Consultant for Financial Sustainability Study for Solar Water Pumping systems

Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI)

, , VU

Scope of Work

The purpose of the study would be to analyze social, financial and enabling environment issues that play an important role ensuring sustainability and replicability of the Solar Water Pumping Systems and to propose a realistic mechanism (including implementation plan) to allow replicability of Solar Water Pumping Systems

This study takes as a departure point the selected community contexts but is not limited to them. Recommendations should be partially or fully applicable all over Vanuatu.

All main stakeholders such as the Department of Water Resources, UNICEF and international cooperation agencies, Provincial Water Departments, Area Secretaries, Water Committees, Private sector suppliers Water Utilities should be consulted.

GGGI Project Manager will support and give a constant input to the consultant (especially when dealing with technical matters and coordination with main stakeholders).

The proposed scope of works in this ToR is given below. Nevertheless, if considered pertinent, applicants can propose additional tasks that would complement the purpose of the study:

  1. Definition/Description of the socio-economic features for each sub-context focusing on those expected to have an impact in the sustainability of the system and replicability.
  2. Review and assess the existing legal environment, including rules, regulations and standards (Water Act, NIP, CAP, DoWR Standards, etc.) at national, provincial and local levels (most of those documents can be found at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources website level), analyze gaps and formulate recommendations in order to enhance enabling environment.
  3. Review of similar case studies / contexts in other Pacific countries and summarize best practices that could be applied to Vanuatu context.
  4. Conduct visits to the targeted communities, evaluate financial documents and check implications/perceptions by the management team and community members about financial management. 
  5. For sub-context a) and b) (rural communities), focus on the analysis of missing elements of the value chain (especially during the first two years of the solar pumping water system operation) related to the O&M (Operation & Maintenance) of the systems, such as: existing vendors, defect liability warranties/guaranties, availability and cost of spare parts, technician call-out lead times and costs when the communities need technical assistance. Minimum critical mass (number of beneficiaries) to resource and sustain a full-time operator for a specific area and/or group of serviced communities.
  6. According to the results of the previous tasks, propose different mechanisms that could be gradually implemented to ensure sustainability having in mind limiting factors such as low revenue, geographical constrains, capacity to enforce a minimum after sale service level, etc. and also possible opportunities GCF support, donors, etc. Suitability of pre-paid services should be explored (M-Vatu system mobile payment has been recently enabled).
  7. For sub-contexts c) and d), focus on system improvements (such as switch to private operator, tariffs, payment modalities, etc.) that could diminish non-revenue water and analyze necessary elements to develop a replicability mechanism (similar to the already established one in Port Vila by UNELCO, the water utility, please check in advance with UNICEF as some work was being done around).
  8. According to the results of the previous analysis, propose a mechanism that could be gradually implemented to ensure better system management and replicability, having in mind limiting factors.
  9. For all the contexts, explore different insurance options that will cover the replacement of any damage due to a natural disaster (i.e. cyclone).

Please note that an inception presentation to GGGI and Department of Water Resources (DoWR) and Department of Energy (DoE) heads of sections and relevant staff should be done to allow them to comment about the methodology and plan. Also, a final presentation of the study findings should be done for the DoWR, DoE, GGGI and WASH sector (GGGI will take in charge the costs of both presentations).

The Consultant should provide a workplan stating at least:

–          Number of days for the desk review.

–          Number of working days for stakeholders’ consultation.

–          Number of working days for the field visits.

–          Number of working days for report writing.

–          Number of working days for the presentations.

The workplan is not expected to exceed 4 months duration, nevertheless another deadline can be agreed prior contract signature with the selected consultant to accommodate availability.

The Assignment will include translation and/or interpretation services (Bislama – English), which will be defined in the specific service requests to be made by GGGI to the Individual Consultant. The Individual Consultant is required to submit countersigned Coversheet Form in which Work Completion section was signed by the service requestor as the deliverable of each service.

The Individual Consultant will report to GGGI Project Manager (who will support and give appropriate inputs over all processes) for the completion of the tasks and duties.


Consultant should submit the following documents along with their CV and application.

–          Presentation of the methodology they intend to use coupled with a context analysis

–          Draft workplan.

–          Budget.

The Consultant should have knowledge and experience about/on:

–          At least 15 years work experience with 6 years in relevant work.

–          Value chain analysis.

–          Financial assessment of public services and public financial mechanisms.

–          Knowledge of Vanuatu government procedures and laws.

–          Knowledge and work experience in rural Vanuatu areas is a plus.

–          Knowledge of Bislama language is a plus.

–          Based in Vanuatu most of the time during the duration of the assignment.

Additional Information

– Project : Vanuatu: Financial Sustainability Study & Exploration of a Replication Mechanism for Solar Water Pumping systems in rural areas

– Location : Port Vila, Vanuatu

– Start date : 1 February 2020

– End date : 30 May 2020

– Contract Type : Advisory Support Level G, Part time, Deliverable Based

– Contract Value : Maximum fee USD 40,000,  plus travel expenses if needed


Project Introduction:

GGGI is currently implementing in Vanuatu the project “Enhancing Resilience to Climate Change through Solar Power-driven Access to Water in Rural Areas of Outers Islands, Vanuatu”

Rural communities in Vanuatu face a range of challenges with the delivery of safe drinking water including intermittent supply caused by drought or damaged infrastructure, contaminated water and competing uses for drinking water causing conflict in communities. Outer island communities depending on rainwater, hand-pumps and in some cases expensive diesel water pumping are adversely affected by drought, particularly when there is no rain for up to several weeks. The water stored in rainwater harvesting tanks then needs to be rationed. A number of Vanuatu’s Islands have declared water ‘emergencies’ in recent years, even during times of average rainfall, community members water consumption is well below the level recommended by WHO.

