Changing the way we change the world

Overcoming Barriers to System-Wide Action in the WASH Sector: WEDC Side Event Synthesis


Much discussion has been devoted to what will be required of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sector stakeholders in order to achieve the ambitious Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets of universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water and adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene by 2030. The reigning consensus is that a swift and intentional alignment with “system-wide” approaches, which address critical gaps in policy and the capacity to implement and finance at all levels of the sector, is necessary. This philosophy has been well-articulated by Aguaconsult, WaterAid, IRC, and Water For People in the “Agenda for Change”.

To turn discussion into meaningful action, policy-makers and policy-takers in the WASH sector need to have a sound understanding of the fundamental barriers that are preventing diffuse adoption of system-wide approaches, as well as information on promising approaches. This side event provided global, national, and local stakeholders from government, donor, and practitioner agencies with an opportunity to identify specific barriers in their respective domains, and to learn of some specific examples of pilot solutions.

In July 2016, a workshop was convened by WEDC and co-organized by Victoria Cuéllar (Desert Research Institute), Susan Davis (Improve International), Andrew Armstrong (Water Mission), and Emma Goring (Whave). Read a summary of the discussions here.



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