300in6 is a strategic centre for safe water scale-up, and a rich hub of knowledge, solutions and opportunities that we wish to share.
A massive upscaling of access to safe water by supporting the upscaling of Point Of Use (POU) treatment at the household level in a sustainable way.
We recognize that water will never be safe again for most humans – unless it is treated and purified at the point of use.
To scale up safe water we promote a new paradigm based on different roles of the public sector (to create awareness and a market for POU treatment solutions) and the private sector to deliver them.300in6 therefore supports actions that;
- Stimulate demand and create a market for decentralised water treatment solutions at the Point of Use (household and community) as a fast and cost effective solution.
- Deliver affordable solutions to all and especially so-called Base of the Pyramid customers: the solutions should not be free but affordable for all. Everybody should pay, except those who really cannot pay, or during emergency situations.
- Market water treatment solutions as aspirational products (“must haves”) rather than giving them an image of “solutions for the poor”. Products that are user friendly, attractive, effective and at the same time also affordable for poor families.
- Ensure a sustainable delivery by creating profitable supply chains rather than giving free products for a certain time and then stop the supply.
- Enhance the awareness about new products and lessons learned on success and failures in upscaling at the level of government, development organisations and private actors.
- Develop innovative payment options for families who cannot afford to pay a treatment option upfront and in one single payment.
- Apply innovative financing options such as carbon finance to fund the before mentioned actions. Carbon finance should preferably be used for social marketing activities and not for subsidizing products to ensure that the supply can continue even if carbon finance is not available anymore.
Create cooperation platforms for scaling-up at national and or regional level where all relevant stakeholders cooperate to reach the goal. An example for such a National Platform is Malawi.
Based on research and experiences we propose the following guidelines:
- Improve existing and /or create new market based supply chains by private actors delivering a variety of water treatment products (a basket of solutions) so people can choose and get access to spares.
- Do not distort markets with donations. No free gifts. Everyone should pay except special cases like emergencies, really poor families, poor pregnant women etc. Subsidies should be given in the form of “smart” subsidies that do not undermine the markets but stimulate them, for example by distributing vouchers to the population which they can redeem with local dealers.
- Invest funds for safe water in social marketing and awareness campaigns, capacity building of users, strengthen supply chains, supporting payment options (micro loans, mobile payment). Such investments will create markets for safe water rather than distorting and suppressing them.
300in6 was created in 2009, and became operational in 2010. 300in6 adopted its heart’s desire as its institutional name. This was to double, to 300 million, the number of people who would gain, and maintain, access to safe water through HWTS in the six-year period to end-2015, the achieve-by date of the UN Millennium Development Goals.
Now 300in6 has matured into a strategic centre for the safe water scale-up, and is a rich hub of knowledge, solutions and opportunities. We now seek leverage amongst several communities. As well as the consumer, safe water also depends on the communicator, entrepreneur, investor, regulator, upscaler as well as the water professional.
As an unregistered hybrid group, we operate under the legal aegis of Aqua for All, a Dutch foundation. Our ‘core group’ consists of delegates from Antenna Technologies Foundation, Aqua for All, Connect International, the Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development (SDC) and an individual consultant from Kenya.
Between 2010 to 2013, finance was provided by Aqua for All and SDC. Consultants were hired for specific tasks such as Videos, the publication Upscale, carbon finance study and the HWTS study in Malawi.
Since 2010, 300in6 has had a presence at key events and virtual encounters of the water profession worldwide. In 2012, this outreach was extended to the social venture, investment and (intended) social marketing communities. Preparations were started in 2013 to extend further into social marketing, and to the families of national regulators.
Drawing on their extensive field experiences, members of the core group have co-authored and commissioned reports and papers on upscaling safe water, social behaviour and hygiene, carbon finance and platform building.
The website has soft and hard knowledge on HWTS and on methodologies for upscale. The video project, launched in 2011, is growing into a comprehensive research and report suite, comprising videos, audio files, photos and field reports.