As part of a twinning, staff from a community-based organization in Medan, Indonesia collect a monthly payment for the master water meter. Photo Credit: Luke Duggleby

Governance & Finance

Strong governance, financing, and institutions are critical to helping countries transition away from donor assistance in the water sector.

Why it Matters

Sound governance is essential to achieving water security. National governments must make water and sanitation issues a priority, while both national and local governments must create enabling environments that will improve drinking water and sanitation service delivery, improve water sector coordination, mobilize investment, and incentivize management of water resources.

The World Bank estimates that $114 billion per year of capital investments will be required to meet universal access to safely managed water and sanitation services by 2030, or about three times current global investment levels. When countries have effective policies, country-led processes, and institutions capable of delivering sustainable water and sanitation services and managing water resources transparently, they attract investment from both domestic and external sources to fill funding gaps. This leads to increased capacity, greater investor confidence, increased sector finance, accelerated coverage of water and sanitation services, and effective watershed and water resources management.

USAID’s Approach

Improving governance and increasing finance for the water and sanitation sector are inextricably linked. That’s why governance and finance are a core objective of the U.S. Government Global Water and Strategy and USAID’s Water and Development Plan. USAID seeks improvements in water governance and financing by strengthening the responsible policies and institutions with the overall aim of supporting countries’ transition away from reliance on donor assistance. Some examples of USAID’s water and sanitation assistance for water governance and financing include:

  • Operationalizing policies, strategies, and implementation plans for the water and sanitation sector.
  • Increasing coordination of actors within the water and sanitation sector to align objectives and leverage resources.
  • Increasing the capacity of national and local governments to assess, regulate, and manage water services and resources.
  • Mobilizing private sector investment through innovative financial tools and partnerships.