PATH and the Safe Water Project Seeking Market-Based Solutions to Global Health Challenges

By Lyn Denend, Tim Elliott, Stefanos Zenios
2013 | Case No. OIT106 | Length 11 pgs.

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.

Learning Objective

Explore how market-based solutions can be used to address public health needs. Evaluate different approaches to piloting new ideas in a global health context.

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