: A Single Drop for Safe Water, Inc

Discussion Forum


By Blue Planet Network Posted on Thu 31 Mar 2011, over 11 years ago

As a fellow Tech Laureate, we have no hesitation in welcoming you into the group. This Q&A is more about introducing you and your work with others.

Can you clarify your structure? When we talked there was a non-profit part and also a for-profit part to allow for different sources of income.

Also, Gemma did a great job of explaining the complex structure created for your gov't projects and linkages (IDEAS, MWTF, LGU, WSA, ...). See teh discussion at: http://peerwater.org/apps/295-Development-of-a-Municipal-Wide-WASH-Network-for-Quezon-Palawan/qandas

It would be nice if you can:
1. upload a drawing of this structure to clarify
2. provide some results from a project implementation that navigated thru this complexity and produced results.

Finally, looking at the two projects that BPN funded, they seemed rural / remote, while now i see that you are heavily into urban areas. What is the breakdown of small community owned/operated rural projects to muni-involved urban projects (both in numbers and costs)?



By A Single Drop for Safe Water, Inc Posted on Fri 01 Apr 2011, over 11 years ago


Thanks for the questions...I will try to answer all of your points:

ASDSW Structure
We are working on creating 2 different companies. The For-Profit A Single Drop Services employs all of the staff and will actually do the work. ASDSW will remain a Non-Profit to comply with government and business regulations as a non-profit. However the staff, the cost structure and the overall direction of both companies are aligned within the structure of the original ASDSW.

The reasons for doing this is that the Non-Profit regulations actually hinder expansion of the organization with limits for the amount of administration costs allowed etc. By opening a For-Profit we can then access capital to increase the rate of expansion, not only in number of products but types of services. In addition to this many of the services that we provided were actually taxed yet we did not receive any of the benefits of a for-profit.

Once this is up and running, the for-profit will contract work from the non-profit which is the direct link to funders requiring a non-profit implementing organization. Our current funders understand this structure. The actual cost structure will not change and in fact we may actually be able to provide services at a lower cost resulting from the scale up. ie. more working staff for the same overhead.

Note that concerns will and have been raised with the "for-profit" tag. However the profit at the expense of the "social good" is self regulating. 1/ The board of both organizations are linked and the bylaws are structured limiting the profitability of the organization and where the money can go. 2/ Market forces are such that our competition will always be able to undercut us and our only advantage is to provide a better service than everyone else. Funders and communities have many options but we hope that they choose us because we provide a better return on investment.

Overall our survival is not dependent on long term operational grants. Our survival is based on increasing the number of projects and programs that we work on. If the project fails then the funder and/or the community will not work with us in the future. This direct threat to our livelihood makes sure that our quality of service stays high and drives our organization to innovate and always improve our services.

Community and Government Structures
In the Philippines there are several layers of Government from the national level down to the village level. Consistent in these structures are offices for health, education, police, planning etc. However for Water and Sanitation there is NO single responsible department. WASH is part of mandates for several of these government offices and there is no national cohesive focus on WASH. There are some smaller national government departments for water, however these are underresourced and mainly concerned with urban settings.

ASDSW worked with LGSPA (canadian funded program Local Governance Support Program for ARMM) developing a strategy to provide local government the mechanisms to focus on WASH. This program also realized that the government at all levels lacked the resources (financial, staffing and capacity) to provide these services on their own so worked on using community based organizations to partner with the Local Government Units (LGU's) to provide WASH Services. This has been done at the lowest two levels of government, Municipal and Barangay (Barangay is a village within a Municipality). These Mechanisms are

Municipal WASH Task Force (MWTF)
- Made up of government officials from different offices, as well as
representatives from community organizations.
- Tasked to create a WASH Plan for the municipality. They also manage
and coordinate all WASH projects and Interventions within the
- Advocate with the executive, higher levels of government, agencies etc as
well as within the community for improvement to the WASH Situation.
- Provided budget for capacity development and programs
- Capacity is built so that they can inventory needs and resources,
engineering capacity developed for infrastructure design, working with
the communities to ensure project success etc.
- Most importantly to become WASH Champions and a voice to prioritize
WASH at a community and a government Level

Water and Sanitation Association (WSA)
- Barangay level organization, made up of community members in a
selection process that looks at capacity, trust and also a democratic
process independent of local political structures.
- Tasked to participate in the planning process and project development,
implementation and management of installed systems.
- Is a member of the MWTF and lobbies with barangay and municipal
government for legislative, financial and capacity support.
- Like the MWTF is a WASH Champion

These are the two basic structures that we use to raise demand for WASH while building the capacity for supply of services. This program is explained more deeply in the WASH Field guide which can be downloaded from our website http://www.singledrop.org/downloads/

Case Study
Location: Buhi Camarines Sur

Through Latter Day Saints Charities and the LGU of Buhi a water system was built for barangay Iraya in 2008. This project was successfully implemented and the organization formed and managed the system once it is completed.

The Mayor and LGU approached us to repeat the process but we asked them to form a MWTF and build capacity by doing the process in a pilot barangay. The LGU then spent their own money and hired us to do this. Outputs were:
- MWTF Formed
- Interim WSA formed for Barangay Ibayugan
- WASH Inventory done and analysis completed
- WASH plan made and implementation started
- Project developed for $23,000

This project proposal was sent to several funders and 2 expressed interest. One funder though reluctant to look as they had worked there before and wanted to diversify their efforts went and looked at the project. Their response was, lets make it bigger. This bigger project was approved:
- Water systems for 9 barangays including Ibayugan
- 2 organizations to manage including one organization made up of 8
- Approved budget $330,000
- Approximatel 16,000 beneficiaries

The Ibayugan phase is complete and operating. The other phase has completed the WSA capacity building phase and started construction of the water systems.

