The Five Principles of Sustainable WASH

World Vision's WASH practitioners in the Middle East Region have been grappling with key components of sustainable WASH. As a region with a high proportion of emergency and fragile context responses, it is important to consider how to move from humanitatiran to sustainable WASH solutions. Below are a series of recorded discussions between World Vision WASH practitioners in the region around the five key principles of sustainable WASH. 

Technical sustainability
Technological sustainability of WASH services is reached when the technology or hardware needed for the services continues to function is maintained, repaired and replaced by local people and it is not depleting the (natural) resources on which it depends for it’s functioning.

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 Institutional sustainability

Institutional sustainability in the WASH sector means that WASH systems, institutions, policies and procedures at the local level are functional and meet the demand of users of WASH services. Households and other WASH service users, authorities and service providers at the local and the national level are clear on their own roles, tasks and responsibilities, are capable of fulfilling these roles effectively and are transparent to each other. WASH stakeholders work together in the WASH chain through a multi-stakeholder approach.

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Social sustainability

Social sustainability refers to ensuring that the appropriate social conditions and prerequisites are realized and sustained so the current and future society is able to create healthy and liveable communities. Social sustainable intervention is demand-driven, inclusive (equity), gender equal, culturally sensitive and needs-based.

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 Environmental sustainability

The element of environmental sustainability implies placing WASH interventions in the wider context of the natural environment and implementing an approach of integrated and sustainable management of water and waste(-water) flows and resources. WASH interventions connect to and affect the natural environment and hence people’s livelihood.

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 Financial sustainability

Financial Sustainability means that continuity in the delivery of products and services related to water, sanitation and hygiene is assured, because the activities are locally financed (e.g. taxes, local fees, local financing) and do not depend on external (foreign) subsidies.

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You can also find all these discussion on this channel:

Download the report documenting key learnings from developing sustainable WASH programmes from Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.