What we do

Everything we do is about everyone, everywhere gaining access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene. We make change happen.
WaterAid/ Poulomi Basu

Overview

We engage in the areas with the greatest concentration of excluded and marginalised communities and empower and include them in local decision making, help revive and strengthen the local governance institutions and influence those responsible for delivering the basic WASH services. We demonstrate sustainable WASH solutions to make an impact at the district, state and national-levels and influence policies to be inclusive.

WaterAid has been operating in India for the past 29 years. Over the years, WaterAid India has carved a niche in facilitating linkages between the voices of the poor and marginalised and various stakeholders. While historically, we focused on direct delivery of services, in recent years the focus has been on empowering and enabling the communities so that they can take ownership and continue the work so as to ensure sustainability.

WaterAid is well-known globally for its capacity for research and modelling rights-based participatory approaches, innovative technologies, and doing evidence-based policy advocacy. India, however, presents innumerable challenges, given that WaterAid has a limited amount of global funding for the country, has a huge portfolio of areas that it would like to create impact in, and the sheer magnitude of challenges because of the large geography and diversity.

But we have a goal to “Make WASH poverty a history”. We believe that water, sanitation and hygiene underpin health, education and livelihoods. So we engage in the areas with the greatest concentration of excluded and marginalised communities, make them central to local decision-making and revive and strengthen the local governance institutions.

We demonstrate sustainable WASH solutions to make an impact at the district, state and national-levels and influence policies to be inclusive. The local self-governments (Panchayati Raj Institutions) are engaged, enabling them to learn, understand and assume their role of leadership and governance, by participation in the process of collective planning.

Simultaneously, we work with government institutions at the district, state and national-levels to inform them of the ground realities, and support them in the process of delegation and decentralisation, transferring necessary powers, resources (human and finance) to enable the local governments to implement plans.

Our programmes are aligned to a rights-based framework; enabling communities to demand services and take active part in the local governance processes. The service delivery work on the ground and the lessons learnt are used as evidence for engaging the local and state governments and for national-level advocacy.

Our work in India

We work with government institutions at the district, state and national-levels to inform them of the ground realities

Water fact

2,300 people die every day from water-related diseases.

Clean, safe drinking water is scarce. Yet, we take it for granted and waste it.