See the announcement about USAID and Coca-Cola investing directly in nine new water projects in Africa. The Global Environment & Technology Foundation (GETF) is assisting them in implementation. This type of bilateral government - business - NGO arrangement (which cuts out the World Bank Group, by the way) is the type of engagement we love to see. Why?
Well, one reason is that the gap between overseas development assistance (ODA) and developing countries' needs is huge, especially in terms of meeting the Millennium Development objectives, resulting in unprecedented opportunities for private sector to step in.
Secondly, rerouting private sector profits, as well as their local-level business expertise, into developing countries should always be encouraged.
Thirdly, I always say, "let a thousand flowers bloom" in terms of testing different approaches to development partnership. The GETF has, as an NGO, been building bridges between the private sector and development agencies for a decade now, and they may just be the pollen needed to make this (relatively small) initiative successful. Any feedback from others about innovative partnerships in water projects?