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Consulting at the 'SHTEFIE interface'! For the past four decades, Richard  Franceys has specialised in capacity-building, institutional,  financial and technical development for the water supply and sanitation sector to facilitate universal 24x7 service with a focus on the needs of the poor.

What in the world is 'SHTEFIE'?  It is 'shorthand' to refer to the Social, Health, Technical, Economic, Financial, Institutional and Environmental dimensions of getting sustainable WatSan to all.

Richard has investigated aspects of SHTEFIE water and sanitation challenges with senior staff in over 100 utilities in over 50 countries.


There is a strong focus on serving the urban poor in this overview but a major research contract, completed as Principal Investigator before leaving Cranfield University in 2016, was the three year investigation of the sustainability of rural water services: ‘Community Water Plus’.


This project looked at the the level of support communities need to deliver sustainable rural water supply. We undertook fieldwork in 20 case studies across 17 states in India, using aspects of urban utility understanding transferred back to the equally important rural areas. For more information please see our Earthscan book - 'Community Management of Rural Water Supply'


Richard is committed to capacity-building, sharing ideas and passing on a passion for 'making a difference' in water and sanitation. But how to 'teach' this subject when there are so many 'SHTEFIE' elements, and their interactions, to make sense of in so many different contexts?

See the button below for a description of the long-used 'WaterMan Simulation' exercise, a tool for teaching, in a simulated dynamic context, something more of the challenges of getting 24x7 sustainable water and sanitation to all. And a welcome escape for students from the PowerPoints!


Sustaining 24x7 Water

and Sanitation for all


Richard Franceys is a water and sanitation specialist, a civil engineer with an MBA and PhD,  focused on improving services for all urban and rural consumers in lower-income countries. 


For ten years he directed the Global Water Policy and Management MSc programme, Cranfield University, UK, having earlier developed the Water MBA programme at UNESCO-IHE, Delft. He started his academic career at the renowned Water, Engineering and Development Centre, Loughborough University. Before joining WEDC, Richard spent 5 years working in South Sudan as the infrastructure construction project manager with the NGO Across, following four years with a consulting engineer in UK, where he undertook his Chartered Engineer professional training, focused on extending sewers and enhancing sewage treatment in towns and villages in England.


In the midst of his international research and capacity-building, Richard worked for seven years as a 'Local Consumer Advocate' with the Consumer Council for Water, the statutory customer water representatives in England and Wales, having earlier spent over a decade as a Member of WaterVoice Central, one of the Customer Services Committees of OFWAT, the water regulator for England & Wales. He has also been involved in the establishment of WSUP, Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (, for whom he continues to contribute, and was co-initiator of the Change Management Forum, India, the precursor to the '24x7' movement, based at ASCI, Hyderabad. Please don't miss: “24X7 Water Supply is Achievable – The Karnataka Urban Water Sector Improvement Project”, Water and Sanitation Program Field Note, September 2010, World Bank, New Delhi.


The '24x7' label keeps appearing here as in India, as a direct result of our work in the Change Management Forum, it has successfully become another 'shorthand' for sustainable, continuous piped water supply for all.


My work has usually been in the context of change management programmes, with issues worked on including  commercialisation & tariff development, economic and financial analysis, institutional analysis, public sector renewal along with public private partnerships, all requiring customer involvement and economic regulation.


This due to realising early on that if there are to be improved services to the poor in low-income urban settlements then the designated service provider, usually some form of 'utility' has to get its act together.


International experience has included work  for UNICEF, MCC, B&MGF, EIB,  World Bank, Australian Aid, GIZ,  DFID, African Development Bank and Asian Development Bank, with consultancy work undertaken directly for clients and through international consultants, including Cowater, Tuv-Sud, OPM, IRC, WSUP, WS Atkins, INTRAC

My other research-based books include:

  • “Regulating Water and Sanitation for the Poor– economic regulation for public and private partnerships”, Earthscan, 2008

  • “Serving All Urban Consumers: a marketing approach to water services”, WEDC, Loughborough, 2004

  • “Tapping the Market – The Challenge of Institutional Reform in the Urban Water Sector”, Palgrave Macmillan Press, 2003

  • “Contracting out water and sanitation services, Vols I&II, WEDC, Loughborough, 2003

  • “Beyond Boundaries: extending services to the urban poor”, Asian Development Bank, 2002

  • "A guide to the development of on-site sanitation", World Health Organisation, 1992

  • "Services for Shelter- Physical Infrastructure for Low Income Urban Housing", Liverpool University Press, 1991.


“Community Management of Rural Water Supply-Case Studies of Success from India”, 255 pages, Earthscan, Routledge, 2017 and our project website: 


In addition to running workshops on particular topics around the world, usually to do with tariffs, financing and economic regulation in addition to services to the urban poor (Mongolia, Liberia, Netherlands and Mozambique for example) he is a visiting lecturer on the Water and Sanitation for Development MSc programme at Cranfield University and the AgroParisTech OpT International Executive Masters Programme, Montpellier, having also taught on postgraduate programmes at KNUST, Ghana, ASCI, Hyderabad, India and Eduardo Mondlane University, Mozambique.


Before joining Cranfield, teaching and researching there for 14 years, he was Associate Professor at IHE Delft for five years, developing the world's first 'Water MBA' Programme, following 13 years at WEDC, Loughborough University, where between us all we developed any number of interesting ideas.


Skype: franceys

Tel: +44 744 3617842

1 The Barns

New Road, Maulden

Bedfordshire, MK45 2BQ, UK

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