Celebrating: full project portfolio

More than 30 new VIA Water projects have started over the summer of 2017!


We are pleased to announce that over summer, the entire VIA Water Fund of 9 million Euro has been committed. Quite some hard work by the team has been done, to ensure that at the moment we are in the final stage of decision taking and contract negotiations with the last 5 projects. This final push has been needed, since with less than 18 months before the formal closure of our programme, all projects need to start by this fall at the latest.

After 31/12/2018 we will have another 6 months to tap into the rich knowledge resources of our projects and conclude some essentials on innovation processes in the context of Africa.

Top tablePressing Needs; Blue = applications; Brown = contracts

At the moment we can already draw some conclusions though. Out of 523 teasers submitted, we will be granting 63 contracts (1 out of 8,3). If we include the last 5 anticipated projects, we can conclude that Kenya has most of the contracts (30%), followed by Ghana (22%). Mozambique and Mali are in the middle, while Rwanda and Benin have less contracts than average and South Sudan none. The dominance of Kenya and Ghana is no surprise, as they have the more advanced and stable economies and have better ecosystems for business and innovation.

We see that Mali has scored best (1 out of 5 teasers has been granted with a contract) and has a dominance of projects working with data. The second surprise is Mozambique (1 out of 6), with a dominance of projects that can be linked to the innovation efforts within the national water utility institutions, of which one is covering water and sanitation. Partners in these countries were able to overcome the language barrier in working with the VIA Water programme in English. In both countries, we see the importance of ‘silent’ promoters of innovations and the support of Dutch parties. For Rwanda we had expected a more positive outcome, as this country is intending to become the ICT hub of East Africa and has a well-educated young generation.

Among the 12 pressing needs, sanitation has covered almost half of the contracts. We have made preferential decisions for projects that include less covered pressing needs, which means none of the pressing needs remained below the pre-defined threshold. But the portfolio is rather diverse, and it is not possible to make many clusters with projects that show similarity, apart from sanitation. This means the learning potential from the thematic point of view will take more of an effort, since it will be less easy to connect projects to each other.

With regard to contract partners, we were able to have quite some from Africa (50%). Organisations that made an application as a single entity had a very poor contract score (1 out of 30): proposals made by partnerships have done better, which to us shows that innovation needs co-creation. Enterprises and consultancy organisations were by far the most successful, whereas amongst the least scoring lead parties are individuals, NGOs and to a lesser extend knowledge institutes and universities.

More than half of the contracted parties are young organisations. We are very proud that we have been able to tap into this potential reservoir. The challenge we now see ahead of us is in accompanying this group towards the next level of dissemination and scaling after the proof of concept.

Many of the new projects have already been added to our website portfolio, and we will continue to add the final ones in the coming weeks: you can check them out here. We are also working on the second version of our project Bidbook, which will contain our full portfolio of projects.

Bottom table: Countries; Blue = applications; brown = contracts

Countries; Blue = applications; brown = contracts