Strengthening the Institutional Framework in the Water and Sanitation Sector in Moldova

Project completed

Poor governance is the key bottleneck in the Moldovan water sector, which jeopardizes long-term sustainability of past investments, and hinders new Investments to extend access to drinking water for all. With this project, SDC will improve the steering and management of the sector as well as the performance of key sector institutions, through working directly with the national institutions on sector capacity development, integrated water resource management, and a comprehensive water information system.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Water sector policy
01.03.2014 - 31.05.2021
CHF  4’180’000

In Moldova, access to safe water and sanitation services for all is weak. The bottleneck is the poor water governance which is rooted in weak sector institutions with insufficient capacities. There is a wide range of entities with water sector steering functions that have overlapping tasks and responsibilities. Lack of consensus over competences at the political level leads to unclear regulation and divided authorities over budgets and decision-making. Despite the above described challenges, the country context is generally favourable for modernizing the water sector‘s institutional framework and advancing core sector reforms. The Association Agreement with the EU, as well as international conventions to which Moldova is a party, provide a clear road-map towards achieving a more efficient management of the sector. The government‘s political will to modernize the sector institutional framework is reflected in key strategic documents: The Water Sector Strategy 2014-28 includes a separate chapter on institutional development, and the National Environment Strategy 2014-23 aims at nationalizing the current set-up and improving inter-sectorial policy coherence. The project aims at improving the institutional foundations for a better sector management and efficient investments in sustainable water and sanittion services.


The Moldovan population has improved its health status with regard to water-related diseases, thanks to better access to clean drinking-water and improved sanitation.

Target groups

Target groups are Moldovan sector stakeholders at the national, district and local level: the Ministries of Environment and Regional Development & Construction, their subordinated agencies, water operators, local and district authorities, educational institutions, and relevant NGOs. Ultimate beneficiaries are people of Moldova who will benefit from enhanced access to safe sanitation and affordable drinking water, which will contribute to the reduction of water-related health problems.

Medium-term outcomes
  • Key stakeholders steer and manage the water and sanitation sector more effectively
  • Sector institutions and stakeholders implement water and sanitation services in a more sustainable, efficient and equitable manner

Results from previous phases:  

SDC is being involved in the water sector in Moldova since 2000. By supporting the implementation of decentralized rural water systems and on-site sanitation solutions, SDC contributed to improving the access of the population to safe drinking water and proper sanitation. Through this support, SDC became involved with key sector stakeholders and eventually co-chairing the sector coordination. lt became apparent that poor intra-sectorial coordination and weak institutions threaten the sustainability of current and hinder future investments in the sector. In the entry phase of this project, a study identified the main weaknesses and ptiorities in the sector to remedy the situation. A participatory planning process around these priorities led to considerable local ownership of the project.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Swiss cooperation with Eastern Europe
Project partners Contract partner
Private sector
  • Foreign private sector North

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    4’180’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    3’756’957
Project phases

Phase 1 01.03.2014 - 31.05.2021   (Completed)