Since 1998, BPD has responded to constant demand for its unique, independent, innovative non-profit service to the water and sanitation sectors in developing countries. We work at the local, national and international levels directly with policymakers, providers (across the public, private and civil society sectors), advocacy networks, major water users, funders and communities to make partnerships more effective. Our work has enabled unserved and poorly served communities to access more sustainable water and sanitation services.


BPD provides guidance in the design, maintenance and assessment of multi-stakeholder water and sanitation partnerships through three key interrelated activities:



Direct support to partnerships


Working with partnership initiatives, BPD builds stronger relationships through the application of our tried and tested tools (e.g. contextual analysis, organisational development and­­­ governance design, partnership assessment). This support challenges practitioners to think through partnership design and implementation processes to maximise effectiveness through clearer communication, stronger accountability and an emphasis on mutual learning.


Examples of direct support


  • Partnership learning reviews for USAID-Rotary H2O Partnership and the Water and Development Alliance between USAID and The Coca-Cola Company/ The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation
  • Stakeholder analysis and learning review for WSUP
  • Collective Action Guide with the Water Futures Partnership (GIZ-WWF-SABMiller)    
  • Inter-American Development Bank-supported WASH in Schools evaluation
  • Organisational development with Freshwater Action Network, CONIWAS & Water Integrity Network
  • Public-public partnership review in Indonesia


WSUP learning review publications: Land tenure | Community engagement 
Contracting small-scale providers


Action research


Working with partnership practitioners on the ground, BPD focuses on research themes that inform partnership process more generally as well as those with specific relevance to the water and sanitation sectors, like pro-poor regulation and the role of sanitation entrepreneurs. Emerging learning is documented through printed and online publications.


Examples of action research


  • WASH in Schools (WinS)
  • Small town service delivery
  • Trends in Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs)
  • Small-scale water and sanitation entrepreneurs
  • Sanitation as a business 
  • Political economy analysis
  • Community engagement
  • The impact of culture on partnerships
  • The environment as a 'silent partner'
WASH in Schools blog | Small towns (pdf) | PPP trends (pdf) | Small-scale providers  
Sanitation as a business (pdf) | Community engagement (pdf) | Silent partner (pdf) | All publications


Other current research interests


WASH and the environment, including upstream/downstream linkages


Learning events and activities


Learning and capacity building are particular threads that run through all three of these integrated activities. However, BPD also provides tailored and more generic learning events for individuals and organisations across the water and sanitation sector to share and facilitate learning around partnerships and promote dialogue and networking (e.g. training courses, workshops & discussion days).


Examples of learning events and activities


  • Intensive, interactive training courses on partnership skills delivered more than a dozen times across Africa for cross-sector groups of policymakers and practitioners
  • NGO Capacity Needs Assessment tool (funded by DFID under the Governance and Transparency Fund)
  • Numerous workshops, roundtables and seminars at international conferences


BPD partnership training | NGO Capacity Needs Assessment tool | Document library


For more information on any recent activities, please download our Annual report 2011-12