Our approach

We have organisation-wide processes in place for planning, monitoring, evaluation and reporting. This includes using a programme accountability framework, evaluations and post-implementation monitoring surveys. We are continually reviewing these procedures.

Planning, monitoring, evaluation and reporting

We continuously plan, monitor, evaluate and report on our work as an organisation. This provides accurate, credible, relevant and up to date information supporting our mission to reach everyone everywhere. This detailed picture of our work makes us more accountable.

We will be using Project Center, a programme management information system, to collect and manage data from the countries where we work. This will enable us to better learn from experience and adapt our work to achieve our ambitious goals.

Programme accountability framework

Our programme accountability framework identifies who WaterAid should be accountable to. It draws from our vision, values and strategy, and translates these into nine commitments:
  • Development and delivery of effective, high-quality programmes and projects  
  • Stakeholder participation in the project cycle 
  • Nurturing collaboration and partnership 
  • Efficiency, effectiveness and value for money 
  • Learning and improvement 
  • Listening and responding to feedback 
  • Managing risk 
  • Transparency 
  • Managing human resources in support of effective, high-quality programmes.

Each commitment has a set of operational requirements verified by external and internal standards.

To hold ourselves accountable, we aim to further encourage the participation of the people whose lives we aim to transform in the monitoring of our work. Their involvement will contribute to increased relevance, quality and effectiveness of programmes and projects. It is one of our core programme accountability commitments.


We evaluate our work to make ourselves accountable for the funding we receive and report back on our achievements and sometimes shortfalls. As an integral part of programme quality assurance, and our planning, monitoring, evaluation and reporting practice, evaluation assures that our strategy remains on track and our country programmes are being effectively managed.

Every four years, each country programme undergoes an independent evaluation of its operations and strategy. A key part of these evaluations is a technical review of:
  • Programme design and implementation. 
  • The appropriateness of technologies and approaches. 
  • The hardware and software needed to improve WASH behaviour changes.

These findings are assessed against our programme quality standards.

Once we build up a sufficient number of evaluation studies, we consolidate these into a synthesis report. Evaluations can easily be compared as each is scored by the evaluation team against categories like quality of water and sanitation services provided; partnerships; policy; service sustainability; and to what extent we are targeting and reaching the most vulnerable people.

Post-implementation monitoring

Post-implementation monitoring is an internal monitoring process designed to test the sustainability of our work after it has been implemented. It highlights any challenges around a specific water point or sanitation facility. The results trigger further study to help us understand why projects fail, so we can improve the sustainability and quality of our work.

A flow chart with the following labels: Preparation > Data collection > Analysis > Programme adaptation

The process cycle

We undertake two types of study: large-scale post-implementation monitoring taking samples of our work, carried out in one country per region per year; and small-scale studies, which are less intensive. For large-scale monitoring we take a statistically representative sample of our work, typically to a 5% margin of error. This gives an unbiased sample. Using statistical methods, we can be confident our survey results represent the whole population.

We increasingly use mobile data collection to conduct data gathering and analysis, our preferred tool being mWater. This approach streamlines the monitoring process, giving better quality, reliably geo-located data with inbuilt validation. It brings data into one place to make better comparative analysis possible, and enables data to be more effectively shared and used for positive change.

A map of the world showing where WaterAid is currently working and where it will be working soon.

Post-implementation monitoring schedule.