Cabo Verde is an extremely water‐scarce country that relies on energy‐intensive desalinization of water for most of its municipal water needs. Domestic water consumption was barely above subsistence levels at the time of compact development, particularly on the island of Santiago. Use of public water points was costly, and a significant portion of the population had limited access to sanitation. The cost of water for customers connected to the system was among the highest in Africa, and approximately half of the water pumped into the system was not being paid for due to physical leaks, poor metering practices, and uncollected fees. The unreliability of the water supply meant that customers had no way of knowing when water would be running through the pipes.
An analysis of the sector conducted by MCC and the GoCV during compact development revealed poorly functioning institutions and a lack of cohesive national policy and planning as root causes of the issues in the WASH sector. Many water utilities, including a total of nine utilities on the island of Santiago, were run as municipal services, resulting in many small, inefficient, and essentially insolvent service providers who were unable to expand services to new customers or address losses in the system. At the national level, multiple agencies and ministries had jurisdiction over various elements of water resource management, a factor that led to conflicting mandates and gaps.
The resulting lack of reliable water supply led many large business customers, notably hotels, to purchase and install their own small-scale desalination plants. Residential consumers, facing increasing costs to purchase water from public water points, installed domestic storage systems and/or tankers. The utilities were not charging those few households that were connected to the network for access to piped sewer service. There was no tariff for sanitation services, which resulted in poor or non-existent maintenance of existing sanitation infrastructure while limiting the needed expansion of the network to combat the high incidence of open-air defecation and its negative impact on public health.
Studies conducted in Cabo Verde early in compact development found that Cabo Verde’s shortcomings in WASH services disproportionately impacted women, the poor, and other vulnerable groups, as they spent more time collecting water and caring for the ill. Thus the lack of accessible water and private sanitation added significant time burdens that could reduce their time available for work, household care, and education. 7 Women and girls who must leave their households to access water or sanitation facilities are at an increased risk of sexual harassment and gender-based violence in the public space.
Additionally, in a sector that desperately needed infrastructure investments, insufficient coordination and distributed jurisdiction over the water sector resulted in poor project planning and coordination. For example, wastewater treatment works in Sal and Praia were built without a comprehensive sector plan that connected them to the larger infrastructure network, leading them to perform far below their design capacity or not function at all prior to MCC’s interventions.
The economic analysis of the compact program in water and sanitation conducted by MCC and the GoCV in the development phase of the compact examined two main benefit streams: (1) government/fiscal savings; and (2) savings for households and businesses. The analysis of the fiscal savings benefit stream assumed that after the compact closed, the GoCV would no longer need to greatly subsidize the utility, and those Government funds could be used for other, productive purposes. The analysis of the second benefit stream relied on the assumption that cheaper, more accessible and reliable water would result in more investment at the household and business level.
The WASH Project aimed to create the conditions under which scarce national resources could be optimally used to help bring the standard of water service in Cabo Verde on par with its comparator countries. The compact sought to achieve this by transitioning the sector towards full cost recovery and by ensuring that the customer service mandates would be pro-poor. The project was designed to address three key areas: (1) national-level, regulatory reform; (2) utility-level reform, with a focus on the island of Santiago; and (3) improved infrastructure and strengthened utility planning capacity supported by an infrastructure grant facility. The WASH project design was based on lessons learned from Cabo Verde’s experience reforming WASH utilities on the islands of Fogo and Brava. The WASH project contained three activities: the National Institutional and Regulatory Activity, the Utility Reform Activity, and the WASH Infrastructure Grant Facility Activity.
