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  • Principal Criteria and Indicators

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    Eligible Territories & Entities 

    Principal Criteria and Indicators

    Project Selection

    Application Process and Guidelines

    Project Review and Approval Process

    Disbursements, Monitoring and Evaluation


     Minimum Principal Criteria

    Projects seeking financing from the Fund should be implementation-ready and meet the following minimum principal criteria:

    Pro-poor impact – at least 50% of beneficiaries are living below national poverty line;

    Contribute to regional impact by delivering transboundary benefits;

    Sponsor must have capacity to implement the project; and

    Sponsor must contribute at least 10% of the project cost.

    The Fund does not pay taxes and duties

    The applications must be based on completed feasibility studies and must include up-to-date cost estimations and financing proposals that guarantee full cost recovery of the investment project and enable a sustainable operation. Nevertheless, projects with uncompleted feasibility studies and having a good chance to fulfil meet the principal criteria maybe considered. In these cases, the Fund may consider financing small complimentary studies required to completed feasibility studies.


    The procurement of services, goods and works will be by open tender processes in line with DBSA’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) policies modified to meet international standards as required by the participating ICPs.  The governing law will be the law of the country where the project is being implemented.

    Principal Criteria 

    The table presents the description of the principal criteria and list of indicators for the assessment of projects that will apply for financing from the Fund. 


    Principal Criteria




     1.     Pro-poor impacts

    At least 50% of beneficiaries are poor   (living below the national poverty line)

    At least 50% employment creation for poor   population segment

    Reduce  cost of water supply for the   poor, hence increase affordability and improve  willingness to pay for   the poor

     2.    Regional impacts

    Regional   justification, e.g. benefits on both sides of national borders

    Positive transboundary   impacts on water quality

    Likelihood   of strengthening coordination mechanisms for the management of    transboundary water resources

    Contribution   to the maintenance of transboundary ecosystem integrity and biodiversity   including marine and estuary life

    Increase   of disaster preparedness of the region by improving ability to prevent and   predict drought and flooding

     3.     Financial aspects 

    Investment   cost per capita and operational costs

    At least   contribution of 10 % of total project cost: 5% cash contributions and    5% in-kind contributions in investment phase

    Financial   sustainability -  sources of funds and cost-recovery

     4.     Project sponsor and implementing agent capacity

    Managerial,   technical and financial competencies

    Quality   of business processes

    Quality   of technical and non-technical standards

    Dedicated   institutional arrangements/structures and resources for the project

     5.     Demonstration value

    Replicability   – potential projects similar to the project 

    Representativeness   of project – existing projects similar to the project

     6.     Social and Economic impacts

    Employment   creation by the project

    Contribution   to gender equality

    Contribution   to reduction of water-borne diseases

    Project   contribution to production of goods and services, and the buying or selling   of these goods and services

     7.     Impact on Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM)

    Project   part of an integrated national or regional Water Master Plan

    Integrated   nature of project concept in respect to water supply, sanitation, water   resource protection and productive utilisation of water resource

    Environmental   benefits including climate change mitigation and adaptation

    Sustainability   of technical operations and refinancing system

    Community   acceptance, public understanding and awareness

    Strategy   for communication with stakeholders

     8.     Project concept

    Technical   quality of project design 

    Organisational   quality of project set-up

    Dynamic   cost (e.g. per m3) as compared with similar projects

    The Principal Criteria 1 to 4 are the minimum criteria. However, all projects will be assessed on all the criteria and indicators.

    The following emphases should be taken in to account during the assessment of projects:

    The assessment for the Principal Criterion # 2 (Regional Impact) shall also entail assessing the relevance of the project in the regional and national context. This will be indicated by whether or not a project aligns with regional and national infrastructure development plans and has positive impacts on the poor population, and applies IWRM principles.


    The assessment for the technical quality of the project design in Principal Criterion # 8 (Project Concept) shall firstly confirm whether project is based on feasibility studies and then specifically look at, but will not be limited to, the following aspects:

    Consistency of the proposed activities with the results to be achieved;

    Appropriateness of the time schedule;

    Inclusion of realistic assumptions in the proposal;

    Presence of an adequate team in charge of project implementation; and

    Adequate monitoring and reporting of project implementation.

    The assessment of Principal Criterion # 4 (Project Sponsor Capacity ) shall confirm the following:

    alignment of the project in relation to the core business of the applicant;

    Provision for, and availability of dedicated structures, skills and resources for the implementation of the project;

    Previous experience of the applicant and their partners in similar projects; and

    Mandate of the applicant to apply for the Grant from the Fund.