Grant for Water Pilot and Demonstration Projects | Asian Development Bank

About Pilot and Demonstration Activities

ADB provides $50,000 grant for trying out innovative local solutions to Asia’s water challenges, with the intention of replicating and scaling up such successful practices across the region called Pilot and Demonstration Activities, these small water projects test and validate approaches, technologies, and business models to improve water resources management and water services delivery.

About water pilot and demonstration activities


Launched in 2002, ADB’s Water Pilot and Demonstration Activities (PDAs) program offers $50,000 grants for small-scale water pilot projects to government clients, nongovernment organizations, and academic or research institutions. The program tests and validates innovative local ideas for improving water resources management and water services delivery, which can be replicated or scaled up across the region to fast-track water sector development. PDAs are:

  • Innovative
  • Small-scale: locally based
  • Low-cost: US$50,000
  • Short-term: up to 12 months implementation
  • Replicable and/or Scalable

PDAs were introduced as a program under the Cooperation Fund for the Water Sector (CFWS), a multi-donor facility that promotes effective water management policies and practices in Asia and the Pacific. Today, the Water Financing Partnership Facility (WFPF) provides continued support for the PDA program.



PDAs test new ideas and validate their applicability covering five specific but overlapping themes:

  • policy, legislation, and regulatory reforms
  • institutional arrangements
  • public awareness and water education
  • appropriate technology
  • participation, inclusive approaches, and multi-stakeholder representation.

These themes serve as guideposts to ensure that the PDAs continuously reach to test and demonstrate the value of new ideas in as many aspects of water operations as possible, and do not focus too narrowly on a particular thematic area or type of project.



PDAs directly support larger ADB projects or sector work. These projects provide support for developments in: 

  • rural water, covering rural water supply and sanitation, and irrigation and drainage;
  • urban water, covering urban water supply, sanitation, and wastewater management; and
  • basin water, including water resources development and management, flood management, watershed and wetlands protection, and hydropower.

Impacts to date


To date, about 70 PDAs have been implemented and contributed to ADB’s water operations in various ways, such as

  • trying out design options during project preparation
  • finding solution to a problem and exploring such solution during fact-finding missions
  • improving quality of engagement with government counterparts and with stakeholders in the field, including project beneficiaries
  • triggering the development of new investments.

Furthermore, PDAs have helped in advancing wider sector work, such as in pushing reform measures and in improving institutional arrangements. Through replication and scaling up, PDAs offer small and sustainable solutions to Asia’s water challenges.