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Governance Research on
Water Systems (GROWS)

USAID Toolkit for
Improved Rural Water
Governance Programming

June 2022

Executive Summary

The Governance Research on Water Systems, or GROWS, is a research activity that focuses on rural water services as a lens through which to explore the interconnections between good governance and private sector engagement because of the critical role that water plays in community health and economic development. This toolkit is a resource the USAID Africa Bureau developed to help improve planning and coordination between the Democracy, Human Rights and Governance (DRG) and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sectors. The GROWS toolkit is structured into four sections. Each section is designed with clickable links to share background and contextual information as well as technical guidance for integrating governance and rural water activities.

This toolkit will:

  • Highlight GROWS key research findings on approaches for improving rural water governance;
  • Present WASH background information;
  • Assist in designing of water and governance activities that foster greater accountability, transparency and subsequently trust; and,
  • Provide guidance on what water and governance indicators to use and how to monitor those indicators in order to evaluate progress.

Toolkit Sections

Section 1

GROWS Key Findings and Overview

Section 2

Rural Water Sector Overview

Section 3

Designing and Evaluating Integrated Water and Governance Activities

Section 4



On-Site Community Water Governance Scorecard

Project Planning Rural Water Governance Scorecard

Learn More

Data for Improved Rural Water Governance

Women and Water Governance

Tanzania Snapshot

Barriers to Private Sector Engagement


Appendix 1

Statistical Analysis

Appendix 2


Appendix 3

GROWS Survey Demographic Information

Appendix 4

GROWS Quantitative Surveys

Appendix 5

GROWS Indicator Calculations