SUSTAINABLE WASH FINANCE SERIES: Private Sector, Will You Dance? by John Sauer, WASHfunders blog, 2018.
With 2020 on the doorstep, the global sanitation “toilet” community is becoming all too aware that without significant, annual changes in progress, there will be no way to meet the sustainable development goal 6.2, adequate sanitation for all, by 2030.
Sanitation was given a D grade on Overseas Development Institute’s SDG Scorecard. One potential solution to close this gap lies in better engagement with the private sector by the sanitation sector.
At the moment, we find the private sector, both small, medium enterprises and larger corporations, literally standing on one side of the room waiting to be asked to dance. Meanwhile the sanitation sector continues to miss opportunities to step up and demonstrate the nerve to ask.
Missed Opportunities to Dance
A significant opportunity to create impact/disruption came back in 2015 when the World Bank published the Tapping the Markets report. This study highlighted the sanitation market’s potential just to reach basic sanitation in four countries valued at $2.6 billion.
Unsurprisingly, the research indicated that private sector would not enter the market due to high risk and the lack of R&D around affordable and desirable products and services that would enable private sector to earn enough profit.
Tapping the Markets gave solid recommendations that—with a few notable exceptions—the sanitation sector, represented by governments, multilaterals, donors, development banks, NGOs, and the private sector themselves have not adequately followed to achieve greater results.
Read the complete article.