Water in Cabo Verde is an important, expensive resource. Before the compact, multiple agencies with conflicting and overlapping responsibilities were active in the sector, and water was not seen as a natural resource for the country as a whole that required strategic management and coordination. The National Institutional and Regulatory Activity aimed to create a single agency, the National Agency for Water and Sanitation, Agência Nacional de Água e Saneamento (ANAS), to be a technical regulator responsible for managing the water sector in Cabo Verde from source to disposal in a way that incentivized the creation of publicly-owned water companies operating on commercial principles. The agency, formally created in 2013, is now fully functioning with a board of directors and is progressing to the goal of generating at least 50 percent of its budget from royalties and fees, the standard for this type of regulatory agency.
Because the challenges in the water sector disproportionately impact women and the poor, the activity ensured that their voices were represented in national policy conversations and decision-making. ANAS’s Gender, Environment, and Social Integration Office supports data-driven social and gender analyses that inform master planning, investments, policy discussions, monitoring, and reporting, all of which aim to improve access and affordability. It also engages stakeholders, including civil society, and undertakes national information, education and communications campaigns on water, sanitation, and hygiene. The compact created a National Consultative Group on Social Inclusion and Gender in the Water and Sanitation Sector, composed of leaders of national ministries (ANAS, Housing and Transportation, Social Solidarity, and others), the Cabo Verdean Institute for Gender Equality, municipal governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academics, and donors. The consultative group’s mandate is to guarantee that the concerns and needs of women and the poor were included in all policy and institutional reforms in the sector.
The National Institutional and Regulatory Activity supported the development of a number of key strategic documents, laws, decrees, and regulations. In 2012, one of the initial project outputs was a national water strategy. Subsequently, a new national water code was developed by ANAS and other stakeholders. Under the code, numerous regulations were generated with regard to drinking water quality standards, wastewater treatment standards, water reuse standards, tariffs frameworks, and plumbing codes. Improved water resource allocation by ANAS has been achieved through the removal of boundaries between municipal utilities on the island of Santiago and national oversight. The activity also supported existing economic regulators and environmental institutions by completing a Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment.
Together, the national water strategy and Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment allowed for the holistic, integrated management of water that improved prioritization of investments, prevented the construction of infrastructure unconnected to the network or underutilized, and planned the use of scarce water resources in a way that avoids over-extraction of water from aquifers or heavy reliance on costly desalination. These regulators and institutions are now actively functioning in the sector, including through tariff-setting and by defining new water quality standards. Where appropriate, provisions addressing gender and social equity were integrated into each of the activity’s policy reforms, legal reforms, strategic documents, and plans. The national reforms enacted by ANAS have facilitated policy direction, sector planning, utility performance measurement, and prioritization of infrastructure investments. ANAS now manages the sector, including water abstractions and utility performance metrics, using a state-of-the-art information management system.
While the National Institutional and Regulatory Activity addressed governance and regulation of the sector, the Utility Reform Activity focused on improving service delivery to customers. The objective of the Utility Reform Activity was to improve the delivery of water and sanitation services on the main island of Santiago through the creation of an island-wide, publicly owned water and sewer company operating on standard commercial principles. Small and fragmented water departments were unable to operate at scale and provide a high quality of service to customers, and moving to a single, corporatized, island-wide utility was expected to achieve the economies of scale necessary to professionalize service delivery and increase efficiency, effectiveness, and quality of service.
The Utility Reform activity created the new utility, Aguas de Santiago (AdS), and provided three years of technical assistance focused on: AdS startup; business planning; non-revenue water management; developing critical infrastructure requirements; long-range strategic planning; developing and implementing staff training; developing human resources policies; creating and disseminating corporate communications and branding; creating and disseminating customer information; creating and disseminating public education programs and communications; and implementing tariffs. By merging the nine water service providers that existed before the compact and applying improved operational capabilities acquired through the compact-funded technical assistance, AdS is now able to operate at scale, with improved operational efficiency and effectiveness.
