Vietnam has made great progress increasing WASH access in recent years. However, more remains to be done, especially in remote and rural areas, where access to sanitation and clean water lags behind urban coverage. The government of Vietnam is highly engaged in WASH and has begun moving away from a subsidy approach to promote the private sector’s role in addressing these gaps.
While the government has embraced this approach at the national level, local officials have little practical experience engaging businesses or applying market-based approaches. Provincial, district, and commune government workers need support and training to effectively collaborate with the private sector to reach Vietnam’s WASH goals.
The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Scale Up Project (WASH-SUP), funded by DFAT, is a four-year programme focused on building government capacity to implement market-based WASH programming. Working in two rural provinces, iDE uses an innovative approach to train the government to encourage customers to purchase improved latrines, promote handwashing, and ensure local businesses know how to produce and install affordable, hygienic WASH products.
The Vietnam government’s active engagement in WASH, coupled with its wide reach at the local levels, makes it a critical partner in scaling WASH outcomes. Households trust government recommendations on hygiene and believe that government-approved latrine designs are safe and hygienic.
For this programme, iDE has partnered with the Center for Preventive Medicine, which has a WASH mandate from the government, and the Women’s Union, which supports WASH as it is generally perceived to be an area of interest to women. Both partners have extensive networks at the commune and hamlet level to effectively stimulate demand among last-mile customers.