Supporting Sustainable WASH Services in Difficult Operating Environments: A Case Study from Nicaragua

If WASH services are to deliver continuous benefits to users, they must be supported by strong, responsive, permanent in-country institutions. Strengthening permanent institutions is very challenging in difficult operating environments and requires approaches that work beyond the delivery of taps and toilets alone. This document is aimed at WASH practitioners and policy-makers developing management and support processes that ensure service sustainability. It seeks to share WaterAid Nicaragua’s experiences of reinforcing sustainable WASH service provision in an
environment characterised by weak and under-resourced institutions, exposure to disasters, and a history of conflict and political polarisation.

To achieve this objective, WaterAid Nicaragua is strengthening the service delivery, strategic planning, financing, monitoring, coordination, accountability mechanisms and post-implementation support functions of permanent institutions. Barriers to sustainability and WaterAid’s approaches to addressing them are described in the proceeding sections.

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