Safe Water Network has launched a Technical Assistance program to build the capacity of governments, NGOs, and the private sector to design, launch, manage, maintain, and improve the performance of small water enterprises (SWEs).

Over the past decade, Safe Water Network has worked with governments, partners, and local communities in Ghana and India to provide safe water access to a million and a half people, while demonstrating successful market-based small water enterprise (SWE) approaches that are reliable, cost-effective, and replicable. Through this work, we have developed deep expertise and insights for optimizing the operational, financial, and consumer aspects of SWE performance, while ensuring reliability, affordability, and consumer benefits including improved health, productivity, and economic development.

The Technical Assistance program leverages our knowledge and expertise for enabling and assisting governments, SWE implementers, and others involved in the SWE sector to strengthen operational and financial performance, boost reliability, and improve organizational capabilities for replicating and scaling successful SWEs within their water programs.

Our technical assistance services are available on a fee-for-service basis, tailored to the specific objectives, requirements and timing of our clients. In special circumstances, we also partner with clients to raise funding in order to cover aspects of our technical assistance.


We assist clients in achieving their goals and objectives in multiple ways, including:

Training and Capability Building

  • Water sourcing and SWE site selection
  • Contaminants and treatment technologies
  • SWE construction, operation, and maintenance
  • Solar energy applications
  • Performance diagnostic and audit tools

Operating Performance Improvement and Field Optimizations

  • Remote monitoring and maintenance systems
  • Water ATMs for efficient, automatic water dispensing
  • Household connections and prepaid metering
  • Digital/mobile payments and micro-finance
  • Improving non-revenue water

Water Quality Management

  • Global and national water quality standards
  • Water quality testing and reporting
  • Economic trade-offs of alternative approaches
  • Water storage and recontamination
  • Household water uses and implications

Financial Sustainability

  • Frameworks for understanding financial sustainability
  • Sustainability modeling and analytics
  • Field-level data gathering and integration
  • Sustainability gap and subsidy requirements
  • Accelerating progress toward financial sustainability


Leveraging over a decade of on-the-ground experience, with an installed footprint comprising hundreds of SWEs in Ghana and India, Safe Water Network is distinctively positioned to enable and assist others in the decentralized water sector.

What Sets Us Apart

  • An organizational commitment to safe water quality, affordability, and social/health benefits
  • A track record of field-level reliability and performance optimizations, with a focus on operational and financial sustainability
  • Rigorous analytics allow for the documentation of best practices and insights
  • Robust, client-ready training tools, materials, and methodologies
  • A strong reputation within the decentralized water sector, which has yielded a leadership position within the Global SWE Community of Practice, and key roles in national SWE working groups and alliances
  • A network of partners and collaborators, including the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the Osprey Foundation, Newman’s Own Foundation, the Stone Family Foundation, One Foundation, the World Bank, USAID, UNICEF, GSMA, Honeywell, Pentair, Cisco, Oracle, UL, CGAP, Engineers Without Borders, Water Mission, mWater, Nanyang Technological University, national/local governments, and individual philanthropists


Our clients and partners include governments, SWE implementers, multi-sectoral NGOs, donor organizations, and others involved in the SWE sector.


Over the course of three years, Safe Water Network will be assisting the Rural Drinking Water and Sanitation Department of Karnataka with:

  • Upgrading the operational and financial performance of one of the largest rural decentralized water systems in the world, involving 18,000 water purification plants providing access to more than 30 million people

  • Training and capability-building for several hundred plant operators, department engineers, and field staff

  • A baseline audit and central database for tracking the ongoing performance of all 18,000 plants, along with audits of more than 70 water testing labs providing services to plants

  • Design and implementation of a central call center for facilitating the reporting and resolution of operating, maintenance, and service issues raised by plant operators, communities, and individual customers

  • Assessment of alternative treatment technologies and potential efficiencies based on source water characteristics

  • A long-term financial sustainability model for ensuring ongoing viability and system benefits to the communities served

To learn more about this engagement, read our latest Spotlight report.