Serving All Urban Consumers: A Marketing Approach to Water Services in Low- and Middle-income Countries
WEDC staff involved
Mombasa, Kampala, Durban, Maseru, Guntor
The purpose of the project is to study how utilities can use pricing and service differentiation to benefit all and move towards financial sustainability. The research aims to develop a methodology for water utilities to structure service delivery and tariffs to serve low-income customers, and appropriate guidelines will be produced.
Production of guidance notes on improving water services to the poor as part of utility strategic and operational planning, which are of use both for private and public sector operators, as well as governments and regulators. Development and testing of both the strategic marketing and the PREPP (Participatory ,ranking, experiences, perceptions and partnerships) methodologies in 5 locations around the world and the production of 5 strategic marketing plans and 3 main guidance note outputs. The work included linking consumer and WTP surveys to investment scenarios, for a range of service options amongst different consumer groups, in order to develop viable investment plans.
Services provided by WEDC included a series of case studies and literature reviews, testing both methodologies, followed by evaluation and adaptation of methodologies in order to develop guidance notes on Serving all urban consumers – a marketing approach to water services in low and middle income countries. (Book 1 for government's enabling role, book 2 for managers and book 3 on utility consultation with the poor (PREPP), to be published in 2004.
The key focus of the research is to investigate how water utilities can interact and develop beneficial exchange relationships with the poor. Key research themes include:
This research is building upon the knowledge and experience of utilities in Africa and India. Working with partners in three countries, the research team is looking at the transferability of commercial marketing techniques to the urban water and sanitation sector.
Research, in the form of developing strategic marketing plans for utilities, is being carried out in Mombasa (Kenya), Kampala (Uganda), and Guntor (India). Lessons and experiences are also being gathered from Durban (South Africa). Pre-testing was carried out in Southern Africa.