A Single Drop for Safe Water inc.

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A Single Drop for Safe Water inc.: Water/Sanitation sustainability at the intersection: Governance, Demand, Supply

Puerto Princesa City, PhilippinesNationwide, Philippines
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$1 million - $5 million
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH) sustainability occurs at the intersection of Governance, Demand and Supply. ASDSW uses community demand to drive this paradigm shift enabling rights holders to demand for better services and building capacity of duty bearers to provide needed services.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

We can change the paradigm of government to treat WaSH as a service and not just a project.
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

In the Philippines access to safe water/good sanitation doesn't exist for 10 million people. There is water, there is technology and there is funding. The issue is about people prioritizing Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH), taking responsibility for it, having the capacity to implement, operate maintain & manage it. Using Community Demand to drive supply/governance, enlarging that intersection, sustainable WaSH service delivery can be achieved

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Creation of demand in communities so that they prioritize WaSH as an important issue and changing their social norms is the foundation. This combined by developing strong participative governance structures and accountable service delivery. Working on all 3 aspects, increasing the intersection of the 3 leads to sustainability and growth. This creates a systemic change of 1: Moving from WaSH as a project to WaSH as service and 2: From Supply driven development to Demand driven development. ASDSW through a hybrid structure with Single Drop Consulting Services has worked with communities and government to make this change happen at a local level. Using those success stories and leveraging relationships seeks systemic change by all.


Echoing Green Fellow 2007, Tech Museum Equality Laureate 2010, Ashoka Philippines Fellowship 2015
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

The story of Buhi typifies the evolution of the organization. In 2007 and 2008 we worked with the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Buhi in one barangay (village) to build a water system and the management structure, funded by Latter Day Saints Charities (2,000 People). At the completion of the project the Mayor approached us and said "can we do it again". No was the answer but lets build a LGU task force and a plan then develop a project. Did this and submitted proposal for 1 barangay. The funder looking at this said make it "bigger" and in the end 9 barangays, 16,000 people. This system expanded to other barangays and the LGU is now working on their own using government money to complete the mission of water system in all barangays.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

- Direct is those that receive new or improved WaSH Services or capacity development - Indirect is those that are covered by government units that are institutionalizing WaSH governance, plans and starting implementation - Humanitarian Response Direct benefit in emergencies 2011 - Direct 250,000 - Indirect 210,000 - HR 45,500 2012 - Direct 140,000 - Indirect 200,000 - HR 150,500 Current work in 2015 includes a target of 40,000 individuals living in Zero Open Defecation Villages. 23 municipalities and 2 provinces with comprehensive Water and Sanitation plans receiving investment from government targeting both water and sanitation. In addition to this water systems are being implemented in 25 villages and water systems for 36,000 individuals are out for funding now. Also 60 schools are receiving WaSH in Schools Programs this year.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

In the Philippines there are approximately nine million people with out access to safe water and sanitation. Within government and development agencies there are significant investments available for water supply. Less so for sanitation. ASDSW as an implementing organization can impact directly about 50-100,000 per year. To scale this up and meet the 9,000,000 quicker ASDSW needs to advocate more effective spending for sustainable WaSH. Major investors need to invest in demand creation and governance as well as infrastructure. Evidence backed advocacy is the key to effective scale up.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

ASDSW is a non-profit. SDCS is a social enterprise that supplies the staff power for implementation of projects through a fee agreement. ASDSW provides the direction and is accountable to funders. The fees are structured to allow SDCS to make a profit and scale up. Note that SDCS also contracts to other government and non-government entities. Any profit sharing that may occur will be driven by social impact targets set by both boards.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

National Government Policy is actually very close to the advocacy of ASDSW. Implementation and capacity development is the issue as well as convincing devolved government structures that this is a good idea. The market is large and more traditional INGO's and NGO's shy away from the governance work. In addition to this engineering contractors only deal with supply so currently we are the only actors in this very specific marketplace.

