Policy reform for safe drinking water service delivery in rural Bangladesh

The REACH programme, co-directed by Official Fellow Katrina Charles, has published two reports and a policy brief to inform strategies to improve safe drinking water service delivery in rural Bangladesh. The research led to the design of the SafePani model, a new institutional framework that aims to strategically leverage public and private funds, with timely and accurate information systems to support independent monitoring and regulation of water service delivery. Katrina's role in the research is focused on ensuring that the drinking water is safe to drink, and that water systems are resilient to climate shocks and other environmental changes, such as land use. 

The research responds directly to the need for policy reform not only to recognise the role of private investments from households and small water enterprises, but also to create new service delivery models with sustainable financing and regulation at scale. The SafePani model provides recommendations across institutional design, information systems and sustainable finance to support the government’s policy reform process and improve not just drinking water access, but also indicators of water quality, proximity and sufficiency.

The design of the SafePani model is informed by collaborative work of the REACH programme, led by UNICEF, the University of Oxford, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), and the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases, Bangladesh (icddr,b), with support from the Water Supply Wing of the Local Government Division (LGD), Department of Public Health and Engineering (DPHE), Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE) and the Directorate of Primary Education (DPE) of the Government of Bangladesh.

The research outputs have been published on the REACH programme website, and can be accessed directly via the links below: