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This working paper is one of a series that explains IRC's emerging praxis for working with and strengthening WASH systems.

TitleUnderstanding the WASH system and its building blocks : building strong WASH systems for the SDGs
Publication TypeWorking Paper
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsHuston, A, Moriarty, PB
Secondary TitleIRC WASH systems series
Pagination37 p. : 6 boxes, 7 fig.
Date Published08/2018
Place PublishedThe Hague, the Netherlands
Publication LanguageEnglish
Other NumbersIRC-WSS-WP-2018-01
Keywordsadaptive management, building blocks, Finance, infrastructure, institutional framework, planning, systems approach

This paper presents a set of nine building blocks of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) systems intended to reduce complexity to a manageable level, enabling and supporting action whilst neither oversimplifying reality nor losing sight of the entirety of the broader WASH system.

By assessing the condition of each of the building blocks – institutions, policy and legislation, finance, regulation and accountability, monitoring, planning, infrastructure, water resource management, and learning and adaptation – and of the linkages between them, WASH practitioners can identify weak points and target their interventions for greater effect.


Includes 101 ref. and glossary.

Citation Key84303


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