Empowering and Decentralizing Local Government Institutions to Manage Hygiene, Sanitation and Water Supply Service Delivery in Hard-to-Reach Areas of Bangladesh

The Hygiene, Sanitation and Water Fund (HYSAWA) will focus on enhancing capacities of local government institutions and communities to plan and manage hygiene, sanitation and water supply service delivery in an effective, accountable, transparent and inclusive manner for men, women and disadvantaged persons. Citizens will benefit from improved public services which are better targeted at those people who need them the most.

Country/region Topic Period Budget

Water sanitation
Health systems strengthening
11.03.2018 - 31.10.2021
CHF  3’500’000
Background Though Bangladesh has for many years enjoyed almost universal access to drinking water, arsenic contamination of 22 percent of the country’s tube wells lowered the service coverage to below 80%. Bangladesh has made significant progress in reducing open defecation, from 34 percent in 1990 to just one percent of the national population in 2015.  However, the current rate of improved sanitation is 61%. The quality of sanitation coverage is an emerging area of concern, with around 40 percent of all latrines classified as ‘unimproved.’ Drinking water access is widespread, but half of the drinking water consumed fails to meet water safety standards. The 7th five year plan of the Government of Bangladesh has prioritized improved water, sanitation and hygiene services to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals within the timeline.
Objectives Citizens of Bangladesh benefit from improved local governance and better access to effective, accountable, inclusive and sustainable local public water, sanitation and hygiene services.
Target groups

The project will mostly continue in the selected Union Parishads of Phase 1, which are identified as hard-to-reach areas by the national poverty mapping exercise. The five districts are: Khulna, Jessore, Satkhira, Bagerhat and Barisal. However, HYSAWA’s Governing Board or SDC may decide to include new geographical areas. HYSAWA will consider Union Parishads which are severely affected by arsenic and are vulnerable to climate change effects such as frequent disaster, saline affected and have drainage problems.

Women, men and disadvantaged people from the project areas will benefit from this phase.

Medium-term outcomes

Outcome 1: Union Parishads have established and promoted sustainable models of local service provision in water supply, sanitation and hygiene related services for men, women and disadvantaged. 

Outcome 2: The organisational capacity of HYSAWA is strengthened to become a sustainable service provider for Local Government Institutions. 


Expected results:  

  • More people including women and vulnerable in hard-to-reach areas have access to safe water supply and basic sanitation services and exhibit improved hygiene behaviour.
  • Different financial systems and market-based solutions for Union Parishads are established to ensure the sustainability and transparency of services delivered.
  • Organisational design of HYSAWA is adapted to meet the strategic objectives of the organisation.
  • Financial capacity of HYSAWA is strengthened and sustainable.

Results from previous phases:  

Coverage of safe water in the Union Parishads (the lowest tier of local government in Bangladesh) supported by the project has increased to 61.3%, up from 41.4% measured by the baseline (July 2013).

The project successfully accelerated progress in sanitation in hard-to-reach communities by increasing the coverage of sanitation infrastructure from 35.5% in 2013 to 60.8% in 2016.

70% of respondents are completely satisfied and 26% are somewhat satisfied with the Hygiene Program of HYSAWA.

The project’s water supply programme, which followed a bottom-up approach, ensured the inclusion and active participation of men and women living in poverty and in hard-to-reach communities, at different stages in the planning and implementation of water projects.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO

Other partners

Other implementing Partner: Local Government Division, Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives

Other development partners: DANIDA, Embassy of Germany, Australian High Commission, Government of Bangladesh


Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    3’500’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    3’428’084
Project phases Phase 2 11.03.2018 - 31.10.2021   (Current phase) Phase 1 01.12.2012 - 31.12.2017   (Completed)