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  • Book
  • © 2016

Broken Pumps and Promises

Incentivizing Impact in Environmental Health


  • Casts new light on the ways of making intervention efforts in global conservation and development successful

  • Offers detailed case studies as well as theoretical treatments of pay-for-performance models of humanitarian and environmental interventions

  • Deals with aspects of environmental health, reduction of poverty, improvements in ecology and climate, sanitation and conservation of water

  • Includes supplementary material:

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eBook USD 99.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-319-28643-3
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book USD 129.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 129.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)

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Table of contents (16 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xi
  2. Introduction

    • Evan A. Thomas
    Pages 1-4
  3. Performance Over Promises

    • Kristi Yuthas, Evan A. Thomas
    Pages 5-17
  4. Trade-Offs and Risks in Results-Based Approaches

    • Claire Chase, Aidan Coville
    Pages 19-29
  5. Mobilizing Payments for Water Service Sustainability

    • Johanna Koehler, Patrick Thomson, Robert Hope
    Pages 57-76
  6. Enabling Ecological Restoration Through Quantification

    • Alex H. Johnson, Joe S. Whitworth
    Pages 77-98
  7. Incentivizing Impact – Privately Financed Public Health in Rwanda

    • Evan A. Thomas, Christina Barstow, Thomas Clasen
    Pages 99-134
  8. A Critical Review of Carbon Credits for Household Water Treatment

    • James M. Hodge, Thomas F. Clasen
    Pages 135-146
  9. Innovations in Payments for Health Benefits of Improved Cookstoves

    • Ken Newcombe, Tara Ramanathan, Nithya Ramanathan, Erin Ross
    Pages 171-177
  10. The Role of Mobile in Delivering Sanitation Services

    • Michael Ronan Nique, Helene Smertnik
    Pages 179-194
  11. Combining Sensors and Ethnography to Evaluate Latrine Use in India

    • Kathleen O’Reilly, Elizabeth Louis, Evan A. Thomas, Antara Sinha
    Pages 195-209
  12. Pay for Performance Energy Access Markets

    • Dexter Gauntlett, Michael Ronan Nique, Helene Smertnik
    Pages 217-229
  13. Mobilizing Commercial Investment for Social Good: The Social Success Note

    • Lorenzo Bernasconi Kohn, Saskia Bruysten
    Pages 231-238
  14. Back Matter

    Pages 239-240

About this book

This volume highlights some of the challenges in delivering effective environmental health interventions, and presents examples of emergent theories and case studies that can help close the gap between intent and impact. These include impact crediting systems, objective evidence gathering tools, and social businesses that service environmental health. The case studies presented cross disciplines, scales, organizational and national boundaries and can defy easy categorization. A water project may be designed for a health impact, but financed with a climate change tool, and leverage high tech cell phone sensors. A cookstove program may be primarily concerned with employment and capacity building, but balance environmental and health concerns.

Presently, the impact of interventions may not always be aligned to the intent sought. In this book, readers will discover alternative ways to move the mindset of funders and implementers toward pay-for-performance models of humanitarian and environmental interventions. Undergraduate and graduate students taking courses in social enterprise, social entrepreneurship, global health, appropriate technology, international development and development engineering would benefit from these increasingly non-traditional case studies that challenge commonly accepted presentations of poverty reduction and social enterprise.


  • developing countries
  • environmental health
  • pay for performance models
  • poverty reduction
  • social entrepreneurship
  • technological innovations
  • water and health
  • water policy
  • climate change


“This text is a practical compilation that provides excellent reference information about how to establish incentive-based programs and describes examples of those programs in relevant settings. The book is a compelling must-read book for funders, implementers, and governments who are focused on sustained impact. A great book motivates the reader to be reflective, and certainly, this book inspires the reader to be thoughtful about program design.” (Helen Petach, EcoHealth, Vol. 14, 2017)

Editors and Affiliations

  • Department of Mechanical and Materials E, Portland State University, PORTLAND, USA

    Evan A. Thomas

About the editor

Evan A Thomas, PhD, PE, MPH is an Assistant Professor and Director of the Sweet (Sustainable Water, Energy and Environmental Technologies) Laboratory, and a Faculty Fellow in the Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland State University. He works at the interface of engineering, environmental health and social business, with professional experience working in government, industry, non-profits and academia. Evan holds a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering Sciences from the University of Colorado at Boulder, is a registered Professional Engineer (P.E.) in Environmental Engineering in the State of Texas, and holds a Masters in Public Health from the Oregon Health and Science University.

Evan is also a social business entrepreneur engaged in global health programs. Evan was a founding volunteer with Engineers Without Borders-USA in 2002, which led to co-founding Manna Energy Limited in 2007. In 2012, Evan co-founded SWEETSense Inc., an Oregon technology company. Evan is currently the Chief Operating Officer of DelAgua Health, a social enterprise working with the Government of Rwanda. 
Prior to joining PSU, Evan worked as a civil servant at the NASA-Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas for six years. At NASA, Evan was a principal investigator and project manager in the Life Support and Habitability Systems Branch working on concepts and flight hardware for sustainable Moon and Mars spacecraft. 

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

eBook USD 99.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-319-28643-3
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book USD 129.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 129.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)