Financing 2.0: Is the WASH sector ready for impact bonds?

Tuesday 30 August | 14.00-15.30 | Room: NL Auditorium

The SDGs’ ambitious focus on universal access to WASH requires an aggressive search for new financing tools that can attract the private capital needed to bridge the sector’s substantial funding gap. One promising tool being tested in other sectors is impact bonds. A new form of outcome-based funding, impact bonds are steadily gaining support from government agencies, donors, and impact investors. Though deployed with some success in the US and UK, their use in developing countries is far more limited. And none has focused on WASH outcomes…yet. This panel will convene experts in WASH, development finance, and impact investing to explore the challenges and benefits of impact bonds’ investor-driven funding model. Panelists will review experiences from other sectors where impact bonds have been deployed to determine how these learnings can be applied in the WASH sector. The goal is to generate concrete, pragmatic ideas for leveraging this promising new business model to dramatically improve the delivery, accountability, and, ultimately, the impact of WASH programming globally.


14:00  Welcome

Tom Outlaw, Partnerships & Innovation Advisor, USAID Water Team

14:10   Potential of Impact Bonds for Improving Effectiveness of WASH Programmes

USAID and Social Finance

14:30 Discussion led by panel of major donors and technical experts

  • Lisa Patel,USAID
  • Peter Nicholas, Social Finance
  • Guy Hutton, UNICEF
  • Joe Brown, Georgia Tech
  • Jonathan Gill, Unilever
  • Niclas During, Swedfund

15:15 Summing-up

USAID and Social Finance