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District WASH Master Planning Facility

Under different initiatives and with involvement of different partners, IRC has facilitated the development of 9 woreda WASH SDG master plans in Ethiopia

Overview of woreda WASH SDG master plans in Ethiopia

Historic overview

IRC and Millennium Water Alliance partners start the development of woreda SDG plans (focused on water supply) in three districts in Amhara Region with funding from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation (CNHF).

IRC and SDG Consortium partners start development of two woreda WASH SDG master plans for water, sanitation and hygiene, school WASH and health care facility WASH in Shashamane Zuria and Negelle Arsi. Under the SWS Learning Partnership, IRC facilitates the development of four woreda WASH SDG master plans in South Ari, Woba Ari, Baka Dawla Ari (South Omo Zone, SNNPR) and Millle Woreda (Afar Region).

Validation and launching of woreda WASH SDG master plans in Negelle Arsi and Shashamane Zuria.

Validation and launch of woreda WASH SDG master plans in South Ari, Baka Dawla Ari, Woba Ari and Millle. IRC facilitates development of funding strategies for six woreda SDG plans.


In all nine woredas, woreda WASH SDG planning has taken place as part of a Learning Alliance approach, with woreda level stakeholders coming together to discuss and address issues related to WASH on a regular basis. These learning alliance meetings were facilitated by IRC in close collaboration and with leadership of local government. In each woreda, planning teams were formed to work out the WASH SDG master plan in between learning alliance meetings.

In each woreda, an elaborate situational assessment was conducted, which included a household survey (with exception of SWS woredas), asset inventory, secondary data collection from the woreda water, health and education office on household and institutional WASH, sustainability check (including data collection on service provider performance), and a local WASH systems building block analysis.

The situational analysis informed the woredas’ 2030 WASH vision, which was developed by woreda stakeholders brought together in the learning alliances.  The woredas planned to achieve at least 100% basic access by 2030.

This was followed by a series of workshops with the planning teams, guided by facilitation and coaching from IRC, in which the planning teams assessed challenges related to the current situation, developed strategic directions for going from the current situation towards achieving the vision, and produced a costed plan for doing so. To support the planning process by the teams, IRC developed four Microsoft Excel-based planning tools, which were used by the planning teams to consolidate the situational analysis and develop a costed plan for achieving the woredas’ visions. Progress made by the planning teams was presented to and discussed with the wider learning alliance.

IRC facilitated the development of narrative Woreda WASH SDG master plans, based on a narrative template, the filled in excel tools, and bullet point-inputs to the narrative from the planning teams.

The woreda WASH SDG master plans were validated at learning alliance meetings, with involvement from woreda, zonal, regional, and national government representatives.  The comments from the validation workshops were incorporated into the plans and shared with sector offices for endorsement.

For Negelle Arsi and Shashamane, the woreda WASH SDG master plan was endorsed by the woreda executive body (cabinet), composed of all sector office heads, as the official WASH road map of the woreda. The master plans developed under SWS and the WASH SDG Consortium were signed off by woreda administration and woreda WASH sector offices.

Progress and outcomes

Implementation of the woreda WASH SDG master plans is ongoing in Dere, Farta and North Mecha, under a CNHF-funded programme led by the Millenium Water Alliance and in Negelle Arsi and Shashamane Zuria, under a DGIS-funded programme, led by the SDG consortium. Together with learning alliance partners, IRC and local government are exploring ways for implementing the woreda WASH SDG master plans in South Ari, Woba Ari, Baka Dawla Ari, and Millle.

For the SWS woredas, funding and financing strategies for the implementation of the woreda master plans have been completed, while for Negelle Arsi and Shashamane Zuria, are under development.  

The collaboration between WASH sector offices increased in the planning process. The planning teams drawn from WASH sector offices worked together and the Woreda WASH Team (WWT) and other learning alliance members participated in the process of evaluation and validation. The discussions helped them to understand the opportunities and challenges. The need for coordination during implementation was also stressed in the validation workshops. The learning alliances supported strengthening collaboration between planning team members.

The data collection for the plans helped the woredas update their water asset inventory and establish new baseline information for water, sanitation, hygiene, and institutional WASH. The WWT participated in the vision setting, the evaluation validation, and endorsement processes. The planning teams also presented the plans to their respective sector office managements which increased buy-in. In addition, the plans were validated with the participation of learning alliance members and zone, region, and national sector office representatives. The woredas have decided to use the plan for development of the government 10-year plan.

Way forward

In 2022, IRC WASH Ethiopia intends to bring lessons learnt from woreda WASH SDG planning in the nine districts to the national level. It intends to engage with national level stakeholders to explore ways to bring woreda WASH SDG planning to scale and to institutionalise it within government.

Furthermore, it will focus on the further development of funding and financing strategies for the implementation of the woreda WASH SDG plans, possibly through bundling of common elements from multiple woreda SDG plans.


Published master plans


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