To fulfil our role in helping to strengthen the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector we must form effective partnerships at all levels.

Our aim is to reach everyone, everywhere with clean water, good sanitation services and hygiene education. But we can't do it alone. In order to strengthen the WASH sector and improve policy and practice we form partnerships with stakeholders at all levels. These levels may include:

  • Government ministries, departments and agencies responsible for WASH at all levels, including local, national and state-level municipalities, regulators and public utilities.

  • Government ministries, departments and agencies in other sectors, including those responsible for decentralisation, education, health, urban, social services, gender and children.

  • Civil society organisations, national and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs), community-based organisations, local religious groups, networks and alliances, and advocacy and campaigning organisations.

  • Organisations working for increased rights and accountability including community groups, disabled persons’ organisations, women’s groups, minority rights groups and groups of people living with HIV.

  • Private sector organisations, including large-, medium-, and small-scale private enterprises such as utilities, sanitation marketing entrepreneurs, spare part suppliers, masons, and pit emptiers. Private sector trade bodies, platforms or initiatives should also be considered.

  • Academic, research and teaching institutions.

  • International development partners including bilateral and multilateral donors, development banks, foundations, and NGOs.

  • Media, including journalist groups and unions, and TV and radio broadcasters.

  • Embassies and high commissions.

Strong partnerships essential to reach everyone with WASH

WaterAid’s Quality Programmes Manager shares how we re-assessed the quality of our partnerships, and what we have learned about keeping relationships healthy.

Bangre Yamba Madi, right, shows graphs charting monthly rainfall and well water level to other villagers in Burkina Faso. WaterAid/Andrew McConnell

Our approach

WaterAid's role is to act as a catalyst and agent of change across all of our country programmes. Including multiple stakeholders helps to ensure that WASH services are embedded in the local and national system so that they can be sustained.

For example, in Babati town in Tanzania, WaterAid is working with researchers from Nelson Mandela University in Arusha, the Babati Town Council, the Babati Water Supply and Sewerage Service, the community and other stakeholders including the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, to design sustainable sanitation and hygiene for the town (read this blog for more detail).

Each partnership is unique, depending on not only the specific context of WASH in a country or district, but also the internal factors that affect individual organisations. External and internal factors change continuously, so all partnerships must be treated as dynamic and constantly evolving to ensure we reach everyone, everywhere with clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene.

Resources

Explore our partnership publications and resources

News and blogs

Opinion pieces and discussions relating to partnerships