Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)

We help governments better target investment and operate services efficiently.

Access to safe water and sanitation is a human right. Governments are the duty bearers of the progressive realisation of this right in their jurisdictions. Worldwide, 2.4 billion people are still without basic sanitation, and more than 600 million people are without safe drinking water. Our projects will continue to support local, district and national governments to progressively realise the right to safe water and sanitation for all citizens.

In the strategic period 2019–2022, we aim to contribute to sustainable change in WASH service delivery systems in at least 19 countries. We will do this by building professional, organisational and inter-institutional capacity to deliver environmentally and financially sustainable rural and urban WASH services – for households, schools and health facilities. We will encourage change and innovation from within. An example of this is the integration of housing, tax and sanitation information, and district- and provincial-wide planning for WASH. We will help public authorities target investments effectively and operate services efficiently, and we will improve the accountability of service providers and regulators. This work will be founded on evidence-based research that we conduct jointly with government, the private sector and civil society.

Our programmes will create the conditions and capacities for private-sector engagement in WASH and, where appropriate, will strengthen their ability to deliver long-lasting WASH services that are accessible, affordable and reliable.

We will also build capacities for long-term behaviour change in hygiene, occupational health and safety, and compliance with safety standards. Furthermore, we will help strengthen the capacity of civil society in advocating for WASH services, and we will encourage collaboration between stakeholders and public authorities.

Targets for WASH 2019–2022

  • 2 million people with improved access to sanitation
  • 2 million people with access to drinking water
  • 1 million people practising hand washing with soap

Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for Health and Development (SSH4A)

We work together with local authorities to develop area-wide sanitation service delivery models for their jurisdictions. Our aim is to create and/or change WASH systems. This is done using a hands-on approach, working collaboratively towards improved sanitation and hygiene, and continuously reflecting and learning. The approach creates demand for sanitation services, develops sanitation supply chains in rural areas, builds capacity for behaviour change and strengthens WASH governance systems. Over the past five years this integrated approach has proven successful in more than 160 districts in 18 countries. We place users at the centre of our efforts: households,schools, health facilities and public places. Understanding users, and their diversity of needs, is essential for sustainable sanitation.

Urban Sanitation and Hygiene for Health and Development (USHHD)

In urban areas we work on city-wide inclusive sanitation services for all. In partnership with city authorities and utilities, we aim to change the way in which human waste is managed. We address the needs of diverse populations, encompass all parts of the sanitation service chain and recognise that different geographical areas will require different service delivery models. We guide stakeholders through a process of informed choice regarding technologies, finance strategies, regulation and service delivery models that discusses trade-offs, in particular regarding low-income groups and slum residents. Working with the private sector, we develop financially viable, sustainable business models for the treatment, re-use and safe disposal of human waste, and we work with communities on service models that are safe and affordable.

Area-wide Rural Water Supply Services (ARWSS)

We pursue an integrated rural water supply approach that looks at the sustainability of services across districts, and responds to changing communities. We endorse performance standards for water operators, irrespective of whether they are private, public or community run. Our work contributes to solving service issues relating to water, including the continuity of water services, equal access to water points, water quality, sustainability of services and resilience to extreme events (climatic and social). We work with local stakeholders to develop appropriate management models and post-construction support for districts that are embedded in local WASH governance structures and supported by evidence-based behavioural change campaigns.

Opportunities for Youth Employment (OYE)

In this strategy period we will scale up our work on creating job opportunities for young people across agriculture, energy and WASH. Our opportunity for youth employment (OYE) approach includes creating employment opportunities (pull), basic skills training (push), and market placement and enterprise development (match). We help young people to find jobs by getting our network of companies in agriculture, energy and WASH interested in offering vocational training and on-the-job learning, and offering concrete employment opportunities. We will also help young people to fulfill their entrepreneurial aspirations by developing their skills and knowledge through training, facilitating access to money to set themselves up, and by coaching them in leadership and business skills.

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