Skip to main content

The global economic crisis and legislative challenges surrounding water access, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs mean that pursuing greater U.S. government funding cannot and should not be the primary or highest value focus for future WASH investment. Instead, a focus on identifying, sharing, and replicating what works and on providing sustainable, effective services for individuals most in need will allow the sector to prove its value in a difficult funding climate.

Top Takeaways

  1. U.S. WASH advocates should broaden their goals beyond an exclusive focus on Congressional appropriations.
  2. Better data and shared measurement systems will strengthen the case for support and encourage greater sustainability and effectiveness in the field, particularly for regions with the highest need (e.g., sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia).
  3. Current actors in WASH advocacy possess a number of strengths but also face challenges to effectively advancing the field, necessitating increased involvement and investment from the private sector, NGOs, and multilateral agencies. 
To meet the scale of the WASH crisis while improving the effectiveness and sustainability of field programs, WASH advocacy plays a critical role – but must be grounded in data, executed strategically, and aligned across stakeholders.