This study gives an overview of how disability and ageing issues have been incorporated WASH programmes. It presents a 'mainstreaming continuum' as a conceptual framework to show the different stages organisations go through: from pilot studies and projects, through capacity building and guidelines, to a state in which disability and ageing are fully considered in all work. The different stages on the continuum can be used to acknowledge what has already been achieved, build on progress, and help see what needs to be done to move to the next stage.
- Progress on the Millennium Development Goals is not happening in an equitable way: The poorest in the world have scarcely benefited from improvements in water and sanitation provision.
- In terms of solutions to the problem, the most widely documented are 'hardware' solutions such as technology upgrades. Less has been documented about 'software' changes, such as changing how organisations work and how programmes are planned and implemented.
- Mainstreaming disability and ageing in the context of WASH share parallels with gender mainstreaming.
- The mainstreaming continuum consists of: getting started with studies and pilot projects; developing inclusive practices and strategies; having elements of inclusive practice implemented routinely in WASH; and having these practices as the norm in WASH.