The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector has had its challenges. Reasons for failure usually focus on technology, water users, community management committees, local government, national government policies and implementers (NGOs). Rarely are the implications of funding mechanisms and restrictions discussed. Improve International seeks to end the unacceptably high failure rates of water and sanitation interventions in developing countries. With a focus on accountability, learning, and innovation, Improve International helps improve the work and coordination of international development organizations and donors focused on addressing the worldwide water and sanitation crisis. In support of Improve International's mission, a pilot survey was conducted to investigate the effect that grants and donations have on the sustainability of water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions in developing countries.
- Analysis of data from 40 qualified respondents clearly reveals a lack of alignment between the needs of implementing organizations and the contributions of donors.
- In order to promote sustainable service delivery in the WASH sector and alignment with Sustainable Development Goal 6, donors might need to change funding methods to better align with the goals of their implementing partners and the developing country governments.
- Once the needs are better defined and recognized by donors and NGOs, they can design creative ways to leverage human and financial resources (e.g., from local governments, financial institutions, and the private sector) for the appropriate activities and time frames.
- Collaboration, communication compromise and creativity across the sector are necessary to ensure long-term sustainable services and associated health improvements for people in developing countries.