Countries emerging from a devastating conflict need to rapidly restore access to basic water and sanitation services for their population. While donors usually stand ready with generous reconstruction packages, the conflict may have left local institutions ill equipped to make good use of those resources. The traditional solution, involving technical assistance delivered by international consultants, has often proved disappointing. An alternative is to bring in a professional operator for a few years through a management contract. In postwar Kosovo the sizable improvements achieved under a three-year management contract for water services in the Gjakovë-Rahovec area suggest that it can be a promising approach for postconflict situations.