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Sizing the market potential for water and sanitation infrastructure in low and low/middle-income countries

Water and sanitation is often one of the most difficult infrastructure areas to invest in. Viewed as a public good, water and sanitation projects tend to be among the most subsidized, but in countries without the capacity to generate large revenues, funding for WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) is severely lacking. Dalberg supported the World Bank’s Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) to size the commercial market potential for water and sanitation infrastructure in low and low/middle income countries, identify a pipeline of opportunities, and develop investment strategies for PIDG to increase its portfolio. 


First, our team conducted a market opportunity assessment, including desk research and conversations with a variety of financiers and development institutions that invest in the water and sanitation market. Through the research process, the team identified the current supply and demand for financing water infrastructure and common constraints around private sector investment. We then recommended investment structures and approaches, which included setting up a fund to support project developers to become investment-ready, in alignment with PIDG’s strategic objectives and organizational structure.


We presented PIDG with a detailed pipeline of opportunities worth USD $105 million in 14 developing countries. We also provided PIDG with a list of select internal intervention options to assist the group in making strategic decisions. Since this engagement in 2013, PIDG has increased its portfolio of water and sanitation infrastructure investments, based on recommendations from our team, through a combination of a refined strategic approach and new investment vehicles and approaches.

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