RESULTS-BASED FUNDING FOR RELIABLE RURAL WATER SERVICES
The Uptime Catalyst Facility (UCF) is a registered UK charity that pools and disburses results-based grant funding to contracted rural water service providers. Contracts between the UCF and service providers are administered by Uptime Global, an affiliated non-profit social enterprise. The UCF is funded by external partners who share a common vision of ensuring water resilience for rural people in developing countries.
Uptime Global and the UCF are pioneering the design, implementation and evaluation of novel approaches for the sustainable funding of maintained rural water services. We take an empirical, data-intensive approach to assessing the performance of service providers based in Africa, Asia and Latin America, often operating in very challenging conditions. We believe that results-based funding is the most efficient, robust and scalable approach for delivering resilient water services.
We adhere to a three-tiered governance process.
First, the UCF is registered under the UK Charities Commission (registration number 1192062), and our compliance record is accessible via the UKCC Register of Charities website. Our registry entry provides access to our governing document, along with financial and reporting information regarding the UCF. For the year to December 2021 (or most recent reported period), the UCF reported a total income of £ 787,374 and associated expenditure of £544,982.
Second, information regarding the activities of the UCF is provided through a series of working papers published by Uptime Global. These documents outline the rationale for approach, and explain how and why operations (including the criteria for making results-based payments) have evolved over time, based on collective learning. The working papers offer a high level of transparency around the functioning of the UCF.
Third, to receive grant income from our external partners, the Trustees of the UCF engage in contractual obligations with funders that specify the basis on which funds can be disbursed. In addition, the UCF is required to meet various reporting requirements set by our external partners, as a condition of the grant. We are also required to convene periodic meetings with funders to discuss the UCF's performance.
We measure impact in terms of the number of waterpoints with uptime (i.e. functionality) of more than 96%; the amount of money received through user payments; the estimated population served; and the estimated volume of water dispensed. Contracted service providers are required to report against these metrics to qualify for results based payments, and the data is subject to independent verification arranged by Uptime. These arrangements provide us with a high level of transparency regarding impact; updated with quarterly frequency with just a few months' lag between period-end and impact reporting. We publish summary impact data, including historic values, on a public dashboard, which is accessible from the Uptime Global dashboard.
The UCF is administered by three Trustees, who perform their duties on a pro-bono basis. To minimise the drain of overheads on the funds that the UCF has available to disburse, most administrative, data management and executional costs are borne by Uptime Global. The Trustees have extensive experience, and convene monthly to review performance, strategy and outlook.
Germain is an investment banker serving a Fund Manager and Secretary General of Infralion Capital Management, a France-based regulated asset management company specialized in infrastructure investments. Prior to this position, Germain has served as Director of Structured Finance at Vinci Construction, a 20 billions turn over construction company ; as Deputy CEO and Compliance Officer at GT Finance, a regulated asset management company specialized in alternative assets. Germain has been teaching finance at Sciencespo School of Management and Impact (EMI) for the past 15 years, with a primary focus on advanced project financing within the Master in International Business and Sustainability, and a secondary focus on design for social innovation with a joint course with Columbia University's School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA).
Rob is Professor of Water Policy at Oxford University with over 20 years of research and applied experience in Africa and Asia. Rob has led research on water economics, policy and poverty through a portfolio of £50m of research grants funded by UK Research and Innovation, FCDO, USAID, GIZ/BMZ, UNICEF, the EU and others. In 2018, he led a team that won the University of Oxford’s Innovation Award. He currently leads FCDO’s REACH programme to improve water security for 10m poor people in Africa and Asia by 2024. This work includes the incubation of the FundiFix model in Kenya and establishment of the Water Services Maintenance Services Trust Fund. Rob has extensive global networks with governments and global institutes, and recently led the REACH/RWSN study to identify scale pathways to ensure safe and reliable water services for 100 million rural people by 2030.
Trustee and Chair
Alex directs a research programme focused on sustainable development, at the University of Oxford's Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment. A former fund manager, he has over 25 years of practitioner experience in investment and industry, and is routinely engaged by organisations such as the ADB, AfDB, OECD, World Water Council, the World Bank and others on water finance issues. Previously, Alex co-founded a capital markets advisory firm, which expanded to represent clients ranging from under £100m to over £100bn by market value. Today he is concurrently CEO of a start-up that measures water risk using earth observation and other data. Alex holds a master's degree with distinction in water science, policy and management, and a doctorate in economic geography; both from the University of Oxford.
The UCF is supported by the following current and recent funding partners