Location: Kabuntalan, Maguindano
This is one of the stories detailed in the field guide and part of the original development of the concept. Note that the MWTF with partner NGO and WSA has now developed 15 dug wells to make them safer for residents, in addition to building public toilets. They are now extending this to other barangays within the municipality.

Rural vs Urban
Most of our work is still Rural based. The distribution systems that we documented are for rural barangays. However some of them are like Guimba where the houses are close together in an urban environment or as in Buhi where the houses are arranged together in clusters but the clusters are far apart....Single barangays may need up to 9km of pipe...in Buhi we are looking at over 50km of piping for all of the systems

Diverse funding structure and Disaster Program

By A Single Drop Posted on Thu 31 Mar 2011, over 11 years ago

Hi there

As Rajesh said, this is a good opportunity for the network not only to learn more about ASDSW, but to share the uniqueness of its programs and diversified funding structure for both it's organizational operations as well as its project funding. It can also open up some diversity in the projects being proposed in PWX and expand PWXs reach.

Can you give us a deeper look into ASDSWs disaster program? It's theory of change in how disaster programs work and how it is addressing it? It would be good to get some examples of the programs happening in both the manmade and natural disaster areas.

Rajesh has already asked the question about the how the non--profit/for-profit hybrid model functions. I think it would be great to learn how it can be done since it is being implemented by many organizations I know in the Global South as well as the Global North. Can you give us some insight into the limitations of both non-profit and for-profit protocols and operational capacity in the Philippines and why ASDSW chose to have a for-profit model?

Lastly, ASDSW has a very diverse income stream for both its operations and it's project/programs. Can you give us some examples of your funding models? Micro-credit/financing if any? Social Investment packages for Venture Capitalists? Start-up funding for community projects with no expectation of financial return but with expectations of counterpart?

Thanks for sharing ASDSWs innovative operating model to the network! I believe the network can learn alot from ASDSW!


Diverse funding structure and Disaster Program

By A Single Drop Posted on Thu 31 Mar 2011, over 11 years ago

Sorry, in the hybrid section, in the last sentence, I meant to ask why ASDSW chose to have a HYBRID model.

Diverse funding structure and Disaster Program

By A Single Drop for Safe Water, Inc Posted on Fri 01 Apr 2011, over 11 years ago


Thank you for your questions.

Humanitarian Response
ASDSW is working in Humanitarian Response in two ways.

1. We have been working with Oxfam, KFI and MTB since 2009 working with Internally Displaced Peoples (IDP's) due to the war between the MILF and GRP. ASDSW's role in this has evolved. We were initially tasked with technical advice and supervision for the implementation of water points and toilets. This actually resulted in the draft manual which is on our website also http://www.singledrop.org/downloads/ After the first phase we started doing more capacity development with partners and local governments for water quality monitoring. We are now entering the 3rd phase working with returned IDP's and their local governments. In this phase we have done engineering trainings for Municipal, provincial and NGO engineers for water system design, well drilling trainings and developed a program where communities and LGU's test their water quality from source to consumption and identify/implement technologies and behavior change to improve their WASH situation. Included also is broadening the scope of water quality monitoring past biological to include some chemical/mineral analysis, and piloting the MWTF/WSA project development system in North Cotabato.

2. In partnership with 5 other NGO's we have developed the Humanitarian Response Consortium (HRC) to provide locally led response to natural and manmade disasters. We are the coordinating agency and over the last 12 months all our organizations have built and capacitated Rapid Assessment Teams, Responded to Typhoon Juan, and started mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction Management in our own various community development work. So now in our PODS training we actually are beginning to do risk mapping and preparing mitigation plans or preparedness plans as determined by the risk assessment. This year we are continuing our capacity building and fine tuning the intricacies of coordinating 5 different organizations as well as working with other stakeholders. Note that the HRC's intent includes .... efficiency and coordination with Government and Non Government actors....inclusion of IDP's within the process....minimizing the impacts of interventions on long term development and reducing the existing coping mechanisms of the affected population....being need driven not funder driven.

Hybrid Organization
Think I covered all your points in my answer to Rajesh.

Current Funding Streams
Our current project funding comes from several different types of funders:
- Traditional Grants
- Corporations
- Faith based agencies
- International NGO's
- Service Contracts
- LGU's
- International NGO's

We are looking at working with some foundations regarding low interest and interest free loans for communities and local government units. The capitalization of the new organization is looking for funders from the private sector,

Welcome Again! The Difference?

By Blue Planet Network Posted on Thu 31 Mar 2011, over 11 years ago

For those of us familiar with your past work, can you clarify the difference of this new membership A Single Drop for Safe Water, Inc. from the A Single Drop?

Welcome Again! The Difference?

By A Single Drop Posted on Thu 31 Mar 2011, over 11 years ago

ASD seed funded ASDSW as an independent entity in the Philippines. ASD was also seeking project/program grants for ASDSW as well as ASD projects in Africa. Initially, in the PWX context, ASD submitted proposals on behalf of ASDSW during its start-up phase as ASDSW was not a member of PWX at the time. ASD has since dissolved and ASDSW requires its own membership.

Welcome Again! The Difference?

By A Single Drop for Safe Water, Inc Posted on Fri 01 Apr 2011, over 11 years ago


Just to reiterate what Gemma discussed above, ASDSW is a Phillippine organization and registered as such. It was started with seed funding and capacity development from ASD. However it has always been legally seperated from ASD and is unaffected by the closure of the ASD organization in the USA.

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