WaterAid Ethiopia has identified five interlinked strategic ways of working aligned with national sector needs, in keeping with WaterAid’s global values. They are: innovating, demonstrating, partnering, knowledge sharing, and influencing from within.

We work with the government at all levels to build an enabling environment. We strive to ensure governments and other service providers have the capability to deliver lasting and inclusive water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services.

We signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with WASH sector ministries and regional bureaus to establish strategic partnerships. To influence sector agendas, we engage - as chair, co-chair and member - with many sector working groups and taskforces.

We support effective district coordination mechanisms through the district-wide approach (DWA) in targeted districts and towns. The direct implementation approach we employ allows us to promote higher levels of quality control and to ensure that both infrastructure and capacity building initiatives are delivered as designed.

This approach also captures direct learning throughout the implementation process and increased visibility to local government

Technical expertise

We deliver exceptional services and have experience working with a wide range of donors and partners. Using our unique expertise we provide WASH directly to hundreds of thousands of people each year. To make WASH possible for everyone, everywhere by 2030, we also work with and influence others – especially governments, businesses and civil society, to spark chain reactions and secure greater impact.

  • We have successfully promoted adaptable technologies and service models to demonstrate approaches such as solar pumping and fecal sludge management sanitation services.
  • We are well known pioneers of various technological options such as rope pumps and sand dam construction.
  • We are recognised for implementing and advocating for community managed service delivery models that are largely taken up by the Oromia Water Resource Bureau.

Capacity building and system development

By supporting governments and service providers to promote sustainable WASH services we strengthen systems and capabilities. Our new sector strengthening approach to service delivery is not only sustainable, but also empowering. It aligns to Sustainable Development Goal 17, emphasising the need to work in partnership for sustainable development.

In partnership with the Open University, WaterAid has launched a new module, Count me in Open WASH, an innovative curriculum of study designed to be used in education and training programmes in the WASH sector in Ethiopia for free.

Policy and advocacy

With over 30 years of national and global experience, we understand that the government is a key agent for change: universal, sustained WASH access requires government buy-in and coordinated leadership. We have a strong reputation in Ethiopia for using evidence to inform policy development and implementation.

We have achieved notable successes by contributing to:

  • The development of the WASH Implementation Framework
  • The prioritisation of water point mapping and social inclusion in the One WASH National Programme and supporting district level One WASH plan development
  • Development of the Integrated Urban Sanitation and Hygiene Strategy
  • Development of the Integrated Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Strategy
  • Development of the Hygiene and Environmental Health Strategy
  • Development of the national School WASH Strategy and School WASH Implementation Guidelines. 

We also contributed to the establishment of the Equality and Inclusion national task force, to:

  • Influence incorporating equality and inclusion in the policy review of MOWIE
  • Provide technical support in the development of the National Menstrual Hygiene Management Policy and Guidelines
  • Support the development of the Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) Policy and standard in collaboration with the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy.

Our work to help develop the Climate Resilient WASH strategy in Ethiopia is also notable. We alternatively co-lead and co-host the WASH Ethiopia Movement - a voluntary coalition of government, donors, private sector, media and NGOs - to advocate hygiene and sanitation. We engage in a number of WASH sector and related working groups, task forces and forums at national level to capture opportunities to influence sector agendas. 

We are also working with media and professional associations for greater impact through our deep analysis of sector issues, our regular assessments of bottlenecks, and advising on sector best practice. We often share relevant and useful findings to the WASH Movement Learning Forums and other sector forums such as the multi-stakeholder forums and the Joint Technical Reviews. As a global WASH organisation, we can draw on regional and global expertise and resources. We use this access and profile within the sector to share knowledge and influence other actors to achieve maximum collective impact.