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Catalyzing sanitation businesses (market‐based approach to sanitation businesses in developing countries)

2010 - 2015 • Water for People


Sanitation as a Business (SAAB) is intended to explore different methodologies for catalyzing and facilitating sanitation businesses targeting low-income markets of developing countries.


With funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Water For People is implementing Sanitation as a Business (SAAB), a market‐based approach to sanitation intended to explore different methodologies for catalyzing and facilitating sanitation businesses in developing countries. It is a 4-year project ending July 2014 under which Water For People is working through Business Development Service (BDS) firms. BDS are for‐profit, private sector firms, who serve as the primary program implementers and are the main point of contact for sanitation entrepreneurs receiving support in business planning and expansion. SAAB is currently being implemented in seven different countries: Malawi, Rwanda and Uganda in Africa; Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador in South America; and Bihar and West Bengal in India.

Countries of activity

Location of main activity


The overriding goal under SAAB is developing a methodology for supporting sanitation businesses that, if successful, could provide an alternative to conventional sanitation approaches and lead to the significant expansion of sanitation services to poor people by the local private sector. The BDS firms are responsibe for identifying profitable business models for sustainable sanitation service delivery that benefit the poor (drawn on market research and through testing in different contexts in several countries). They then recruit entrepreneurs under these business models and will be responsible for providing ongoing business support to these entrepreneurs to strengthen the managerial and technical capacity of sanitation businesses.

Further information

Water For People is working with these BDS partners:
Uganda – Captiva Communications
Malawi – Tools for Enterprise and Education Consultants (TEECS)
Rwanda – Boundless Consultancy Group
India – BASIX
Bolivia - IMG

Filter tags

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation East Asia & Pacific Emptying and transport (non sewered) Enabling environment and institutional strengthening Faecal sludge treatment processes International NGO Latin America & Caribbean Market development Operation, maintenance and sustainable services Peri-urban Practitioners Public awareness, advocacy and civil society engagement Specific to one or several countries Sub-Saharan Africa Treatment of faecal sludge Urban informal settlements (slums)


Water For People
United States

Water For People is a non-profit international development organization that helps people in developing countries improve their quality of life by supporting the development of locally sustainable drinking water resources, sanitation facilities, and health and hygiene education programs. Our vision is a world where all people have access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation; a world where no one suffers or dies from a water- or sanitation-related disease. We believe that water and sanitation services should be reliable and permanent, so that districts and eventually entire nations never again need a development organization to address these challenges. We call this end state that we work towards Everyone Forever. What is "Everyone Forever?" EVERYONE means Water For People works to ensure that access to water reaches everyone--the poorest, the disenfranchised, and the most isolated. Everyone--every family, every school, and every health clinic. FOREVER means that the people where Water For People works--around the world in entire districts with many communities--can eventually operate, maintain, repair, replace, and extend their water and sanitation services themselves without the further assistance of Water For People.

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