Governance, Advocacy and Leadership in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (GoAL WaSH)



The overall goal of GoAL WaSH programme is to enhance the performance of the drinking water and sanitation sectors in partner countries for effective, equitable and sustainable service delivery. This is done through the support of governance reform, sector leadership and capacity development.

Meeting the global drinking water and sanitation challenge requires more than drilling wells and building latrines. Addressing governance in this sector is equally important.

The challenges of reforming legal and regulatory structures in some of the world’s neediest states are daunting. Social and economic challenges to good governance are numerous: How do you create and introduce tariff systems in places where people cannot afford, or want, to pay for water? How do you bridge the gap between people and institutions and unite them in a belief that water and sanitation is a common good that needs to be sustainably managed for present and future human and non-human needs? Substantial long-term commitment is required, while at the same time political instabilities are a fact in many of the targeted countries and are likely to continue in the foreseeable future.

Inclusion in the GoAL WaSH programme is determined by government commitment to engage in a sector reform with good governance and effective and equitable service delivery in the long term. GoAL WaSH steps in with a result-oriented approach, strategically targeted interventions, working in close partnership with governments. Flexibility of the programme and its capacity to respond to specific country needs and demands is also key in ensuring the efficiency and effectiveness of GoAL WaSH. UNDP continuous in-country presence, expertise and its mandate mean that they are invariably one of the first points of contact for government officials seeking support in water and sanitation governance reform. 

GoAL WaSH targets countries with low water and sanitation coverage. The programme focuses on countries where there is an institutional responsiveness to the services that the programme offers. The GoAL WaSH process needs to be fully owned and demand-driven.

GoAL WaSH supports work in three sequential areas:

  • Identifying the gaps, needs, constraints and opportunities in national water and sanitation plans, strategies and capacities.
  • Supporting development and reform of action plans, policies, laws, coordinating mechanisms and regulatory functions.
  • Supporting the implementation with accountability and transparency.

Each country project is overseen by a national manager in the UNDP Country Office, to ensure local ownership of the development process. GoAL WaSH national managers receive support from Water Governance Facility at SIWI, and national and international consultants for specific tasks.


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The designations employed and the presentation of material on this map do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the United Nations or UNDP concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

Download the full GoAL WaSH 2016 brochure



All available evaluations of the GoAL WaSH programme have highlighted that the progress made in a short time under GoAL WaSH suggests that a strong case can be made for significantly scaling up the programme in future years.

Evaluations have also concluded that GoAL WaSH was able to provide prompt responses and high quality advice and support to most project countries, which has enhanced capacities and increased options to improve water and sanitation governance.

The success in leveraging additional funds at the country level has been demonstrated (ratio of $2.4 leveraged for every dollar invested in Goal WaSH). As an additional proof of its relevance, the programme has received a considerable number of requests from developing country governments for its services.



Dr. Alejandro Jiménez

Programme Director

Ms. Lotten Hubendick

Programme Officer