USI South Africa Matchmaking Conference
J-PAL hosted the second regional matchmaking conference for its Urban Services Initiative (USI) at Cape Town, South Africa from January 10 – 12, 2013. The conference brought together researchers and practitioners active in urban service delivery (particularly water, sanitation, and hygiene or WSH) throughout Africa. The aim of the conference was to stimulate discussion on innovations that can help improve the access to WSH services for the urban poor, and what collaboration opportunities might exist between the researchers and practitioners.
Representatives attended from a variety of organizations: local city governments (South Africa), national water and sanitation bodies (Senegal and Ghana), nonprofits (Angola, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Ghana, Kenya, UK, US), private firms (South Africa, Kenya, UK, US), and several local researchers. Existing randomized impact evaluations were presented–such as J-PAL’s study on household water connections in Tangiers, Morocco–and breakout sessions were held in which researchers and practitioners who share similar regional and thematic interest discussed and mapped out opportunities for collaboration.