A common assertion is that the cost of water well drilling in sub‐Saharan Africa is too high and that\ud construction quality is regularly compromised. Over the last 20 years, several studies regarding this\ud have been undertaken, covering more than ten countries in the region. Although drilling costs in\ud sub‐Saharan Africa are generally higher than in India, there are valid reasons for this. However,\ud changes to borehole designs, procurement and contract management practices, well clustering for\ud economies of scale, siting and supervision practices as well as support to and professionalization of\ud the private sector can all serve to bring drilling costs down, and improve construction quality. This\ud paper provides an overview of how drilling costs can be calculated. It pulls together the key issues\ud that affect drilling costs and prices into a conceptual framework. The framework is subsequently\ud used to compare policies and practices for the countries where information is readily available. The\ud paper thus intends to raise awareness and improve the analytical capacity of implementers and\ud decision‐makers regarding measures that could be adopted to improve the cost‐effectiveness of\ud borehole drilling in their particular context
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