WSUP delivers urban water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes in Bangladesh, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique and Zambia.

We have specialist teams in each of these countries building long-term supportive relationships with service providers from the public and private sectors. This gives us a valuable understanding of the city environment and what action is needed to create and support a stronger and more effective urban WASH sector.

We use this knowledge to promote the growth of private and public sector service providers, strengthening their business capacity so they are able to view low-income residents as valuable customers, not as a loss-making social obligation.

The long-term process of achieving this sometimes requires radical changes to our partners’ business models. This is why our close relationships with utilities, regulators, asset holders, community-based organisations and small-scale initiatives are so important to our work.

We believe in sharing the lessons and knowledge we’ve learned from our programmes with others in the global WASH sector, and our partners in the core countries. In this way we can maximise the impact of our work to help more people enjoy affordable, high-quality water and sanitation services.

WSUP was given the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship in 2014 for its unique approach to developing services for the poorest customers in cities in Africa and Asia. Three years on, we are encouraged that WSUP is continuing to scale its work. Taking its model to new cities and countries, WSUP has adapted its approach to local circumstances to further improve water and sanitation services in urban markets.

Sally Osberg, President and CEOSkoll Foundation