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Published on: 04/03/2019

WASH systems academy

There are many elements that determine the strength of a WASH system to deliver sustainable services for all. We have divided them into nine dynamic and overlapping building blocks.

Specialist course: Building blocks of sustainable WASH systems

When WASH systems are strong and resilient they deliver services that meet people's needs. When they are weak, services are poor, unreliable or fail altogether. The WASH systems strengthening approach looks at the WASH system as a whole, through the lens of 9 critical "building blocks" as monitoring, finance and policy and legislation. Each session in this course focuses on one of these building blocks of a sustainable system.

Learn how to account and register for the course

Course objectives

After completing this course, you will know:

• the details of the 9 critical building blocks of sustainable WASH services
• entry points on how to start strengthening WASH systems

This course goes beyond the basics of system strengthening and introduces tools and methodologies to start applying the approach and assess the strength of the system in your context. This specialist course on the building blocks of sustainable WASH systems consists of 11 sessions of 1.5 hours. The total estimated course duration is a minimum of 16 hours. You have three months to complete the course. After one year, access to the course will no longer be available.

Course content

The activities in each session are different, but expect to:

  • listen to podcasts
  • see animations, infographics and videos
  • connect with other WASH sector professionals and IRC in forum discussions
  • do exercises
  • read short texts
  • assess and reflect on how building blocks function in your setting
  • getting to know tools to strengthening systems
  • test your understanding with multiple choice questions

The learning does not have there. Each session has extra optional materials if you want to know more.

Session overview

The content of this course covers the building blocks of sustainable WASH systems and is divided over 11 sessions. Go through the course following all sessions in consecutive order:

  • Session 1: Introducing the building blocks
  • Session 2: Policy and legislation
  • Session 3: Institutions
  • Session 4: Finance
  • Session 5: Planning
  • Session 6: Regulation and accountability
  • Session 7: Monitoring
  • Session 8: Infrastructure development
  • Session 9: Infrastructure management
  • Session 10: Learning and adaptation
  • Session 11: Water resources management

Working offline

You can download the complete session texts, including all the exercises, via the course resources tab. This allows you to follow part of the course offline. However, you will need to connect to the online platform to participate in the forum discussions, poll questions and complete the multiple choice tests.

Track your progress

Collect all 11 building block badges! Earn a badge when you complete a session by successfully passing the multiple choice test at the end of each session. In this way you can easily keep track of the sessions you have successfully completed.

The certificate

If you successfully complete all the multiple choice tests at the end of each session with a score of 75% or more, you can download a digital certificate of completion.

The WASH system and its building blocks


What users have to say about the building blocks course

Building blocks testimonials


Go to the WASH Systems Academy landing page

The WASH Systems Academy is an initiative of IRC.

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