How much does it cost to provide decentralised WASH services?

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Life cycle costs approach: beyond construction

After decades of work, many of us in the sector still do not know how much our interventions actually cost or will cost in the future. Critical components include the costs of capital infrastructure, recurrent operation and maintenance, capital maintenance (when equipment must be replaced), institutional development and capacity building as well as other support costs. Yet many stakeholders could not even list what these costs are. Clearly, there cannot be proper planning and budgeting by local governments, donors or others without accurate cost information to support – and even drive – these processes.

This is the first of three articles that will look at symposium themes in more detail and outline key topics. The next two issues of Source Bulletin will carry information about the financing and accountability parts of the symposium agenda. More on the IRC symposium 2010 can be found on

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