Lack of accurate information makes it impossible to estimate the true cost of extending sustainable and good quality water and sanitation services to the poorest. To address this challenge, IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre has developed and tested the life-cycle costs approach (LCCA) in many different contexts and countries. The LCCA can be used to analyse the real costs of water, sanitation and hygiene in rural and peri-urban areas in developing countries and, increasingly, in refugee camps and emergency settlements. Life-cycle costs are the costs of ensuring adequate services to a specific population in a determined geographical area – not just for a few years but indefinitely. All costs from construction, and installation, to maintenance, repairs and eventual replacement are taken into account, including payment for borrowed money either at household or national level government. Life-cycle costs also include costs for source protection, training and capacity development, planning and institutional pro-poor support. In short: the costs that it takes to deliver a service and not only to build infrastructure. The LCCA was developed in the WASHCost project: a five-year action research project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. (Link)
IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre. 2017. WASHCost Life-Cycle Analysis Tool – Understanding the cost of water and sanitation services. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Web Page [Accessed in January, 2017].