This case provides an overview of the nonprofit organization PATH and its Safe Water Project—a five-year effort launched in late 2006 with $17 million in funding from the global development unit of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The purpose of the grant was to evaluate to what extent market-based approaches could help accelerate the widespread adoption and sustained use of household water treatment and safe storage products by low-income populations. Over the course of the grant, PATH conducted approximately 10 pilots in four countries. In the process, the Safe Water Project team accumulated substantial insights related to user-centered design, access, and affordability (see OIT-107, OIT-108, and OIT-109 for specific lessons in each of these three areas). PATH also amassed a number of important general lessons about planning and executing pilot projects, which are expanded upon in the case.
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Case No: OIT106