Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

This project has ended

Aim of the programme

RUAF has been a partner in the Dutch funded water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) Alliance International since 2011. The WASH Alliance International (WAI) seeks to contribute to a shift towards integrated WASH sector development by working on three pillars: establishing a functioning market, strengthening the public sector, and empowering & organising citizens. The WAI aims to sustainably improve access to, and use of, safe drinking water for at least 266,300 people, sanitation for at least 388,500 people and improve the hygiene behaviours of 198,900 people before the end of 2022, with a total outreach of 1,4 million people.

Since 2017, WAI collaborates under the WASH SDG Consortium, a 5 year, 59 million programme, funded by the Dutch Government.

The aim of the WASH SDG is to contribute to sustainable and equitable access to and use of WASH by:

  • improving behaviour change interventions leading to increased demand for improved WASH facilities and practices;
  • improving WASH service provision leading to increased availability and affordability of WASH products and services; and
  • strengthening of the WASH governance and institutional framework leading to governments enabling efficient and effective delivery of inclusive and sustainable WASH services.

Why is this programme important?

WASH SDG responds to the Dutch commitment to contribute to the SDGs, particularly SDG 6, with the aim of reaching an improved WASH situation for all.

Today, 2.1 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water services and 4.5 billion people lack safely managed sanitation services. Unsafe hygiene practices are widespread, compounding the effects on people’s health. Access to safe water and sanitation and sound management of freshwater ecosystems are essential to human health; environmental sustainability and economic prosperity. The 2030 agenda for sustainable development established WASH as a priority, embodied in sustainable development goal (SDG) 6 that has the aim to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

WASH approach

  • Integrated sector and area-wide approach
  • Leave no-one behind
  • Sustainability and systems change
  • Climate resilient WASH services


The programme is being implemented in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Nepal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Hivos, that took over the work of the RUAF Foundation in WAI, collaborates with partners in Nepal, Bangladesh, and Uganda on the interface of WASH and (urban) food security, focusing on the issue of safe productive use of water and organic wastes in small scale agriculture, collaborating with local authorities and entrepreneurs. In Bangladesh, Hivos works with Practical Action Bangladesh in Satkhira on Resilience Planning and Support to development of Low Income Settlements.


WASH SDG is a five-year programme, from July 2018 to June 2022.


The WASH Alliance International consists of Simavi (lead), Amref, Akvo, RAIN, WASTE, IRC, Wetlands International, PRACTICA Foundation and Hivos/RUAF.

The Netherlands Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Sustainable Development Goal programme (WASH SDG programme) is implemented by the Netherlands WASH SDG Consortium formed by the partners of the WASH Alliance International, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation and Plan Netherlands.

Contact person

René van Veenhuizen, rvanveenhuizen@hivos.org