Developing WASH Finance Strategies: A Guide

September 2022

This guide supports the expansion of the critically needed water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services globally. It focuses on the element of financing, identified by sector experts as one of the greatest barriers to achieving UN SDG Goal 6: WASH for all. The $114 billion (US) identified in 2015 required to close the finance gaps for achieving SDG 6 is still a long way from being met. In 2019, twenty countries and territories reported a finance gap of 61% between identified needs and available finance to reach national WASH targets. There is still a huge task ahead that will require more than the traditional approaches, hence this guide looks at ways to diversify approaches and understand the financial flows and needs, while incorporating the aspects of effectiveness, efficiency, and equity.

Notable elements in the guide include:

  • Estimating the finance gap (costing sector targets and projecting financial flows)
  • Assessing options to close the finance gap (managing costs and mobilizing additional finance) and
  • Recommending the necessary policy package to close the finance gap (revised sector targets, policy, and institutional reforms).

These are critical areas to work on towards achieving the set WASH targets.

Who is this guide for and why?

WASH stakeholders designing and implementing WASH interventions in the global south where the greatest sanitation and hygiene gaps exists, including:

  • National governments,
  • Local governments and municipalities,
  • Local Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs)
  • International NGOs

This resource is particularly useful for incorporating sanitation financing approaches early in the programming stages, rather than later, which is often costlier and less impactful. Governments and development partners will particularly find it handy in developing contextualised WASH financing strategies.

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