Concept, themes and organisation
Systems approaches and the WASH system: from theory to useful application
Water, sanitation, and hygiene are services that require a robust system in order to function long term. Delivering WASH services reliably and consistently over time is far more complex and demanding than simply constructing WASH infrastructure (although getting that right is crucial). A complex network of people and factors need to work effectively together to deliver water and sanitation services over time: taken together, these make up the WASH system.
The 'language' of WASH services, WASH systems and of systems approaches has emerged and gained traction in the last few years, and the Sustainable Development Goals are explicitly supportive of a systems-based understanding of development processes. A growing number of organisations and initiatives are experimenting with and implementing systems approaches as a way to more effectively develop sustainable WASH services.
While there are different methodologies and vocabularies in use, our objective is simple and pragmatic: to identify, understand and amplify approaches that work. The symposium will cover content ranging from whole systems conceptual frameworks to systems thinking for sector finance to technical tools for addressing specific parts of the system.
Applying systems approach and building WASH Systems > Strong National and Local WASH Systems > WASH Services for Everyone > Improved Health and wellbeing
Service delivery does not occur in a vacuum—the bureaucratic, social, technical, and financial systems in which service delivery takes place constantly interact with and have effects on each other and eventually the quality of the service delivered. Those people, functions, activities, and behaviours that relate directly to WASH service provision are all part of the WASH system.
Download the full Concept note here (PDF)
Download the Background note here (PDF)