In 2016, AdS began operations in Santiago’s eight rural municipalities. In 2017, AdS incorporated the urban municipality of Praia. AdS includes an Office of Information, Education and Communication, and Social, Gender and Integrated Management, which has aimed to:
- improve utility efficiency and revenue, and improve equity, by facilitating sustainable water and sanitation network connections to low-income households in order to expand its customer base;
- improve billing practices to avoid arrears and disconnections;
- educate customers on the costs of water and the importance of payment for the utility to continue providing those services; and
- engage with communities regarding their role in the care and maintenance of the public, water infrastructure, hopefully reducing vandalism and illegal connections that drain utility resources.
By analyzing and addressing users’ needs with regard to access, payment schedules, billing, connections, and technologies, the Office of Information, Education and Communication, and Social, Gender and Integrated Management is helping AdS adopt practices that are expected to improve service delivery while allowing AdS to expand its customer base and reliably collect payments (revenue). AdS policy, operational guidelines, and capacity to deliver regular, targeted information, communication and education activities are critical components for achieving the objectives listed above. The reforms undertaken by AdS, in conjunction with the new national policy, serve as a model for the creation of similar utilities for other islands. The WASH reforms and creation of AdS established a new foundation of stability in management and strategic planning for the sector, an improvement which contributed to the Japan International Cooperation Agency investing $150 million to more than double the desalination capacity and transmission system on the island of Santiago.
Finally, the WASH Infrastructure Grant Facility (IGF) Activity aimed to incentivize and reward utility reform as well as improve investment planning in the sector. To incentivize reform, release of MCC funds into the IGF was contingent upon the achievement of certain reform milestones pertaining to the compact’s other WASH activities. This contingent-funding process proved effective in advancing the institutional reforms that might have otherwise stalled. Additionally, the IGF activity required utilities to demonstrate progress in the professionalization or commercialization of their operations in order to be eligible to submit proposals, a requirement that created incentives for achieving the project’s reform priorities on a local level.
The activity was also designed to improve investment planning. Due diligence during compact development found a number of investments made in Cabo Verde’s WASH sector were not being utilized as intended due to poor planning and coordination. The country needed improved WASH infrastructure, but MCC and the GoCV determined that a more effective way to meet that need would be through relatively small, low-risk projects that addressed the actual needs of communities.
The IGF had two parts. The first component, known as The Water and Sanitation Fund (IGF-FASA) (Fundo de Água e Saneamento), funded infrastructure proposals from utilities. The IGF-FASA mechanism competitively selected investments in capital projects, such as network improvements and extensions, resulting in reduced technical losses and improved quality of service. A set of social, gender, and environmental criteria was developed as screening criteria for the IGF. IGF-FASA funded production, treatment, storage facilities, and distribution and expansion networks in two tranches. It included projects such as:
- Addressing physical water losses on a transmission line between São Filipe and Mosteiros on the Island of Fogo. The resultant reduction in water loss is helping to improve the service in a number of communities which went from only having water a few hours a week to having near-continuous water supply; 8
- Wastewater treatment rehabilitation and connection of households to the sewer network in Sal. This project lifted a major physical constraint to the construction of new hotels and restaurants on the island, dramatically reduced the disposal of sewage into the environment and partially served as the basis for Cabo Verde’s application for Blue Flag, one of the highest environmental awards in the tourism sector; and
- Water interconnection from Praia to São Domingos to address reduction in groundwater availability, in order to increase the availability and reliability of piped water service.
The IGF was popular and attracted 41 applications for the first round and 37 applications for the second round. Twenty-three of the applications were ultimately funded, representing a total value of $21 million. The IGF’s competitive application process was effective in generating and filtering projects that provided the best social benefits, as demonstrated by a cost-benefit analysis required in each application. Individual projects were evaluated based on criteria that mirrored the objectives of Cabo Verde’s Strategic National Master Plan. Successful applicants were assisted with addressing social and gender issues in their projects and with developing information, education and communication campaigns where relevant. In addition to utilizing MCC funding, the IGF also received contributions from private companies and donors including the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency (LuxDev).
