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Lessons from an effective verification system – DFID Payment by Results Guidance Note

Produced by e-Pact, the Monitoring and Verification Team, for the DFID WASH Results Programme.


We have written this note in response to demand from DFID for guidance on third-party verification of Payment by Results (PbR), built on our experience as the monitoring and verification (MV) team for the DFID Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) Results Programme. The intention of this note is to support DFID and other organisations when commissioning third-party verification services as part of PbR contracts; we suggest therefore that this note is read alongside guidance on other aspects of results-based commissioning. We think our learning will be useful to commissioners of PbR, but you should keep in mind that the WASH Results Programme may differ from other PbR programmes in ways that are relevant for verification. We encourage you to reflect on how the programme you are considering differs from the WASH Results Programme and how that shapes application of the lessons outlined here.

The WASH Results Programme aims to support poor people in 12 countries to access improved water and sanitation, and to introduce improved hygiene practices. Three consortia (‘suppliers’) of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) were initially contracted by DFID to deliver results by December 2015 (known as the Outputs Phase of the programme) as part of the United Kingdom government’s response to the Millennium Development Goals. This was followed by the Outcomes Phase which ran initially to March 2018, extended to November 2018, and aimed to strengthen local systems and build local capacity to help sustain these results. The contracts signed under this original phase targeted 4.9 million people.