The Sustainable WASH Program (SWP)

The Millennium Water Alliance’s current five-year program in Ethiopia is generously funded by a major grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, with matching funds from five implementing MWA members, aimed at supporting Ethiopia’s nationwide achievement of safe, affordable, and sustainable water services delivery by 2030.

From 2019 – 2024, the MWA Sustainable WASH Program will support three woreda governments in Amhara National Regional State to achieve their long-term plans for full WASH coverage.  MWA will support district governments to achieve improved service delivery levels by reaching 18% safely managed and 69% basic water supply service levels by 2024.

MWA members CARECatholic Relief ServicesFood for the HungryIRC WASHWaterAid, and World Vision will implement, along with technical support partners Evidence ActionSplash, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Stanford University Woods Institute.

The program focuses on a systems-wide approach looking at aspects of the system such as regulation and guidelines, functionality of service authorities, long-term strategic planning, and adaptation and learning.  We use tenets of collective impact design, deploying a facilitation approach to working with government and the private sector to promote long-term ownership and sustainability.

Key targets include: WASH in schools and health care facilities, improvements to operations and maintenance systems for improved functionality rates, increasing access to high quality water, improved service delivery for communities, influencing for increased funding and attention to WASH needs, budgeting for full life-cycle costs, constant learning and sharing of learnings, and influencing across government and NGOs for replication of successful methods and approaches.

This program builds on a 2017-1018 bridge program that focused on developing strong partnerships within the program team and with regional, zonal and woreda government partners, supported three woreda governments to develop strategic plans to achieve full WASH coverage in the districts by 2030, implementing 200 dispensers for safe water. It helped more than 500 families to add or upgrade household self-supply wells and planned for the monitoring to assess progress toward goals.

The Hilton Foundation Safe Water Strategy and the 2014-2024 Millennium Water Alliance Global Strategic Plan prioritize a district-wide focus, strengthening WASH service delivery systems, and engaging in learning and influencing policy and goals.

In Ethiopia, the MWA has improved access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services for more than two million people in rural areas since 2004.  This work has focused on communities, schools and health care facilities and has been implemented through the collaborative work of MWA’s members and partners.  MWA and members have worked with the government to support technical and MEL development, capacity building, the production of self-supply guidelines, water quality studies, woreda water point functionality assessment, learning forums, and more.