Principles for sustainable services - a conceptual tool for improving sustainability
Based on a wide range of experience and learning over many years, by IRC and many other actors, Triple-S has identified a set of three core strategies for achieving sustainable rural water services at scale:
- Adoption of a service delivery approach
- Creation of capacity for learning and adaptive management
- Ensuring harmonisation and alignment within national water sectors
Under these three strategies, eight principles describe the essential conditions for sustainable service delivery. Taken together, these principles provide a vision of an ideal water sector - capable of providing universal access to sustained water services. The principles are shown in their most basic form in the table below.
The principles framework is regularly updated based on emerging experiences. Click here to see the latest, more detailed, version that looks at the principles at each of five crucial institutional levels (consumer, water service provider, water service authority, national, international).
The Triple-S principles framework can be used in various ways:
- As a guidance tool to inspire a holistic approach to identifying challenges and solutions.
- As an analytical tool for the sector to identify what’s working and what’s not.
- As a planning tool to improve coherency among individual initiatives
The principles framework is a conceptual tool that is intended to complement the more empirically based building blocks: ten areas of work that are emerging as priorities for sector reform. The principles framework and building block are the heart of IRC's approach to water services that last.
|Core strategies||Principles||Application of principles|
|Service delivery approach||Policy, legislation and institutional roles are clarified for commonly agreed on service delivery models||
|Financing for full life-cycle costs are effectively covered through an agreed upon combination of tariffs, taxes and transfers||
|Planning aims for full coverage and accounts for the different stages of the life-cycle of the service and is based on participatory processes||
|Transparency and accountability mechanisms are in place between consumers, service providers and independent oversight bodies over the quality and sustainability of services provided||
|Learning and adaptive capacity||Capacity (awareness, skills, resources, and access to support) exists within the sector for stakeholders to fulfil their functions, as defined in the service delivery model||
|The sector has the ability to learn and innovate on the basis of knowledge sharing, reflection and analysis||
|Harmonisation and alignment||Sector investment and support is harmonised and aligned with national priorities and policies||
|Actions of stakeholders are coordinated at different levels with commonly recognised platforms and fora||