WSP and CARE Build Support for Small-Scale Water and Sanitation Operators in Latin America

Small-scale operators play a significant role in water service provision in Latin America, especially in the ever-growing urban concentrations in the region where the majority of the poor live.  For example, it is estimated that small-scale operators provide water services to 10% of the population in Peru and up to 50% of the population in the Central American countries.  However, surprisingly little is known about these small-scale operators, and information about the scale and nature of their involvement in the water sector are deficient and dispersed.  

The workshop, along with regional studies conducted by WSP and CARE, aim to fill this knowledge gap and elevate the status of these small-scale providers in the eyes of policy-makers and donor organizations.  Creating favorable conditions for the participation of small-scale operators as well as strengthening their legal position and regulatory status could yield significant results for the development of the sector.  

Post workshop evaluation showed that participants feel strongly that the workshop and the studies by WSP and CARE address a major void in the sector and provide a good opportunity to further advance the involvement of small-scale operators in water service provision in Latin America.  More explicitly, the workshop participants concluded that small-scale providers should establish strategic partnerships with institutions and organizations that are active in the water and sanitation sector.  These partnerships would give small-scale providers an official representation in the sector which in turn would allow the small-scale operators to be formally recognized as sector actors and service providers, give them the possibility to be incorporated in the planning processes for developing sector policies, formulating legal frameworks along with designing sector projects and, most importantly, to be able to participate in the allocation of financial resources in the sector.  

Government authorities, for their part, should recognize that small-scale operators are playing an important role in providing water services.  On the national level, an important step would be revising and updating the legal framework that regulates the water sector, with the aim of making them more encouraging for the inclusion of small-scale operators. Governments could also offer technical assistance to small-scale providers that require it, and enhance the access to loans and other means of financing to facilitate investments into new and improved equipment. 

WSP and CARE are committed to working with the subject area and strive to bring water services to more people through strengthening the participation of small-scale operators.  The first concrete step is to prepare individual country agendas to give more exposure and visibility to small-scale operators in in the region. The country agendas will hopefully, in due course, reinforce the positioning of small-scale providers in the water sector both from legal and political point of view and hasten their inclusion in the decision-making processes in the sector.  



 Presentación Del Marco Conceptual:  François Brikké, Regional Team Leader, WSP-LAC

Objetivos y Metodología:  Francisco Soto, Advisor, CARE Peru

Presentation by small-scale providers

The case of Coopagua, Santo Domingo, Chile: Guillermo Saavedra, CEO, Coopagua  

Identification of Factors of Success and Primary Action Steps per Country (as defined in country working groups):

Bolivia  Chile  Colombia  Ecuador  El Salvador  Guatemala  Honduras  Nicaragua  Panama  Paraguay  Peru 

Contact Name: 
Iris Marmanillo
Contact Email: