Seven practical lessons for WASH systems strengthening from the SusWASH programme

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System strengthening
WaterAid/ Sibtain Haider

Organisations and donors working in the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector have increasingly adopted systems strengthening approaches to improve and sustain WASH services and behaviours. These approaches are based on the understanding that sustainable and inclusive WASH requires a strong system. Many organisations have developed conceptual frameworks outlining what makes up a WASH system, but there are fewer concrete examples of how non-governmental actors can support systems strengthening in practice.

This policy and practice brief is for WASH practitioners, multi- and bi-lateral donors, large foundations and trusts interested in advancing systems approaches and funding systems strengthening for the realisation of Sustainable Development Goal 6. It draws on our practical experience of strengthening systems – most notably through the five-year SusWASH programme – to present seven practical lessons that donors and implementing organisations can use to advance this way of working.