FIETS sustainability principles

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The FIETS principles of sustainability were formulated by the Dutch WASH Alliance to help create results that are able to at least sustain themselves, but that are preferably, also able to scale-up.

The five 'FIETS' principles of sustainability are:

  • Financial sustainability - Providing innovative financial concepts which diminish dependency on external subsidies, using the principle “local finance first” , leading to the strengthening of the “in-country” structural finance. Strategies: business approaches & private sector involvement, innovative financing, mobilise government budgets.
  • Institutional sustainability - ensure systems, institutions, policies and procedures at the local and national level are functional to meet the (long term) demand of users of water and sanitation services. CSOs work in close collaboration with local stakeholders, including the private sector, as capacity builders, facilitators and watch dogs representing the voice of ordinary people, working from a rights based approach. Strategies: multi-actor approach / PPPs, capacity building, policy influencing & monitoring.
  • Environmental sustainability - ensure long-term availability of natural resources, climate resilience and a healthy environment. Strategies: Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM), ecosystem approach, climate change adaptation.
  • Technological sustainability - Seeking and applying locally appropriate technologies of high quality, which are context-specific, affordable, durable and demand-driven. Strategies: appropriate technologies, innovative ICT-solutions, systems approach.
  • Social sustainability - Making WASH interventions demand-driven, inclusive and needs-based, being sensitive to local and cultural incentives, addressing issues of exclusion and focussing specifically on women as change agents. Strategies: gender mainstreaming, rights based approach.