In addition to IGF-FASA, the IGF activity also included a Social Access Fund (SAF) that targeted poor and female-headed households. In Cabo Verde, 48 percent of families are headed by women, and 33 percent of female-headed households are considered to be poor, as defined by the IGF grant manual. The project aimed to address the gap in access to water that existed across household income levels in Cabo Verde, as well as aiming to address the burden that the lack of water access had placed on women and girls. The dedicated SAF was a partnership between MCC and The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, and was implemented by three, competitively-selected, national NGOs. The SAF funded the water and sanitation connection and contract fees, provided sanitation equipment, and carried out information, education and communications activities targeted at poor and female-headed households. The SAF provided beneficiaries 3,557 new connections to the water network and 2,277 new sanitation facilities. 9 More than 41,119 people were reached with information, education and communications campaigns, covering topics ranging from how to read and understand utility bills, to the importance of bill payment to sustainable service delivery, to how to maintain household water and sanitation systems, and hygiene.
At the start of the compact, the GoCV faced a pressing challenge: having graduated from LIC to LMIC status, the availability of grants and low-cost loans (i.e., concessional loans) began to be greatly curtailed. When the GoCV and MCC designed the WASH Project, sustainability of the sector was the ultimate objective of the investment. As such, the WASH sector reforms were designed to form and implement initiatives to existing and new institutions and to act as catalysts for the creation of tangible and sustainable benefits for the population of Cabo Verde. The project time period of five years was understood to be too short for fledgling institutions to become financially sustainable or to develop the operational and technical expertise necessary to oversee the sector. However, MCC and the GoCV believed that significant broad-based changes could be started during the compact period and there was sufficient support for reform in the sector to ensure change would continue after the compact ended.
National and Institutional Reform Activity. During the compact, a new national technical regulator and a national advisory council for the sector were created to manage water resources effectively, oversee utility operations, and develop strategic investment requirements in water and sanitation. A $6.2 million technical assistance program supported the formation of the new entities, as well as strengthening the existing economic regulator and environmental regulator. An improved water code was drafted and passed through Parliament, providing a stronger framework for the sector. The water code set out supply obligations for water and sanitation, principles of water conversion and sources, principles of metering, and the requirement to connect to sanitation where available. Prior to the revised water code, sanitation matters had been addressed inadequately in legislation. A new sector masterplan and strategic environmental and social assessment plan at the national level were approved, providing an integrated planning tool and basis for prioritizing investments. Several new pieces of legislation tackling water quality, irrigation, and water reuse were passed, ensuring sustainable management of precious water resources.
The reforms in Cabo Verde offered a unique opportunity to integrate the needs and voices of women and low-income populations at both national and local utility levels. Women and civil society organizations in Cabo Verde today have permanent seats on the National Council on Water and Sanitation, a consultative body. The National Strategic Plan for the Water and Sanitation Sector now includes key provisions that advance physical and economic access to water and sanitation. A new tariff policy is already benefitting vulnerable residents on Santiago Island by reducing the price of water at community stand-posts to the same price that households connected to the public water network pay. By the end of the compact, ANAS’s Office of Gender, Environment and Social Integration had tried to ensure that master planning, investments, policy discussions, and monitoring and reporting included gender and social analyses to improve access and affordability. ANAS’s significant attention to planning and execution of information, education and communications campaigns, including training of trainers, laid the groundwork for sustainability through promoting behavior change on an ongoing basis.
The new national technical regulator, ANAS, was legally structured as an institute, which means that it is required to raise at least 50 percent of its budget from the royalties and fees to which it is entitled. The WASH Project provided ANAS with a business plan and the tools to better manage its potential income sources. The Government, MCA-Cabo Verde II, and MCC worked closely with LuxDev, which pledged to support FASA and committed to support this project “as is” and to continue administering activities after the compact concluded. Potential future activities under the new partnership include next steps to develop treated wastewater as a source for agriculture water, which was especially germane given that there was only a single rainfall in the 2017 agricultural season.
