are they resourced to plan and manage their responsibility?

Rural Sanitation Programming in Challenging Context 

Inequalities in access to sanitation services persist, and the drivers to this issue are numerous and complex. Bluechain Consulting worked with Aguaconsult to map approaches being used to provide sanitation in challenging contexts. The review also collated guidance currently being used to address the challenges, drawing out emerging experiences and lessons. This desk review collated findings across five broad ‘categories’ of challenges:

  1. Poverty and social marginalisation

  2. Entrenched attitudes and social beliefs

  3. Tough physical environments

  4. Lifestyles and livelihoods

  5. Fragile contexts

This landscaping study identifies gaps and provides recommendations on emerging best practice and areas for future research.

Challenging Context

Scaling Digital Solutions in the Water Sector

In Sub-Saharan Africa, just under 25 per cent of urban households have access to piped water. Inequalities in service provision mean that many people in low-income areas rely on informal service providers, and often pay more for water that is unsafe and less convenient.


Digitalisation is transforming how utilities function and how water services are delivered. New technologies not only enable existing systems to operate more efficiently, but also make new service delivery models possible. This report examines the scaling journey of two innovators in the water sector, Wonderkid and CityTaps, whose experiences hold lessons for all seeking to accelerate digitalisation.

Ethiopia Hydroeconomic Analysis 

Bluechain Consulting worked with the Water Technology Institute to undertake a hydroeconomic analysis in Ethiopia on behalf of the National Planning Commission and the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy. The study provides an overview of the water resource context in the country. It also sets out a high-level water demand and supply gap assessment that highlights constraints and risks, and water resource management challenges.  The analysis also reviews the possible impacts on the country’s short-term and long–term economic growth posed by water scarcity.


Based on this analysis, the study identified several interventions underpinned by the government’s development objectives, which 2030 WRG aims to take forward in the coming years with the support and engagement of government and private sector partners.

Ethiopia Urban

Urban WASH Sector Scoping, Ethiopia

Ethiopian cities have been struggling to reach and maintain a basic level of water, sanitation and hygiene services. This is in part due to rapid urbanisation, but also due to lack of clear mandates, poor accountability mechanisms, and weak resource planning and management systems. Bluechain Consulting undertook a review of current trends, policies, and investments in Ethiopia’s urban WASH sector to identify entry points for USAID to make value added investment in the sector. The assessment included a thorough systems analysis of the urban WASH sector in Ethiopia. 

Global Learning and Knowledge Management Review 

Bluechain Consulting undertook a review of learning and knowledge management systems and processes in the Global Sanitation Fund program. The study looked across all countries supported by the GSF, but undertook detailed case studies in Cambodia, India, Madagascar, Nigeria and Uganda.  Bluechain Consulting used the findings of the assessment to development a new guideline to support future learning and knowledge management practices in GSF supported projects and influence the wider sector's approach to learning.

Global Learning

WASH Bottleneck Analysis, Zimbabwe

Bluechain Consulting were engaged by UNICEF, on behalf of the Government of Zimbabwe, to lead the implementation of the WASH Bottleneck Analysis Tool (BAT).  The assignment involved the facilitation of national workshop to collect and validate data on sector progress against agreed indicators.  Bluechain Consulting drafted the WASH BAT report to guide the Zimbabwe WASH sector’s planning processes in the coming years.

Assessment of "Rapid Action Learning" Approach, India

Bluechain Consulting reviewed the development and implementation of Rapid Action Learning (RAL) approaches supported by the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), IDS, and its partners in India.  The assessment analysed how well the approach has been institutionalized into Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) learning systems and processes, and to what extent RAL was contributing to learning within SBM. The assessment also made recommendations on how the RAL model might be integrated into other programs and scalable across other countries.  

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Sanitation and Hygiene Assessment, Eswatini

Bluechain Consulting, in partnership with Aguaconsult, undertook an assignment to inform the World Bank’s support for the Eswatini Water Access Project.  The project plans to target water and sanitation in three Tinkhundla (districts) in the Shiselweni region of the country – Hosea, Zombodze and Shiselweni 1.  While the main focus of the project is on water supply provision, it also aims to provide improved access to sanitation services in communities, health facilities and schools. The objective of this assignment was to undertake (i) a rapid review of the current status of the sanitation and hygiene sector and service delivery at the national level; and (ii) a more detailed assessment of the situation in the Shiselweni region of the country.

WASH Sector Financing

We undertook a study on WASH Sector financing in Eastern and Southern Africa from UNICEF in collaboration with Oxford Policy Management and AguaConsult. The assessment looked at access to services, institutional structures, funding sources and channels (including from governments, donors and households), and the quality and equity of funding to the sector.

The report can be downloaded here: The State of WASH Financing in ESA: A Regional Level Assessment.

The work included four deep-dive country assessments carried out in Burundi, Eswatini, Uganda and Zimbabwe, which aim to influence planning, budgeting and advocacy toward greater and more effective allocation of resources for WASH. These reports can be downloaded here:


Value for Money Assessment, Ethiopia

This value for money (VfM) study of the Government of Ethioipia's One WASH National Programme (OWNP) was conducted for DFID, in partnership with Coffey. The VfM study examined the interplay between costs, cost drivers and the performance of the OWNP at different levels of its impact logic. It also assessed cost-effectiveness and evaluated the decision-making processes to frame how effective the OWNP has been in generating the “best” value possible for the investments made.

Nairobi Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Project, Kenya

We undertook the Implementation Completion and Results Report for the Nairobi Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Project. The project aimed to increase access to sanitation and water services in selected low-income communities of Nairobi. The project provided subsidies to partially cover the cost of constructing water connection and compound sanitation facilities. The project was co-financed with a commercial loan to Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company (NCWSC), which is repaid through monthly charges to consumers. NCWSC secured the loan for $6 million, and considering finance costs, it covered 53 percent of the project cost with 47 percent being covered through the World Bank’s support. It remains to date the largest medium-term commercial loan to a Kenyan water utility for infrastructure.

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Bangladesh Output Based Aid Sanitation Microfinance Program

We carried out the final evaluation of the OBA Sanitation Microfinance Program, which aimed to make clean, safe sanitation affordable and accessible to poor households, and ultimately scale-up the adoption of sanitation microfinance in Bangladesh. The OBA grant supported access to hygienic sanitation by leveraging household loan finance from participating microfinance institutions. This combination of microfinance and output-based subsidies made affordable loans available to low-income households for the purchase of quality hygienic latrines from local construction firms.



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