Innovating and Adapting in a Payment-By-Results WASH Programme: The SWIFT experience

Publication date

11 Sep 2019


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Oxfam led a consortium called SWIFT which ran a risky payment by results (PbR) programme in the fragile contexts of DRC and Kenya. The programme sought to provide sustained access to water, sanitation and hygiene for almost one million people over four years. During the four years, SWIFT faced a number of issues including the novel contracting approach; increasing financial risk for implementing partners; tight timelines for delivery of infrastructure and behaviour change interventions; and challenges in the wider context, such as drought in Kenya and population displacement in DRC. 

But apart from the funding mechanism, was SWIFT innovative or adaptive? We asked implementing teams the question: if, and how, innovation and adaptation took place during the first phase of the SWIFT programme, and what the lessons might be for implementing organizations that seek to deliver large-scale, challenging and high-pressure programmes under a PbR arrangement. 

This study looks at what innovation took place, why it took place, what it solved and what helped or hindered the innovation or adaptation.