Our approach

Making sure services and behaviour change are sustainable is a challenge. It requires more than selecting appropriate technologies, holding training exercises, or encouraging community ownership.

Hygiene and sanitation behaviour changes will only be permanent with continual promotion of good practices based on an understanding of why people change their habits. Permanent services will only be established if the systems and institutions required to manage, finance and support them are created, strengthened and maintained.

We aim to address all of the issues that have an impact on the sustainability of services, be they social, financial, environmental, institutional, legal, capacity-related or technical. We are committed to ensuring permanent services and behaviour change through a mixture of approaches, including:

  • Creating strong demand for services.
  • Ensuring high quality implementation, promoting good practice in service delivery for wider uptake by governments and service providers.
  • Working in support of national systems, pushing for a strong, enabling national policy and regulatory environment.
  • Strengthening accountability and customer satisfaction mechanisms through a rights-based approach.
  • Supporting local private sector initiatives that strengthen supply chains.
  • Partnering with education and health services to ensure that sanitation and hygiene behaviour change messaging continues to be relayed.
  • Building the resilience of service users to cope with external threats to sustainability.
  • Carrying out in-depth research into specific areas with an impact on sustainability.
  • Monitoring the water supply, sanitation and hygiene services we have funded for at least ten years after implementation. We use the results to understand what works and what doesn’t. We often work in remote, rural areas where the institutions tasked with service provision are weak. Here, we are increasingly using a district-wide approach which involves strengthening the monitoring, planning, financing, service delivery, post-implementation support, and asset management functions of local government and service providers.

Sustainability building blocks