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5 Stories of Collaborative Systems Change
Launch of the Agenda for Change Global Strategy

About Us

Agenda for Change is about making a fundamental change in the way we work.

To deliver positive change towards water, sanitation, and hygiene service delivery, we need a systems-wide approach that tackles key building blocks of the water, sanitation, and hygiene sector. Read our Joint Principles to learn more.

Institutional Arrangements & Coordination

Service Delivery Infrastructure

Monitoring

Planning

Finance

Regulation & Accountability

Water Resource Management

Learning & Adaptation

Our Approach

By working together, we can achieve a greater impact.

Our Members ensure that national-level water, sanitation, and hygiene systems exist to enable all districts to reach everyone, and that systems last forever.

Action Against Hunger (ACF) is an important actor in the combat for access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in the countries where it works and is examining the issue of water governance and the right to water through a range of measures that include research, advocacy and communication. ACF views the governance of water and sanitation as a fundamental condition for establishing lasting access to WASH for the people its projects are designed to benefit, and seeks to increase the consistency, equity and sustainability of the provision of governance to support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Goal 6.

Agua Consult

Aguaconsult is committed to improving WASH services across the world and recognises that sustainable and effective service delivery can only happen when systemic weaknesses are addressed. Aguaconsult has experience of working with a wide spectrum of sector actors including governments, donors, utilities and NGOs to strengthen permanent institutions that are responsible for service delivery. Examples range from working with the government of Vietnam on national maintenance strategies for piped water to leading an organisational review of the Community Water and Sanitation Agency in Ghana, to developing instruments to support district-level planning in Rwanda, Uganda and Nepal.

Care logo

CARE works to strengthen the leadership and capacity of governments, at national and sub-national levels, to ensure water and sanitation services for all.  CARE recognizes the vital role of the government, communities and the private sector in providing sustainable services. Their work includes supporting government agencies to develop partnerships with the private sector, co-collecting data and improving quality to inform government, advocating for government-run water and sanitation offices, integrating gender and equity into WASH approaches and working closely with government to institutionalize and operationalize policies.

THE CENTER FOR WATER SECURITY ANDCOOPERATION

The Center for Water Security and Cooperation (CWSC) is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that is building the foundation for systems strengthening in water and sanitation law and policy at both national and local levels. CWSC critically examines water laws including legislation, regulations, policies, plans, strategies and court decisions across essential nexuses (agriculture, drinking water, health and hygiene, national security, peace and conflict, and others) to comprehensively understand how laws govern and impact water security. CWSC also facilitates evidence-based law and policy drafting, revision, implementation, enforcement, monitoring, and review.

Concern Wordwide

In 2016, Concern Worldwide’s WASH Programme adopted a Service Delivery Approach which takes a demand-led approach and is concerned with system strengthening. One such experience in WASH systems strengthening took place in the DRC, which ran from 2013-2019 with a £30 million GBP budget. The DRC WASH Consortium developed an innovative economic approach based on the life-cycle cost analysis tool. Business plans were developed for sustaining the short, medium and long-term functioning of the new water services established and to set up revenue streams to cover these costs. Concern is also working on various methods of WASH systems strengthening in a number of other fragile contexts.

CRS Catholic Relief Services

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) deploys a systems lens to contribute to achievement of universal water security, including analyzing watershed and landscape health; engaging, planning, and responding through national and sub-national policies, actors, and partners; and, by strengthening existing public and private systems. CRS’ water security programs engage various government ministries with responsibilities in water and other cross-cutting areas (health, gender, education, environment, agriculture, and others), as well as national civil institutions working in water governance.

Helvetas logo

Helvetas is progressing systemic change in small-scale agriculture to achieve large scale impacts and improve the livelihoods of farmers and vulnerable populations, notably through integration of water into market systems using inclusive approaches. Helvetas facilitates collective action across stakeholders in the public and private sectors; explores linkages between interventions at the farm level up to the national level; and, strengthens the capacity of stakeholders to support local ownership and accelerate replication of best practices within and across countries.

