On May 21, 2013, USAID’s Administrator, Rajiv Shah, announced an award from USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) to support the scale-up of the Dispensers for Safe Water program. The $5.5 million grant, supported by DIV’s WASH for Life partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is DIV’s first Stage 3 award. Stage 3 funding is reserved for innovative solutions that have credible and rigorous evidence of development impacts at significant scale. Stage 3 projects transition an innovation from large scale implementation to widespread adoption; this grant will help Dispensers for Safe Water provide five million people with access to dispensers.
Director of Programs for Dispensers for Safe Water, Eric Kouskalis, said “we are thrilled to be partnering with DIV on the scale-up of dispensers. DIV’s objective is to find, test, and scale interventions that get the biggest bang for the buck, and at a cost of less than $0.50 per person per year at scale, dispensers fit the bill perfectly.”
Dispensers for Safe Water critically evaluates the program to drive improvements throughout the expansion. DIV and Dispensers for Safe Water will measure success along metrics such as the number of dispenser users (by gender), the percentage of households with chlorine present in their drinking water, the percentage of individuals who understand the benefits and correct usage of dispensers, and the dispenser manufacturing and chlorine delivery costs. This data will provide valuable feedback to help the program maximize adoption, sustain dispenser usage, and increase operational efficiencies.
Maura O’Neill, Chief Innovation Officer at DIV, congratulated DSW on the award. “Results based on rigorous evidence is the hallmark of DIV. Through this award with Dispensers for Safe Water, we will avert 3.3 million cases of diarrhea, save 3,200 children's lives and that is just in the first three years.”