Utility Reform Activity. The Utility Reform Activity supported the development of a new multi-municipal utility, AdS, which operates on a commercial basis, improving efficiency of operations and pushing progress towards financial self-sufficiency and sustainability. Prior to the creation of AdS, each of Santiago’s nine municipalities operated its own water utility, each with its own unregulated and poorly designed, administered and enforced tariff. The creation of AdS transitioned the nine municipalities to one unified tariff for the whole island that better reflects the true cost of service. A $6.8 million technical assistance program focused on building the capacity of AdS in all operational aspects.
Along with the establishment of the utility, the activity supported the preparation of a 25-year Water and Wastewater Masterplan and Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment Plan for Santiago. These plans aimed to provide direction to the water sector in Santiago as the island’s needs change with increased tourism and development.
By the end of the compact, AdS’s Office of Information, Education and Communication, and Social, Gender and Integrated Management had contributed to sustainability of utility revenue and customer service through planning for connecting low-income customers to the network and keeping them connected, improving billing practices and customer education on water costs and the importance of payment for the utility to continue providing those services, and engaging with communities regarding careful maintenance of the public infrastructure. The formation of AdS inspired other islands to pursue a similar path, three of which were actively in the process of securing their own commercial utilities at the time of publication of this report.
While significant progress was made in establishing AdS during the compact, additional support will be required over the near-to-medium-term to make AdS a sustainable utility, and to meet the access and customer education goals. As the technical assistance drew to a close, MCA-Cabo Verde II and MCC prepared proposals for follow-on work, which LuxDev pledged to fund. As of the end of the compact, Aguas de Portugal was also providing technical assistance to AdS. In 2015, at MCC’s behest, the World Bank’s Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF) undertook utility reform prefeasibility studies to see how the islands of Santo Antão and São Nicolau could transform to publicly-owned companies while operating on commercial principles. In recognition of the support that the compact provided to AdS on Santiago Island and Aguas do Maio on the island of Maio, PPIAF provided funding for feasibility studies for establishment of multi-municipal enterprises for the islands of Santo Antao and São Nicolau.
Infrastructure Grant Facility. The IGF aimed to encourage more efficient service delivery among providers by awarding grants for well-planned, well-conceived capital improvements based on the country’s strategic priorities. The projects were selected on a transparent and competitive basis, which aimed to encourage utilities to appropriately design and plan for capital improvements.
At the IGF’s conception, MCC entertained the possibility of turning it into a revolving fund. However, the path to a revolving fund was deemed too uncertain to promise at the compact development stage and a grant mechanism was used instead. Later, as the early success of the IGF became apparent, the GoCV took the decision to establish a revolving fund based on the IGF model in 2017. MCC supported the development of a business plan which envisioned a public-private partnership-like approach, with the private sector providing a minimum of 20 percent of the loan values. At the end of the compact, LuxDev pledged to provide up to €4 million, while the GoCV committed to provide additional annual funding. However, the interim evaluation of the project found that LuxDev reallocated the pledged funding to other priorities in the WASH sector due to a lack of activity with the fund.
WASH stakeholders in Cabo Verde recognized that the sector must not rely on large donor projects, but aspire to self-sufficiency. As such, there was broad-based support for the WASH Revolving Fund before the compact ended. The IGF demonstrated to the GoCV the possibility of delivering projects on budget with careful oversight, and it also showed the importance of a professionalized approach to project selection, development, implementation, and oversight. The attention to community- and household-level information, education, and communications focused on issues such as paying bills, maintenance of household-level systems, and reducing illegal connections and vandalism were all aimed at sustainability for the households and utilities. MCC was optimistic that the investments in the WASH sector would be durable and sustainable. The key question was how fast ANAS and AdS would achieve their financial targets.
