Long Read

The WASH SDG Consortium to contribute to sustainable improved WASH for all

On June 22nd the WASH Alliance International*, Plan and SNV received great news from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As the SDG WASH Consortium, we have been granted 56 million for our jointly developed Netherlands WASH SDG Programme. This consortium – lead by Simavi- is unique to the world, as it brings together almost the whole Dutch water sector in effectively and efficiently realising our goal to reach a sustainable improved WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) situation for all.

Impact & Sustainable Development Goals

This 5-year programme will sustainably improve access to and use of sanitation and improving hygiene behaviours for at least 2 million people, and deliver access to and use of safe drinking water for at least 450,000 people in the coming five years.

During the Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day celebrations in Washington DC on 18 April 2015, minister Ploumen announced the commitment of the Dutch government to contribute to safe water and clean toilets for respectively 30 million and 50 million people. This as part of its strategy to realise the contribution of the Netherlands towards achieving universal access to water and sanitation services by 2030 under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda.

The WASH SDG Consortium will also ensure that facilities and services are sustainable, climate resilient, gender sensitive and socially inclusive. As such, the programme aligns itself with the DGIS WASH policy 2016-2030 Contributing to water, sanitation and hygiene for all, forever.


The Netherlands WASH SDG Programme will be implemented in seven countries: Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Nepal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. These countries all have significant numbers of people with poor access to and use of WASH services, either in rural areas or in densely populated areas with uncontrolled urbanisation and deteriorating water security. In all these countries the consortium members have long-term presence and ongoing WASH programmes, as well as established influence at the national level.


The WASH SDG programme is built on three core strategic objectives:

  • Increasing demand for improved WASH facilities and practices.
  • Improving the quality of service provision.
  • Improving governance of the sector.

Gender and social inclusion will be areas of specific attention in each of the 3 strategic objectives as well as climate vulnerability and resilience. The Consortium aims to develop and implement a gender transformative WASH approach in which our WASH interventions, not only aim at equal access and participation for women and men, but using WASH interventions to contribute to greater gender equality and social inclusion beyond the WASH sector. The Consortium will work towards the three strategic objectives through market-based and community-based solutions, public sector leadership, social accountability and empowered communities and civil society. Once capacitated and committed to jointly improve WASH, women and men, households, businesses, financial institutions and governments will generate a sustainable service delivery system, paving the road for acceleration. This will decrease external subsidies and even make them redundant over time, and accelerates access to WASH services for a growing population.

Sustainability clause

The Consortium is fully committed to ensuring that services and infrastructure will function up to 15 years after construction or rehabilitation, and will therefore incorporate the DGIS Sustainability Clause, Check and Compact in its monitoring activities.

100% leverage

For the first five years of the programme, the Consortium will commit to ensuring that for every euro invested, one euro is contributed locallythrough investments by households, private sector, and local and national government, by re-investments of WASH service providers, through financial institutions and by co-financing by consortium partners.

We are really looking forward to getting this programme off the ground and reach an improved WASH situation for all, following the SDG mission of leaving no one behind!

Want to learn more about the WASH SDG Consortium programme? Please read more here.

* Consisting of Simavi (lead), Amref Flying Doctors, Akvo, RAIN, WASTE, IRC, Wetlands, PRACTICA Foundation and RUAF


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