During the Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day celebrations in Washington DC on 18 April 2015, Dutch 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.
As part of their programme to realise the commitment made by minister Ploumen, the department of Inclusive Green Growth (IGG) has invited the WASH Alliance International (WAI), Plan Netherlands and SNV to develop a joint proposal. As a response WAI, Plan Netherlands and SNV have joined forces and formed the Netherlands WASH SDG Consortium (hereafter ‘the consortium’). Jointly they have developed the Netherlands WASH SDG Programme which will contribute by sustainably improving access to and use of sanitation and improving hygiene behaviours for at least 2 million people, and access to and use of safe drinking water for at least 450,000 people in the coming five years.
The WAI consists of Simavi (lead), Amref, Akvo, RAIN, WASTE, IRC, Wetlands International, PRACTICA Foundation and RUAF.
Sustainably improving access to and use of sanitation and improving hygiene behaviours for at least 2 million women, girls, boys and men, and access to and use of safe drinking water for at least 450,000 women, girls, boys and men in the coming five years. This will be the first phase of a larger contribution towards realising the 2030 vision. We expect that the reach of our programme activities will be beyond 7.4 million people.
The WASH SDG programme assumes that sustainable and equitable use of WASH by all can be achieved in a locality:
- by improving behaviour change interventions leading to increased demand for improved WASH facilities and practices;
- by improving WASH service provision leading to increased availability and affordability of WASH products and services which contributes to sustainable and equitable access to WASH;
- by strengthening of the WASH governance and institutional framework leading to governments enabling efficient and effective delivery of inclusive and sustainable WASH services which contributes to sustainable and equitable access to WASH.
 Outcome targets are based on budget availability of €59 million for the first 5 years.
The proposed programme approach is built upon our common principles regarding sustainable and resilient WASH interventions. They are based on the understanding of the multi-dimensional nature of access to and use of safe drinking water and sanitation services, and related hygiene behaviours.
Area wide approach
The programme will use an area-wide approach (sub-district, district or city), with a focus on full coverage, social inclusion and sustained services for also the poorest wealth quintiles.
Access for all
Reaching universal coverage, introducing new ways of thinking about how equity and processes of exclusion are addressed in the sector and gender equality can be guaranteed.
(Local) Governments are the duty bearers of the human right to WASH in their area; their engagement and ownership is essential for long-term sustainability of services in an area.
Private sector engagement
The consortium will promote and support a system of affordable supply and services through a mix of market-based and community-based solutions, including access to credit.
We will guarantee integration of water, sanitation and hygiene on the ground, assuring that services are available.
Change in social norms and sustainable behavioural change
This programme aims to promote a sustainable change in social norms and behaviours takes place. Only a change in vision and habits in relation to sanitation, hygiene and clean drinking water will lead to sustainable changes in WASH practices.
Gender equality and social inclusion
We aim to influence gender equality and social inclusion through our WASH interventions, both for women and girls, as well as across social (ethnic, caste, class) groups. We will be working on empowerment of women and girls and of socially marginalised or excluded groups
Water-secure WASH delivery
We will ensure that WASH services can be sustainably delivered in areas of increased water insecurity, especially in cities, coastal and arid regions where
existing concentrations of people and human activity coupled with climate change can lead to water resources scarcity and land and water quality degradation.
Climate resilient WASH services
The WASH SDG Consortium aims to reach unserved and vulnerable populations, many of whom live in areas disproportionally affected by climate change and mostly affecting women more than men. Droughts, flooding, temperature fluctuations and out of season events do not only challenge (traditional) design assumptions of WASH services, but also management arrangements.
The sustainability of WASH services depends on the institutional and financial system the services are embedded in. This is not merely the market environment, government organisations and socio-cultural setting, but the checks and balances in that system and how different levels interconnect.
Sustainably improve access to and use of sanitation and improving hygiene behaviours for at least 2 million people, and access to and use of safe drinking water for at least 450,000 people in the coming five years.
Sustainably improve access to and use of sanitation and improving hygiene behaviours for at least 550,000 people and access to and use of safe drinking water for at least 450,000 people in the coming five years.