IRC logo

IRC is an international think-and-do-tank building strong WASH systems. Their goal is to challenge and shape the established practices of the WASH sector to ensure that services are available for everyone, for good. They work with governments, service providers, and international organisations to deliver systems and services that are truly built to last, and they do this at three levels: in districts, nationally and globally. They will judge themselves based on the progress they have made in achieving SDG Global Goal 6 – Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all – by 2030.

Living Water International works to build thriving communities by linking arms with individuals, church congregations, and communities to end the global water crisis by cultivating sustainable water access, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs. Living Water technical teams consider many variables when constructing or rehabilitating a safe water source, including geography, government regulations, and a community’s ability to maintain the water point. All these conditions are factored into selecting an appropriate water system.

Max Foundation believes in mobilizing all stakeholders around the goal of child health right from the start. To build enduring WASH systems that last, we actively engage communities, government entities, civil society organizations, and the private sector as proactive participants, not as passive recipients. By collaborating closely with government entities at all levels, we cultivate an environment for sustainable community-driven solutions to flourish. This strategy fosters resilience and strengthens communities, laying the foundation for a healthy start in every child’s life: the goal we are dedicated to achieving.

Osprey logo

The Osprey Foundation supports water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) initiatives that deliver effective, sustainable, and scalable services in underserved communities. Osprey focuses on strengthening the local systems for delivering sustained WASH services through integrated, multi-pronged programs. Osprey also takes risks on innovative models with the potential to create game-changing improvements in WASH service delivery. Complementing these efforts, Osprey advocates for change within the WASH sector through collaboration with other funders and by challenging the sector to adopt approaches with the potential for greater impact.

Oxfam is a global movement of people who are fighting inequality to beat poverty and injustice. Our focus on sustainability in WASH takes a systems approach through the strengthening of formal institutions, of the private sector, and of communities. We provide long term technical support and capacity building to the mandated authorities and institutions responsible for water and sanitation provision and also test innovations towards building resilience in the face of climate change.

Population Services International (PSI) recognizes that enduring change requires working arm-in-arm with other inspiring and innovative minds committed to building systems-based solutions for safe WASH services. For over 20 years, PSI has been working to solve WASH challenges. Our ambition is to bring this experience to bear to strengthen systems for sustained access to WASH products and services that customers want to use. Our goal is to develop at least 10 inclusive WASH markets, where 30 million will have access to healthier, safer, more productive lives as a result of strengthened systems that enable access for all.

RWSN‘s vision is that of a world in which all people enjoy safely managed water services that are resilient and sustainable. We recognise that sustainable water services can only happen through a systems-wide approach that tackles systemic weaknesses of the water, sanitation, and hygiene sector. We commit to upholding the Agenda for Change principles and facilitating learning exchanges between our members to strengthen countries’ capabilities to deliver permanent and accountable access to WASH services.

Since merging in 2021, Self Help Africa and United Purpose have been working together to achieve sustainable livelihoods and healthy lives for disadvantaged communities, in a changing climate, in Africa, Bangladesh and Brazil. The organisation’s WASH programmes have reached more than 5 million people so far. Its systems strengthening, market-based approach, and the work it does to evolve service delivery and financing models, are crucial to its strategy for universal and sustainable WASH services. SHA/UP works collectively with others to share learnings and positively influence the sector agenda.

Splash logo

Splash is taking a systems strengthening approach through Project WISE (WASH-in-Schools for Everyone), a five-year initiative to improve WASH infrastructure, change WASH behaviors, and improve menstrual health services across 100% of government schools in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Kolkata, India.  The initiative engages key stakeholders through formal collaboration frameworks and includes other critical elements such as life cycle costing, building robust local supply chains, and working with schools and government to ensure sufficient funding is available for long-term operations and maintenance.