A performance evaluation of the WASH Project 10 will assess the implementation, outcomes, and impacts of the National Institutional and Regulatory Reform Activity, the Utility Reform Activity, and the Infrastructure Grant Facility. The evaluation will also assess the success and sustainability of the WASH sector reforms conducted under the compact. Specific evaluation questions include:
- Were the activities/sub-activities implemented as designed? What were implementation challenges and successes?
- How did the political and economic incentives of different sector actors affect the implementation, sustainability, and efficacy of the WASH Project?
- Was the tariff reform outcome pro-poor (progressive), regressive, or neutral in Santiago? Does the current tariff structure allow for cost-recovery by AdS?
- Was the WASH Project as a whole effective at increasing the management efficiency and sustainability of the sector as measured by non-revenue water, collection ratio, and tariff adequacy?
- What has been the effect of the WASH Project on access to, quality and continuity of, and total costs of (direct and indirect) water and sanitation services for households and businesses in Cabo Verde?
- What has been the effect of the WASH Project on gender and social equality in access to and cost of water and sanitation services?
- Is the IGF a sustainable institution in Cabo Verde and will it continue to catalyze additional dollars for WASH infrastructure?
Status of the evaluation:
|Baseline||A WASH baseline survey was conducted in 2011. In 2015 a survey was done of households selected to receive water and sanitation connections under the IGF Activity.|
|Midline||This evaluation will conduct a household survey to follow-up on baseline surveys. The evaluation will also include administrative data collection and case studies, with results received in 2020.|
|Endline||In 2021, a second round of data collection is expected to be conducted, with final results expected in 2022.|
The independent evaluator conducted midline data collection within the first year after the end of the compact to assess achievement of short term-results. The following are some of the key findings from the midline evaluation. More details of these findings can be found in the WASH Interim Evaluation Brief.
National Policy and Institutional Reform
- Authority for coordinating the WASH sector was consolidated under a few regulatory entities, and frameworks to guide policy-making were enacted into law.
- These regulatory entities are still in need of technical assistance and clearer definitions of their roles and responsibilities.
- AdS, a new water utility, was successfully created, though the process took longer than expected. The new utility was still dependent on external technical assistance at the end of the compact.
- AdS has shown mixed progress in its first years. It is too soon to judge its financial sustainability.
- The infrastructure grant facility awarded $20 million in funds, reaching all but two of Cabo Verde’s nine islands.
- Despite considerable efforts to set up a new fund that would continue after the compact for WASH infrastructure investments, the plans were not implemented.
Household Access to Piped Water and Sanitation
- The infrastructure grants and connection subsidies contributed to increased access to the piped water and sanitation networks.
- These efforts did not result in time savings (since the time to collect water was already quite low for most households), but they did contribute to a reduction in the proportion of households without ac-cess to a sanitation facility.
