System Strengthening for Sustainable WASH


The programme “Accountability for Sustainability” has been established with a the main objective of increasing the sustainability of water and sanitation services. For instance, this is done through more articulated inclusion of WASH governance and accountability aspects in UNICEF country level programming. Moreover, it helps raising awareness of the importance of investing in sustainability from the outset of programming.

The collaboration has two specific objectives:

  • Generate and share knowledge on Enabling Environment, Accountability and Sustainability in WASH service delivery and
  • Support improving Enabling Environment, sustainability and accountability within UNICEF supported programmes.
This programme is a partnership with SIWI, UNDP, Unicef


The aim of the partnership is to increase the sustainability of water and sanitation services, through the inclusion of WASH governance and accountability aspects in UNICEF country-level programming.



  • The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) six sets the bar high for the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sector. Working towards universal access for all requires systematic and rigorous work on systems strengthening in order to make sure that services and systems we put in place are sustainable.
  • As much as 30-50% of WASH projects fail after two to five years. This lack of sustainability of WASH interventions has devastating consequences for individuals, economies and the environment, and poses a major obstacle to the universal access to services. Recent research shows that technical aspects are often not the binding constraint, but rather it is the lack of good governance of systems that compromises public-service delivery.
  • System building and strengthening are vital to achieve sustainability of services that benefit children and enable them to survive and thrive and to live in a safe and clean environment.

This joint program and engagement at the global, national and local level provided a fertile ground for expansion. The technical support to countries, as well as a wide range of knowledge and training products, have defined and qualified, the SIWI WGF as a valuable partner to further support UNICEF country and district-level WASH operations. This partnership will continue to enable UNICEF to keep delivering on their results as defined by both the UNICEF Strategic Plan and WASH Strategy.

In accordance, this partnership between UNICEF and SIWI WGF proposed to continue enhancing accountability and enabling environment, systematically within UNICEF WASH programming. More integrated and structured technical assistance by the SIWI WGF within UNICEF country-level programming will in turn systematically improve the sustainability of water and sanitation service delivery to those who need it the most and support the systems strengthening at national and subnational levels in targeted priority countries.

The collaboration aims to further support UNICEF WASH practitioners and partners in the area of programming for Enabling Environment, accountability and improved sustainability. This includes production of guidance and technical briefs, while build on sharing the evidence created and lessons learned coming from the implemented activities.

The overall thematic scope includes all kind of support linked to Enabling Environment, accountability and sustainability issues including:

  • Support to improvement of Accountability and Anti-corruption activities in programming, and the link with the Enabling Environment and Human Rights.
  • Support to generate evidence and technical support for implementation of the Sustainability Checks and the Sustainability Framework.
  • Support to conducting and documenting WASH BAT process (water, sanitation and Hygiene bottleneck analysis is an analysis and monitoring process to assess the enabling environment for the delivery of water and sanitation services) in different countries
  • Support rolling out of Enabling Environment training package in the different regions
  • Support to programming of activities in various Enabling Environment components such as Accountability & Regulation, policies and strategies, coordination, budget and financing, etc.)
  • Provide desk support to UNICEF Country Offices and Headquarters for the development and review of relevant Enabling Environment Sustainability and Accountability tools and processes.
  • Technical Assistance to countries on governance issues
  • Development of guidance and technical briefs on Accountability, Sustainability and Enabling Environment
  • Support to regional and national trainings/workshops and Global Learning Webinars
  • Development of knowledge/evidence papers

WASH BAT and Accountability mapping Workshop Ethiopia – November 2017



Several UNICEF country offices have requested technical assistance from the program to streamline accountability in programming (Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Nigeria, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, Ethiopia, Rwanda, D.R.Congo, D. Congo, Madagascar, Iraq, Palestine, Myanmar, Bolivia, Haiti, Tanzania, Somalia, Iran, Ecuador…)

UNICEF Regional offices (WCARO, MENARO, LACRO, EAPRO) have requested technical assistance from the program to streamline accountability in programming.

Related media


Human Right to water and accountability” — Alejandro Jiménez, WASH Specialist, Water Governance Facility “Working with governance and accountability is key to the achieve sustainability” — Alejandro Jiménez & Cecilia Scharp


“Sustainability of WASH services: making it real” – Kelly Ann Naylor, UNICEF Senior WASH advisor, Pim Vander-Male Directorate-General for International Cooperation, The Netherlands