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The Challenge

The WASH Sector urgently needs innovation in terms of business and contractual models, along with a means of overcoming barriers to the widespread adoption of these solutions, such as affordability constraints or political resistance. As a result, sector experts argued that the WASH sector urgently needs innovation in terms of business and contractual models as well as financing mechanisms

Ideas to Impact is an action-research programme that is testing innovation prizes through the design and launch of five innovation prizes, intended to stimulate and incentivise scalable solutions for longstanding challenges in three thematic areas: water and sanitation, energy access and climate change adaptation.

Following early research and design, two water and sanitation prizes were conceptualised, designed and are currently being implemented – one focused on Sanitation and one that focuses on Financing WASH:

The Prizes

Sanitation Challenge for Ghana


The Sanitation Challenge for Ghana challenges Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies in Ghana to team up with their citizens, innovators and solvers to design and implement liquid waste management strategies to transform the livelihoods of Ghana’s urban centres

Read more about the Sanitation Challenge for Ghana

The Dreampipe Challenge


The Dreampipe Challenge looks to incentivise innovative solutions to the issue of non-revenue water (NRW) across the developing world. The objective of Dreampipe II (the second phase of this prize) is to encourage the development of workable and replicable ideas for how to expand the financing available for non-revenue-water (NRW) reduction activities in developing countries – beyond the conventional sources (mainly the development banks and agencies and governments).

Read more about The Dreampipe Challenge

Each of the prizes has now completed Stage 1 of their implementation (each innovation prize is designed in stages to help balance the risk and rewards of participating in the prizes), with interesting lessons beginning to emerge.