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Supporting sustainable WASH services in difficult operating environments

Supporting sustainable WASH services in difficult operating environments

This document is aimed at WASH practitioners and policy-makers developing management and support processes that ensure service sustainability. It seeks to share WaterAid Nicaragua’s experiences of reinforcing sustainable WASH service provision in an environment characterised by weak and under-resourced institutions, exposure to disasters, and a history of conflict and political polarisation.

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Monitoring results of complex systems

Significant sector change will be required to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and associated targets, which encompass both universality and sustainability. This paper synthesises the findings of a WaterAid study into current donor thinking on measuring sector progress towards developing sustained WASH services, and the degree to which donors are embracing aspects of systems thinking in their approaches. It also offers recommendations for additional exploration and collaboration.

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Sustainabilty framework

For WaterAid, sustainability refers to the continued functioning and utilisation of water and sanitation services as well as lasting changes in human behaviour around hygiene and safe sanitation. It is about services transform people's lives for good. The framework has been created with the intention of being adapted and applied to different contexts and settings across the developing world.

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Addressing the sustainability crisis

Sustainability of rural water supplies is a major challenge in Tanzania. Waterpoint Mapping (WPM) surveys conducted in 51 districts found that only 54% of all public improved waterpoints are functional. Even very new waterpoints (WPs) have a problem: the same surveys found that just two years after project completion, already a quarter are no longer functioning.

Post-2015 consultation on environmental sustainability

Post-2015 consultation on environmental sustainability

Rather than attempt to cover every single environmental issue in depth, the consultation could more usefully focus on the core factors underpinning the lack of progress to date. In particular, the second phase of the consultation should focus on several fundamental issues relating to environmental sustainability that have not been resolved.

Other resources

User financing of rural handpump water services

User financing of rural handpump water services

Numerous issues contribute to the failure of handpumps, but the adequacy of financial flows to cover recurrent costs is fundamental. This paper focuses on the financial viability of handpump water supply services, within the wider picture of sustainable water supplies.

Do operation and maintenance pay?

Do operation and maintenance pay?

Life-cycle costing can help planners estimate not only how much handpumps cost to install, but how much they cost to maintain. This article, published in Waterlines in 2006, shows how it is done, and demonstrates that spending more on regular maintenance often works out cheaper in the long run.

Life-cycle costs approach: costing sustainable services

Life-cycle costs approach: costing sustainable services

WASHCost sought to make it easier to estimate the true cost of sustainable water supply services by developing and testing a life-cycle costs approach in developing countries. This working paper describes the components and application of this approach to enable long-lasting services.