Sustainability Portal

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Sustainability is about whether or not WASH services and good hygiene practices continue to work over time. No time limit is set on those continued services and accompanying behaviour changes. In other words, sustainability is about permanent beneficial change in WASH services and hygiene practices. 1

Several sustainability frameworks show how to move from failing systems to reliable and lasting water and sanitation services.

History

Sustainability approaches for the WASH sector began in response to recurring project problems over time, which wasted billions of US dollars invested and resulted in failures such as pump breakdowns or sanitation systems overflowing as toxic pollution into the surrounding environment. With projects abandoned, communities were left, lacking proper fresh water access or hygienic sanitation solutions. This led to the realisation that sustainable service delivery required a sector-wide process of change. 2

F.I.E.T.S Model

This portal uses the basic structure of the five sustainability elements of FIETS, as developed by the Dutch WASH Alliance, to categorise many different frameworks, approaches and tools of sustainable WASH methods:
  • Financial: continuity of WASH products and services through local financing (free from foreign funds)
  • Institutional: sustained and functional local WASH systems with capable institutions, policies and procedures
  • Environmental: sustainable management of water and waste flows that is considerate of the natural environment
  • Technical: operation & maintenance of hardware, by local people, preserves not depletes (natural) resources
  • Social sustainability: demand-driven, inclusive (equity), gender equal, culturally sensitive and needs-based approach to WASH
WASH FIETS animation
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IRC Sustainability RSS feed
Financial
Sustainability
Institutional
Sustainability
Environmental
Sustainability
Technological
Sustainability
Social
Sustainability
FS - Introduction
FS - Introduction
Life-cycle costing
Life-cycle costing
Financial planning
Financial planning
Community Based Savings
Community
Based Savings
Revolving Fund
Revolving Fund
Sanitation as a Business
Sanitation as
a Business
Urine Makes Money - Productive sanitation story from China
Urine Makes
Money - China
IS - Introduction
IS - Introduction
Capacity Building - Threshold Concept
Capacity Building -
Threshold Concept
Capacity Development - Sustainable Sanitation
Capacity Development -
Sustainable Sanitation
Transparency & Accountability
Transparency
& Accountability
CLUES Approach
CLUES Approach
Advocacy - Influencing Leaders
Advocacy -
Influencing Leaders
Decentralisation
Decentralisation
Public Private Partnerships (PPP)
Public Private
Partnerships (PPP)
Self Supply
Self Supply
Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM)
Integrated Water
Resources Management (IWRM)
Planning of Sustainable Sanitation for Cities
Planning of Sustainable
Sanitation for Cities
SFD - An excreta flow diagram
SFD - An excreta
flow diagram


ES - Introduction
ES - Introduction
3R (water) – Recharge, Retention and Reuse
3R (water) –
Recharge, Retention
and Reuse
3R (sanitation) – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle of waste
3R (sanitation) –
Reduce, Reuse,
Recycle of waste
Linking Sanitation, Climate Change & Renewable Energies
Linking Sanitation,
Climate Change
& Renewable Energies
Sludge management
Sludge
management
Ecosystem Services
Ecosystem Services
Geospatial Planning
Geospatial Planning
Ecological Sanitation (EcoSan)
Ecological Sanitation
(EcoSan)
Piloting ECOSAN in a rural school - School sanitation story from Colombia
Piloting ECOSAN
in a rural school
- Colombia
Sustainable Sanitation & Groundwater Protection
Sustainable Sanitation
& Groundwater Protection
Water Reuse / Greywater
Water Reuse
/ Greywater
Water security
Water security
Ecological Sanitation for Rural Areas - School sanitation story from Kyrgyzstan
Ecological Sanitation
for Rural Areas
- Kyrgyzstan


TS - Introduction
TS - Introduction
Technology Assessment (TAF)
Technology
Assessment (TAF)
Technology Introduction (TIP)
Technology
Introduction (TIP)
Water Compass
Water Compass
O&M water supply
O&M water supply
O&M sanitation
O&M sanitation
Operation and maintenance - Sustainable Sanitation
Operation and maintenance -
Sustainable Sanitation
Supply Chain
Supply Chain
Technology Checklist
Technology Checklist
Technology Demonstration Centers
Technology
Demonstration Centers


SS - Introduction
SS - Introduction
Participatory methods
Participatory methods
Rights-based Approaches
Rights-based
Approaches
Gender Mainstreaming
Gender
Mainstreaming
Integrating Gender Perspective in Sustainable Sanitation
Integrating Gender
Perspective in
Sustainable Sanitation
Social Marketing
Social Marketing
Public Awareness Raising & Sanitation Marketing
Public Awareness
Raising &
Sanitation Marketing
School competition "Toiletten machen Schule" - Awareness raising story from Germany
School sanitation
competition - Germany
Water and Sanitation Safety Plan program - Awareness raising story from Moldova
WASH Safety Plan program - Moldova
Child-friendly schools
Child-friendly
schools
Sustainable Sanitation for Schools
Sustainable Sanitation
for Schools
Putting sanitation first - School sanitation story from India
Improved sanitation
facilities keep girls
in school - India
Sarar Transformación - School sanitation story from Mexico
Sarar Transformación
sanitation - Mexico
Peepoo school program - Kenya
Peepoo school
program - Kenya
Hygiene and Health focused promotion
Hygiene and Health
focused promotion
Promotion of healthy practices - Education project in Bolivia
Promotion of healthy
practices - Bolivia
Lifeskills: Football for Water
Lifeskills:
Football for Water
Community-Led Total Sanitation
Community-Led
Total Sanitation
Faith groups as agents of social change
Faith groups as
agents of social change
Focus Groups
Focus Groups




Field experiences

The following projects are currently utilizing sustainability methods.

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RSR Project 456
Partnership in WASH services delivery
RSR Project 386
Scaling-up using CLTS in Kenya
RSR Project 830
Scanning and Mapping the WASH Situation
RSR Project 403
Rainwater Harvesting in Kenya
RSR Project 351
Cost effective means of financing WASH
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RSR Project 559
Promoting sustainable access to WASH services
RSR Project 494
Kajiado
WASH Programme
RSR Project 367
SWASH in Birendranagar, Surkhet
RSR Project 490
Integrated WASH project for Acholi Sub region
RSR Project 451
Northern Uganda WASH Alliance Project
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RSR Project 789
MWA-LAP:
Colombia
RSR Project 788
MWA-LAP:
Nicaragua
RSR Project 1330
WASH services & capacity building Liberia


Sustainability resources

Dutch WASH Alliance FIETS
Sustainability approach - movie
Back to the River
By IRC and Aguaconsult

Links

References

  1. Richard C Carter, Erik Harvey, Vincent Casey (WaterAid, UK), User financing of rural handpump water services. IRC Symposium 2010. Pumps, Pipes and Promises. IRC.
  2. Schouten, T and Moriarty, P. , 2013. The Triple-S theory of change. (Triple-S working paper ; 3). The Hague, The Netherlands: IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre.

Acknowledgements


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