Founding Story

In 2006 the founders conducted trainings to build Bio-Sand Filter. Demand was great so ASDSW was formed. It quickly moved into water systems and organizations to support the system or product. In 2008 a governance organization, working in conflict areas, tapped ASDSW to help implement their WaSH program. This was the moment of clarity. 1/ Governance is the key and government shouldn't be allowed to abstain from their mandate to provide WaSH Services 2/ Demand and Governance are as important as supply and success is where the 3 components intersect. Success was seen when the province requested assistance to replicate the WaSH governance system at their level based on municipal programs.


Boards. Two organizations with 2 boards. The social enterprise includes staff representation, while the non-profit contains lawyers, business and development professionals. They are able to not only guide but provide advice for all aspects of the two operations. Program. The program manager has the overview of all implementation. She is reported to by Engineering Manager, Operations managers (operate office and facilitators) Humanitarian Response manager and the Strategic Support Team (designs and audits programs, trains and mentors staff). There are 3 offices with engineering and facilitation staff. There are both junior and senior levels with senior staff taking on the roles of team leader or project manager. Business Support: The Chief Financial Officer for the non-profit manages the finance staff which includes bookkeepers and finance assistants. We also have an internal auditor on contract. In addition to this we have IT/Purchasing and logistics officer along with a Human Resources officer. Now that we are large enough we have been able to staff non-program positions which allows our program staff to better concentrate on implementation. Managers can manage appropriately and the Executive Director can concentrate on developing projects and direction as well as resource mobilization.
CO-CREATION IDEA: Please offer a brief description of how you imagine a win-win partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim to better serve unmet needs in health. (Hint: Please mention the underlying business model envisioned that would make such a partnership sustainable.)

To scale up impact, ASDSW can not do it alone as a direct service organization. There is a need to change the way that WaSH investment is made to ensure that demand is created that will drive governance systems to provide better services. ASDSW has identified 4 key concepts that support this and evidence based advocacy is needed to change both government and the development industries approach. Working with BI, ASDSW wants to research the 4 concepts in working models, do policy research and publish evidence to be the bedrock for an advocacy campaign. BI will be able to then also use this avenue of access to the health department for other health care programs as their health care costs for water borne diseases are reduced.

NEEDS: Based on you response above, please specify which of the following resources, operations or expertise by Boehringer Ingelheim you imagine leveraging to actualize the proposed co-creation opportunity. Please check all that apply. (Hint: while financing is often critical to scale, we are also interested in understanding what other assets or expertise could be leveraged).

Research and Development, Relationships/New Contacts, Marketing/Communications Support, Access to Capital.

EXPLANATION OF NEEDS: Please explain your choices in more detail.

Relationships/New contacts, Research and Development: To research effectively we need to independent researchers to provide more credibility to the knowledge product. This will take capital. Once the research is complete and the advocacy begins we will need communication and marketing support as this is where we are limited. This will also take resources.

OFFER: What are the main assets you may contribute in a co-creation partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim that would better serve unmet needs in health?

Deep understanding of an unmet need in a specific market/context, Insights into behavior change.

FOCUS AREAS: Which of the following best describes the main focus of your project? (select all that apply)

Holistic solutions that work across the entire care continuum (including education, prevention, detection, treatment, management, follow-up).

Please share what your organisation and Boehringer Ingelheim will Co-Create together
Please specify what your Co-Creation will result in:

If you selected "other" above, please explain:
Please provide a 1-2 sentence summary of your Co-Creation idea
How does this project link to the core mission of your organisation?
Beyond social impact, how does this project link to Boehringer Ingelheim’s core business?
What are the specific inputs and actions that each side will contribute to this Co-Creation idea based on each of your unique competencies and experiences?
Please describe the potential revenue model for this Co-Creation idea.
What possible risks or challenges do you foresee?
Is there anything else you would like to share about your Co-Creation idea?
How much input do you hope to receive from Boehringer Ingelheim?

If you selected "other" above, please explain:
Besides Boehringer Ingelheim, what other types of partners might be valuable to carrying out your Co-Creation idea, and why?