Involving small water service providers (SWSPs) as partners in sustainable water service provision has undergone a major change. Prior to the efforts of GWP Philippines and its Partners, SWSPs were not formally recognised as government partners in achieving the MDG target on water service provision.
The new rules and regulations formally bringing SWSPs into the mainstream of water service provision are a boost for the country, not only in meeting the MDG targets but also in emphasizing the importance of IWRM as an approach to effective water resource management with multi-stakeholder cooperation. SWSPs provide a valuable service especially for the urban poor and now, thanks to GWP Philippines, they are fully recognised and included in the IWRM plan. A new National Water Resources Board (NWRB) publication provides policy guidelines on SWSP Partnerships with Main Utilities, and paves the way for more formal engagements of SWSPs in service delivery to poor communities. In mid-2011, NWRB initiated the Accredited Technical Support Program, currently funded by WSP-World Bank and USAID, to help SWSPs improve their institutional, technical and financial operations.