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Beyond the informal water paradox: integrating formal and informal water systems for inclusive development

The lack of safe drinking water has led to informal ways to access water and informal vending practices. These informal solutions pose opportunities and risks. Women and girls have been excluded from key entrepreneurial roles in water vending networks and are subjected to gender-based violence. Including and empowering women in informal water vending networks will build trust and transparency in hybrid formal-informal water systems, which will in turn contribute to broader well-being.

This research project focuses on understanding and empowering women entrepreneurs in informal water vending networks in Kisumu, Kenya. It will enable the development and testing of a new monitoring platform for mapping vending networks. It aims to establish a social enterprise model for integrating informal and formal water systems run by women entrepreneurs in partnership with public water service providers.

Project ID
Project Status
36 months
IDRC Officer
Paul Okwi
Total Funding
CA$ 199,508.00
Institution Country
University of Waterloo

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