[Conecta Project Launch in Peru and Colombia] The role of market-driven innovations in implementing and scaling up water and sanitation solutions

Could consumers, by purchasing a product or service, help solve the social and environmental challenges related to water, sanitation and hygiene access in vulnerable rural communities with low coverage and access rates?

That question was an inspiration for SDC, and led to the launching of the Conecta Project: Innovation for Progress and Equity, in Peru and Colombia on 7 and 26 October. It is an innovative project for connecting market forces to ensure that water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) solutions are sustainable over time and reach increasing numbers of people, using an innovative and scalable management model in which companies with high impact business can contribute to the sustainability of WASH solutions in two rural areas of the Ayacucho region, and in Caloto and Cajibío (Cauca), two rural areas of Colombia.

Conecta Project Perú / Conecta Project Colombia

In its first four years (Phase 1), the Conecta Project will use a systemic approach to catalyse the market integration, transformation and long-term financial sustainability of vulnerable communities, to inspire and scale up internationally and contribute to the UN 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goal 6: Water & Sanitation.

Conecta is part of the global initiative SIRWASH (Sustainable and Innovative Rural Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Services Programme) which has the technical and financial support of Swiss Cooperation (SDC). SIRWASH objectives are in line with the global commitments set out in the United Nations 2030 Agenda to improve enabling environments for policy, innovation and knowledge-sharing.

The Conecta Project aims to create a network of local business people and entrepreneurs to boost the economy of these communities, so that they can allocate financial resources for better water, sanitation and hygiene management solutions in their territories. It aims to be a model of sustainable management which can be replicated in other communities, regions, countries and entities.

Sistema B, in an alliance with SDC, organized the on-line events as an opportunity to discuss how market-driven solutions can address the problems the countries face. 

Expected outcomes

SDC and Sistema B will work in partnership for four years to help improve the health, well-being and economic sustainability of two rural communities in the Ayacucho region (Peru) and two rural communities in Cauca (Colombia). Through the Conecta Project the partnership is expected to achieve:

  • proven financial sustainability of water and sanitation services in rural areas by complementing market innovations adopted by communities and key stakeholders;
  • a sustainable management model built that can be transferred to other communities, regions, countries and entities which  want to apply their own water, sanitation, hygiene models and SDG management;
  • multi-stakeholder linkages that transform project decisions into opportunities to deliver value and address social and environmental development needs through market mechanisms; and
  • the integration of community market stakeholders with those of local and wider markets, based on project objectives.

The videos below record both events and provide further details about the Conecta Project, its intervention strategy, its objectives and expected outcomes.

Conecta Project Launch in Peru
Conecta Project Launch in Colombia

Web Proyecto Conecta

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