At the Hilton Foundation, one of the most critical components of our philanthropic approach is to regularly evaluate our investments and approaches, share these findings with the field, and modify our approach as needed based on these learnings. We’re pleased to share some findings from recent reviews of our investments in Ghana. These country-specific reports follow our review of Rural Water Service Delivery Models in September 2023.  

Kate Ntsiako, a water vendor, manages her NUMA water kiosk in Daboase, Wassa East, Ghana. In small towns, Water4-businesses operate small piped water systems, called NUMA, that deliver high-quality, safe water to consumers.

The primary objective was to investigate the relevance, effectiveness and sustainability of supported service delivery models (SDMs), including community-based management, publicly owned water utilities and private-sector approaches, such as Safe Water Enterprises (SWE). Our funding in Ghana has largely focused on the Asutifi North and Wassa East districts. Since 2019, we have supported a plurality of SDMs (SWE, Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) and Water and Sanitation Management Team (WSMT) direct provision).

Several important findings were observed concerning the initiatives funded by the Hilton Foundation in Ghana, including the following:

  1. Expanding Focus Beyond Districts: In the past, we’ve focused on progress at the district level, limiting the spread of innovative ideas, including financially viable service delivery models and new ways to address the root causes of systemic issues in water service delivery. Expansion of these interventions would require investment at the regional and/or national levels. 
  2. Align Better with Policies: Our interventions will have a greater impact if they’re more aligned with the draft Revised National Water Policy (2023) and there’s more clarity on the Community Water and Sanitation Agency’s role as a rural and small-town utility. 
  3. More Collaboration Needed: Our grantee partners are making tremendous progress with their safe water projects, but they’re missing out on the opportunity for cross-collaboration. More deliberate efforts to link interventions and strategic priorities across organizations and government agencies can enable true collective action. 
  4. Bring to Scale: Our safe water interventions are being replicated across communities, but not on a large scale. The next step is to anchor our interventions within government systems by moving beyond our current focus on districts, clarifying government policies, and enhancing collaboration to replicate successful projects among our partners. 

Download the Ghana Synthesis Report here.