Key output and outcome indicators
|Activity/Outcome||Key Performance Indicators||Baseline||End of Compact Target||Quarter 1 through Quarter 20 Actuals (November 2017)||Percent Compact Target Satisfied (November 2017)|
|Activity 1: National Institutional and Regulatory Reform Activity||Network water service coverage by corporatized utilities||55.7%||75%||65.9%||53%|
|Number of reform milestones achieved||0||12||11||92%|
|People receiving formal training regarding roles and new responsibilities in support of WASH sector reform||0||136||91||67%|
|Activity 2: Utility Reform||Residential Water consumption (liters per capita per day) (Network)||20.9||35||27.4||47%|
|Continuity of service (hours per day)||6||13||7.7||25%|
|Non-revenue water (NRW)||39%||24%||78.9% 11||-266%|
|Activity 3: Infrastructure Grant Facility||Access to improved water supply||98.5% (includes public water points)||100%||98.5||-1%|
|Access to improved sanitation||67.4%||89%||81.6%||66%|
|Number of new water connections||0||3739||3557||95%|
|Number of new sanitation facilities||0||1200||2277||190%|
|Kilometers of water pipeline construction||0||220||227||103%|
|Kilometers of sanitation pipeline construction||0||30||27||93%|
Explanation of Results
At the end of the compact, the WASH project showed strong results on several outputs related to the activities implemented. For example, the number of reform milestones achieved reflects the strength of new institutions established and functioning in the water sector as well as the impact of legislation related to those institutions. Eleven out of 12 milestones were completed by the end of the compact. Under the IGF, the compact sensitized 49,119 people on hygiene and sanitary best practices and exceeded its target of 24,000 people. Under this activity, there were 3,557 water connections out of an expected 3,739, with 2,275 of those connections made in female-headed households. This activity also exceeded its target for sanitation facilities by providing 2,277 sanitation connections, plumbing, and septic tanks. The number of sanitation facilities exceeded the target because there were more households deemed eligible than the target number and there was sufficient funding in the project budget to provide these facilities. For the infrastructure works conducted under the IGF, more than 200 kilometers of water and sanitation pipelines were constructed, along with 33 reservoirs and 48 pumping stations. Network water service coverage by corporatized utilities refers to the population connected to the water network operated by a corporatized utility regulated by the Economic Regulatory Agency. At baseline, the data included the municipality of Praia, the only area on Santiago Island served by a corporatized utility at the time. Data for the end of the compact represent all of the municipalities on Santiago Island in 2017. At that time, the proportion of the population connected to the network in a few of the municipalities outside of Praia (i.e. São Domigos, São Salvador do Mundo, none of which were previously served by a corporatized utility) was very low, affecting the total. It was also expected that over time, selected rehabilitation and extension works conducted under the IGF would impact the proportion of the population connected to the network. The interim evaluation found that subsidizing connections was more effective at increasing access to the network, but over time, network extensions may enable more households to connect. This will be assessed in the endline evaluation. For the indicator related to people receiving formal training regarding roles and new responsibilities in support of the WASH sector, targets were related to expected levels of recruitment and staffing for relevant institutions; however, not all positions were filled.
Under the Utility Reform Activity, the creation of AdS was an important milestone of the compact. However, key outcomes such as non-revenue water, continuity of service or residential water consumption did not meet the targets established by the end of the compact, and there are important considerations to note in assessing the achievement of these targets. The baseline for these indicators represent the nine different multi-municipal utilities in existence prior to the compact, whereas the actual data reflect the performance of AdS in its early stages.
AdS started operating in 2016 and only incorporated Praia, the largest municipality on Santiago, in 2017. At its outset, the new utility has experienced challenges in billing and collections, such as issues with migration of customer records from the previous municipal utilities and inconsistent meter readings. These challenges also affect the quality and completeness of the data available. With the end of the compact in November 2017, AdS was still a very new enterprise facing hurdles common with any start-up, and it was too soon to see improvements on some key performance outcome indicators.Per the interim evaluation, results on AdS performance on these and other indicators has been mixed. Households that rely on the piped water network used more water than households not connected to the network; continuity of supply varied widely across the service area (as measured by household surveys); and while non-revenue water remained relatively high there was better data to measure it. AdS continues to work on improving its performance, which will be assessed at endline through the independent evaluation.
Access to improved water supply includes accessing: a private, piped connection (into a dwelling or yard); a public tap/standpipe; a tube well; a protected well that was previously dug; a protected spring; or rainwater. While compact activities may change the proportion of people connected to the network, this mainly creates a shift from one type of improved water supply to another and does not significantly change the proportion of the population with this access. The compact did increase the proportion of people who use an improved sanitation facility such as flush toilet to a piped sewer system, flush toilet to a septic tank, etc. Continuity of service results are also impacted by data quality concerns related to inconsistent measures of the indicator prior to and through the transition to AdS, and the total is unweighted for urban and rural populations. Additional administrative and survey data on this indicator will be collected in the post-compact period as part of the independent evaluation.