Community Participation in Urban Water Services
Saturday, 03 September 2011 19:51
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All water companies engage with communities – through customer relations and community investment programmes. However this is not quite the same as including poor communities in the design, building and operating of urban water supplies. Private sector investment in water and sewerage projects in developing countries has risen from virtually nothing in 1990 to a total of $25 billion at the end of 1997 [Silva et al, 1998]. As this trend in infrastructure development continues, there are opportunities for extending benefits to the poor. 

  • Extension of services to the urban poor will increasingly be a part of future business in the international utilities sector
  • Community participation makes commercial sense
  • Corporate social responsibility is becoming more and more important for private companies

Through this piece of research Gamos, in partnership with Tearfund, discovered that it makes commercial sense to incorporate community participation into field operations. This "commercial sense" includes alleviation of risk, quality control, and cost effectiveness. Community participation undertaken in an effective way will increase profits. Secondly, this "commercial sense" includes corporate social responsibility. Corporate social responsibility is important when taking a long term view of a company's business and is becoming of importance not only to investors and employees, but to a wider range of stakeholders.

The summary report is available to read here - Community Participation In Urban Water Services - Summary

The full report is available here - Community Participation in Urban Water Services