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WASH service delivery in conflict-affected and fragile states

Service delivery in CAFs has an inherent impact on peace- and state-building (PBSB), which is being increasingly recognised at a policy level.  Service delivery can potentially contribute to peace- and state-building goals, but there is a need to better understand how to maximise positive outcomes and minimise negative impact.

Currently we know little about how to design programme interventions in ways that most effectively contribute to PB and/or SB and which can manage some of the trade-offs and tensions between PB and SB. This knowledge gap is specifically notable in WASH programming. Considering the practical implications for donors and practitioners, including how these aims could be achieved, is essential.

This research will examine Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programmes to identify the ways they impact on Peace/State Building (PBSB). Based on this analysis, it will make recommendations for how future WASH programming can be designed and delivered to maximise their positive contribution to peace-and state building.

The overall purpose of the research is thus to improve understanding and practice of donors and practitioners by:

  • Developing the evidence-base on the PBSB role of WASH service delivery in CAFs
  • Developing guidance on what effective WASH service delivery programmes might look like when measured against criteria of both increased access to services and supporting PBSB agendas
  • Developing diagnostics which can be used in the design of WASH programming of development and relief agencies, to identify entry points to support PBSB and to define the appropriate/ possible degree of PBSB.


Leni Wild, Nathaniel Mason, Sarah Bailey, Daniel Harris

Supported by