The Department of Energy and the Department of Water strongly believe that providing a basic community water supply and distribution system (a water tap point outside each household) within rural communities will have a significant impact in terms of creating improved access to water and associated socio-economic benefits. This will be achieved by deployment of solar PV water pumping and community distribution systems for rural communities on the outer islands/rural areas at potential sites identified by the Department of Water.  The project envisages to provide an alternative, reliable source of safe, fresh potable water in communities on the outer islands that are predominantly dependent on unhygienic and unreliable sources for water. Given the population distribution & area of coverage, and the size of this project, it is not possible to bring water directly to each household.

The project will also develop a clear sustainability plan to ensure that the solar water pumps and the basic distribution systems continue to remain operational after their installation and the main stakeholders (the rural community, the Department of Water Resources (DoWR) and the equipment supplier) are well-organized, connected with each other and trained in the upkeep of the infrastructure.

The project aligns with GGGI’s strategic outcome on enhanced adaptive capacity of communities, through access to reliable, safe potable water. The project will directly support approximately 7,000 people to cope with climate change induced impacts such as more frequent and/or more severe droughts and disaster events. The project also aligns with GGGI’s energy thematic area to increase the use of renewables and minimize greenhouse gas emissions as well as improving access to energy and water in rural areas.

The project therefore aims to (i) address the lack of adaptive capacity and vulnerability of the rural water sector to adverse climate effects (climate change adaptation and GHG emission reductions) and (ii) remove barriers for the wide-scale utilization of solar power to meet the water needs of households, communities and micro-businesses initially in few target sites and eventually in the whole country.

The project will do this by providing technical, management and operational solutions to improving access to sustainable alternative sources of safe potable water in communities where there is not enough access to clean and safe water resources. The project will also create conditions that enable sustainable local management of the systems and replication and up-scale of investments in sustainable water infrastructure to rural and remote island areas.

The implementation of the project will be carried out between 2019-2020 by GGGI in partnership with Government of Vanuatu Ministries and Departments responsible for energy and water. The approach will draw on lessons from ongoing initiatives and keep open communication channels to maximize learning and knowledge sharing throughout the project. The GGGI Project Manager is embedded with the DoWR to maximize project integration and learning both-ways on rural water management in Vanuatu and provide supplementary support as and when needed.

The project has a strong focus on sustainability and replicability on other communities. The initial aim was to explore and settle a funding mechanism that, through a percentage of the water payments done by beneficiaries at each community would allow to create a pool fund that coupled with other green energy funding mechanism (like the GEF) would allow to install Solar Water Pumping Systems in other rural communities.

Nevertheless, after the findings of the scoping mission, baseline and field visit for design purposes it was found that in the targeted rural communities:

  • Most of rural communities are on their own, with a very limited access to basic services and lacking basic infrastructures. Main water sources are handpumps and rainwater harvesting. Boreholes furnished with a diesel pump are scarce.
  • Water consumption in rural areas is limited to cover most basic needs and is around 15 litres / person / day of which 1.5 are for drinking purposes. Preferred source of drinking water is rainwater harvesting and when it becomes scarce, it is rationed, even if handpumps are available.
  • Monetary incomes of the rural households are around 20,000 VUV (169 USD) per month, which means 123 VUV (1.04 USD) person/day, amount that is under World Bank poverty threshold (1.93 USD). The main income source is Copra and thus income generation fluctuates along with international Copra prices, which is out of control of rural population.
  • Willingness and ability to pay for water services shown a mean amount of 665 VUV/Month/Household.
  • Department of Water Resources has very limited resources (human and financial) and cannot ensure neither tight follow up nor support to the rural communities.

Therefore, the project opened up to intervene in other non-rural communities having a different socio-economic pattern and a stablished water network with either a billing or fees payment system well stablished.

According to that, in the areas of intervention, we can find two main contexts whereby each of them can be further subdivided into two sub-contexts (four in total):

  • Rural communities (focus should be on the sustainability of the system itself):

a)      Remote rural communities with low income generation possibilities. This is the case of all Ambrym communities.

b)      Rural communities close to a bigger main community having basic services and a close by main road linking them with the bigger main community (higher possibilities of income generation and diversification). This is the case of Tuwok and Malafau communities, for example.

  • Urban like communities (peri-urban communities are not part of this project but can also be analysed by the consultant), according to Vanuatu context (focus is going to be not only on the sustainability, but also on the replicability mechanisms):

c)      Main (big) community or provincial centre having an already stablished billing system (managed by the Ministry of Lands, Department of water resources provincial water office) with water meters. These systems may need upgrading (including implementation of water treatment). This is the case of Norsup and Lakatoro for example.

d)     Main (big) community or provincial centre that have a water fees payment system (may or may not have metering system) and are managed by a water committee or cooperative (no water treatment is forecasted, for these locations instead point of use water treatment should be promoted). This is the case of Port Olry for example.




IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development