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Projects, Scale-ups & Facilities

In FY15, GPOBA focused on moving the pipeline of existing projects forward, while also testing the applicability of OBA in new sectors, and scaling up successful OBA projects in sectors where it has considerable experience. Technical assistance continued to be an important part of GPOBA’s work, with eight new TA activities initiated in FY15. Two scoping studies were launched or completed on the use of OBA/RBF in new sectors — urban transport and education — and OBA approaches were tested and monitored throughout the year in fragile and conflict-affected situations. Together, these newly initiated and ongoing activities help to build GPOBA’s knowledge bank of best practices and lessons learned, reinforcing the crucial flow between project operations and knowledge.

Grant Agreements and Scale-ups


Over the years, OBA projects have utilized a range of approaches, each one with a unique design and financial model, and incorporating lessons learned from previous experience. All new project proposals come before an independent Panel of Experts (PoE) at two stages of their preparation:

Eligibility: An initial assessment to ensure that the project meets GPOBA’s eligibility criteria, which include the country and sector, project sustainability, and the number of poor people expected to receive services.1

Commitment: A review of the project to determine whether it is ready for implementation and that, in its final form, it continues to meet the eligibility criteria. Since GPOBA is administered by the World Bank, projects going to commitment undergo fiduciary reviews with respect to financial management and procurement, along with assessments of environmental and social impacts, in accordance with World Bank policy.

Energy Zambia Rural Electrification

Increasing electricity access in Zambia: This project will bring access to grid-based electricity for 22,000 low-income households and 5,000 micro and small enterprises in urban and peri-urban areas of Zambia, benefitting 140,000 residents. The $4.95 million subsidy is funded by Sida. It is GPOBA’s first project in Zambia, and builds on the ongoing Increased Access to Electricity Services (IAES) project, co-financed by the World Bank Group and the European Commission.

  • Grant Amount: $4.95m

  • Donor: Sida

  • Project Total: $7.3m

  • Est. Beneficiaries: 140,000

Water Ghana: GAMA Urban Sanitation

Sustainable sanitation facilities in Ghana: This project will partially subsidize the cost of toilet facilities for 6,600 households in low-income areas of the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA), Ghana’s largest metropolitan region. Funded by a $4.85 million grant from DFID, the project is part of a larger IDA-financed scheme to increase access to improved water and sanitation in the GAMA.

  • Grant Amount: $4.8m

  • Donor: DFID

  • Project Total: $8.8m

  • Est. Beneficiaries: 132,000

Water Kenya Water OBA Fund Scale-up

Scaling up access to water in Kenya: This project is a scale-up of a successful financing mechanism piloted with community water projects in Kenya. The project will help county water services providers access loan finance from local commercial banks to fund subprojects to improve access to water and sanitation services in low-income areas. A GPOBA grant of $11.84 million, funded by Sida, will benefit 30,000 low-income households under this initiative.

  • Grant Amount: $11.84m

  • Donor: Sida

  • Project Total: $18m

  • Est. Beneficiaries: 150,000

Health Uganda Reproductive Health Voucher Program Scale-up

Improving maternal health in Uganda: This scale-up project builds on the successful reproductive health voucher pilot program launched in 2007, which assisted in the safe delivery of 65,590 babies and provided reproductive health care services to more than 136,000 women in rural Ugandan communities. The new five-year project, funded by a $13.3 million grant from Sida, will use vouchers to subsidize the cost of maternal and reproductive health care for poor women. It will be implemented by Uganda’s Ministry of Health, and is expected to contribute to over 132,000 safe deliveries. The project builds national capacity to mainstream the safe delivery voucher scheme in the health sector.

  • Grant Amount: $13.3m

  • Donor: Sida

  • Project Total: $13.6m

  • Est. Beneficiaries: 132,400

Energy Bangladesh Rural Solar Home Systems Scale-up

Expanding access to clean energy in Bangladesh: Building on a highly successful pilot program concluded in 2015, which benefitted over 2.2 million poor people in Bangladesh through SHS installation, this scale-up expands access to renewable energy to include mini-grids, solar irrigation pumps, and biogas plants, in addition to SHSs. The project, supported by a $15 million grant from DFID, as well as the World Bank Group, the Government of Bangladesh, and other development partners, will target poor households in remote areas. Project implementation will be gender-inclusive, with service providers targeting local women in marketing strategies and customer trainings, and consulting them during the installation process.

  • Grant Amount: $15.0m

  • Donor: DFID

  • Project Total: $75.6m

  • Est. Beneficiaries: 1.21m

  1. A full list of the eligibility criteria can be found in GPOBA’s Operating Principles.

Technical Assistance


Technical Assistance (TA) continues to be a critical component of GPOBA’s work, testing the applicability of OBA/RBF in new sectors and environments, laying the foundation for project design, building capacity among partners and governments, and supporting the mainstreaming of OBA approaches. The insights and experience gained from TA initiatives feed back into GPOBA’s knowledge on OBA/RBF approaches and are shared with other practitioners.

In FY15, GPOBA disbursed $4.8 million for TA activities, discussed here, and knowledge sharing and dissemination. Support was provided for 16 active TA initiatives in the water, sanitation, energy, education, health, transport and telecom sectors, as well as for capacity building for independent verification. During the fiscal year, eight new TA activities in support of OBA/RBF projects were initiated, totaling $1.4 million and supporting work in the education, solid waste, water, and energy sectors. One activity is multi-sectoral, and supports the development of a beneficiary feedback system in Brazil for results-based aid and management, as part of a World Bank PforR project.