The Dutch WASH Alliance

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Alliance

Empowered through WASH!


Who and what is the DWA?

The Dutch WASH Alliance (DWA) works towards a society in which everybody has access to sustainable water and sanitation. In this alliance Simavi, AMREF, ICCO, WASTE, RAIN and Akvo intensify their already ongoing cooperation and coordination in order to further increase effectiveness and efficiency and learn from each other.  Together, the DWA programme 2011 – 2015 is focussing on Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nepal, Tanzania and Uganda.


DWA’s vision

In DWAS’s vision all people are able to assert and realize their right to sustainable access to safe drinking water in sufficient quantities, adequate sanitation and hygienic living conditions in order to improve their health, nutritional status and economic living standard.


DWA empowers people by building and strengthening an enabling environment for sustainable WASH solutions for marginalized people.


DWA’s guiding principles

In DWA’s view, sustainable WASH are water, sanitation and health services that endure on the long term and are being maintained and operated at local level. Sustainable WASH has at least five dimensions: a Financial, Institutional, Environmental, Technical and Social dimension (FIETS).


·         Financial sustainability refers to providing alternative and innovative financial concepts which minimize  dependency on external subsidies. Business approaches and private sector involvement are used in a optimal way, strengthening the “in-country” structural finance for WASH services.

·         Institutional sustainability refers to the integration of WASH in national policies, with NGOs and local stakeholders working in close collaboration as capacity builders, facilitators and watchdogs. NGO’s express the voice of marginalized people and complement governmental efforts, working from a rights based approach. It includes a transparent chain of roles and responsibilities fitting the local conditions.

·         Environmental sustainability refers to the sound management of water resources and waste resources for current and future generations in response to (and ideally also holds a solution to) water scarcity, environmental pollution and depletion of scarce natural resources such as phosphorus. Solutions can be in found in developing climate resilient measures  and adopting and mainstreaming integrated water rResource management and ecosystem approach principles.

·         Technical sustainability refers to the use of WASH technologies that respond to demands, capabilities, opportunities and ideas from consumers and investors that are context-specific, affordable and can be operated and maintained locally. Preferably knowledge and skills are locally available or developed.  The programme strives to work towards cost-effective solutions which can be easily replicated and upscaled within a country.

·         Social sustainability refers to realizing and maintaining social conditions or prerequisites that are essential to realize the right to water and sanitation both from the perspective of the rights holders and the duty bearers. It takes local demand and local cultural incentives as a starting point and focuses on the role of women as change agents.


What does DWA?

In  2010 and 2009 DWA prepared contextual analyses on the WASH situation in the 11 countries. DWA invited local partners in 11 countries to come forward with ideas and opportunities for WASH programmes. That were both existing programmes which fitted the WASH guiding principles outlined above, and new promising initiatives. DWA favoured ideas from cooperating organisations, institutions and private entrepreneurs. Based on the ideas of the local partners DWA prepared an extensive solid programme proposals at country level and for the alliance as a whole and submitted the programme to the Dutch Government on July 1st 2010. Once the Netherlands Government has approved the programme, it will be executed during the period 2011 - 2015. If the Netherlands Government decides to finance nothing or only part of our programme, DWA intends to find financial sources elsewhere.