WaterAid logo

At WaterAid, systems strengthening means understanding that WASH services contain many component parts that function within different socio-economic, political and environmental contexts. An example is the SusWASH Programme – a five-year multi-country initiative focused on strengthening government leadership and accountability for WASH in Kampala, Uganda. They are also strengthening national and sub-national government-owned WASH monitoring information systems to help inform WASH investment, planning and decision-making, as well as supporting national governments and local level entities to cost and budget for the full costs of sustained, universal access.

WaterForGood logo

Water for Good focuses on strengthening the building blocks for sustainable water services and increasing access to reliable, basic water services by focusing investment and integration of services with regional government systems in one district of the Central African Republic: the Mambéré-Kadéi Prefecture. Water for Good is building a collective roadmap that focuses on the development of contextually appropriate maintenance services that water users demand, consistent with UN Sustainable Development Goal 6.1. The outcomes of their strategy in the prefecture will provide a model for the expansion of services to other prefectures by 2030.

WaterForPeople

At Water For People, Everyone Forever means water and sanitation that lasts – for every family, clinic, and school. It sounds simple, but it’s a big shift in the status quo. They work to change the whole system that delivers basic water and sanitation services to everyone in a district. Everyone Forever means they focus on things like protecting water supplies, training mechanics, and establishing supply chains for parts. It means they think about long-term projects like advocating for national water policies and creating local water and sanitation utilities. They stay in partnership until they are confident that water will flow long after they leave a district.

WaterSHED logo

WaterSHED‘s market-based sanitation program accelerated rural sanitation to more than 60% coverage in six years through building of stronger, local systems alongside leaders. WaterSHED functioned with the belief that systems strengthening does not require an NGO to grow (in budget, size, or footprint); therefore, their 2018-2020 Strategy focused on exploring opportunities to expand impact from partnership, replication, and integration with organizations positioned to leverage their experience, rather than expansion of the organization. And they succeeded! They officially exited and closed down their programs in June 2021.

In 2017 Welthungerhilfe (WHH) launched the Sustainable Services Initiative (SSI), an internal program improving the sustainability of Welthungerhilfe’s WASH programs, primarily through encouraging the uptake of a systems strengthening approach and to advocate across the sector and partner countries for a more sustainable approach to WASH. Meanwhile an ever-growing number of WHH-WASH interventions in KEN, MWI, UGA, SOM, ETH, NPL, PAK, SLE, IND and ZWE apply systems approaches.

World Vision works from grassroots to global to strengthen and sustain WASH systems. This includes facilitating access to equitable and inclusive water and sanitation systems that are quality, locally owned, and sustainably managed. We partner with local and national government to ensure policies and standards are in place and enforced. We coordinate at regional and global levels to scale up learnings, align to global strategies, and push for greater accountability to WASH commitments.

Collective action that drives systemic change can help solve the global water and sanitation challenge.

Where We Work

Agenda for Change members are working globally to apply systems approaches.
Click on the highlighted countries below for more information.

  • Country Collaboration

Latest Updates

Welcome to our new members! 1875 1408 Agenda for Change

Welcome to our new members!

Systems Library

Resources
Launch of the Agenda for Change Global Strategy 1

PDF Download

Agenda for Change Global Strategy 2023 – 2026
Strengthening Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Systems: Concepts, Examples, and Experiences

PDF Download

Strengthening Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Systems: Concepts, Examples, and Experiences
Resources Joint Principles

PDF Download

Agenda for Change Joint Principles
Resources District Level Roadmap

PDF Download

A district-level roadmap for universal access to sustainable WASH services
New paper - A district level roadmap for universal access to sustainable sanitation services

PDF Download

A district-level roadmap for universal access to sustainable Sanitation Services
Videos

Monitoring and Evaluation of WaterAid’s work on WASH System Strengthening

Systems Learning Exchange: Recasting our WASH Systems Boundaries

WASH systems, sustainability, and resilience: Why do they matter?

Longterm planning for WASH services: A case of Karabole district, Uganda - Part 3

IRC Uganda

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