Sustainable and Innovative Rural Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (SIRWASH)

The Sustainable and Innovative Rural Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (SIRWASH) initiative improves enabling policy, innovation and knowledge environments and fosters the required capacities to provide sustainable quality water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services to rural communities – in particular poor households and vulnerable people – in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Haiti and Peru. It builds on Switzerland’s over 20 years of experience in strengthening rural WASH systems in Peru and Colombia.

Land/Region Thema Periode Budget
Beschäftigung & Wirtschaftsentwicklung
KMU Förderung
01.10.2020 - 31.12.2024
CHF  5’578’500
Hintergrund Despite significant progress in improving the provision of WASH services in the past two decades, millions of people – particularly from rural areas – are still without an adequate source of drinking water and suffer the absence of safe facilities for excreta disposal and (hand and menstrual) hygiene. Moreover, in light of COVID-19 and mixed progress of the Agenda 2030, many Latin American countries are struggling to ensure access to WASH to the most vulnerable households, critical to prevent and mitigate the spread of pandemics. Governments are required to commit to ensuring sustainable WASH services, prioritizing those most in need. Based on its experiences in closing the gap of rural WASH in Latin America, SDC is well positioned to contribute to this endeavour. SIRWASH will enhance the framework in which rural WASH services operate by increasing the capacities of sector entities, promoting innovative technological, social and financial solutions, strengthening institutions and further positioning rural WASH in the political agendas at national, regional and global levels. SIRWASH will support the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and other regional and global partners to strengthen a durable enabling environment capable of securing sustainable rural WASH services in Latin America and beyond.
Ziele To improve enabling policy, innovation and knowledge environments and to foster the necessary capacities to deliver sustainable quality water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services to rural communities with a particular focus on vulnerable and disadvantaged people.

Direct beneficiaries: i) Local-national-global WASH entities; ii) National governments and subnational institutions; iii) Provincial and municipal governments and community based-entities; iv) (Young) WASH practitioners, (Young) entrepreneurs, National WASH Platforms, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs); v) Private sector and business associations.

End beneficiaries: i) Poor and vulnerable people from rural and dispersed communities in targeted countries, ii) The global public. Other groups: Financiers (investors).

Mittelfristige Wirkungen

1. Authorities from local to global levels develop, promote and apply improved rural WASH policies: Institutional policy dialogue is mainstreamed, pushing for increased political leadership as well as adapted public policies and legislation on integrated rural WASH at local/national levels.

2. Local to national WASH institutions are strengthened and rural WASH actors improve their capacities, expertise and networks: Institutional set-up and management capacities of public actors are strengthened to provide sustainable rural WASH services, valuing human capital and fostering training, accountability, coordination and knowledge management through existing and new partnerships including the private sector. Locally adapted technical and social capacities of rural WASH experts (particularly women) are systematically strengthened to improve decentralized rural WASH services and management.

3. Implementers of rural WASH services develop, adopt and apply financial, technological and social innovations: Technological innovations are boosted and partnerships with the private sector are enhanced ensuring financial affordability and sustainability of rural WASH services.


Erwartete Resultate:  

Outcome 1:
Four countries improve their rural WASH
policies or implement reforms to enhance
the rural WASH enabling system.

Outcome 2:
* SIRWASH establishes alliances with
organizations from the public and private
sector, academia and civil society at regional,
national or local level to direct efforts and
resources to rural WASH (at least 16 partnerships).·
* Targeted capacity building improves the technical
and social assistance capacity of rural WASH
professionals with a strong focus on young people
and women (more than 300 professionals
and 30 entities).

Outcome 3:
Four innovative rural WASH solutions are
identified, piloted, and scaled. 40 innovative
youth-led start-ups are piloted and launched.
Two community markets are created to influence
new business models in rural WASH.

Resultate von früheren Phasen:   SIRWASH builds on the experience of SDC’s programs in rural WASH in general and on its successful implementation of the SABA (Comprehensive Basic Sanitation Model) program in South America (Peru, Colombia) in particular. During the past 20 years, SABA has proven to be a successful model for sustainable management of WASH in rural areas, incorporating institutional, financial, technical, environmental and social components into national policies. The lessons learned reveal the importance of ownership of the main political stakeholders, a close and permanent policy dialogue with national and sub-national governments to increase public funding and to promote organizational changes at institutional levels, the strengthening of decentralized capacities, and the comprehensive intervention in the whole WASH project life cycle as well as the articulation with all relevant stakeholders.

Verantwortliche Direktion/Bundesamt DEZA
Kreditbereich Entwicklungszusammenarbeit
Projektpartner Vertragspartner
Internationale Finanzinstitution (IFI)
Internationale oder ausländische NGO
  • Interamerikanische Entwicklungsbank (other)
  • Andere internationale oder ausländische NGO Norden
  • Ausländischer Privatsektor Süden/Osten

Koordination mit anderen Projekten und Akteuren Asian and African Development Bank (ADB, AfDB), IDB Aquafund, Young Water Fellowship (YWF) Programme, Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN), Sanitation and Water for All (SWA), International Secretariat for Water (ISW), Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo (AECID), Observatorio Latinoamericano y del Caribe de Agua y Saneamiento (OLAS), SDC Humanitarian Aid (HA) (Colombia & Hub in Peru), SDC South Cooperation (Haiti & Bolivia). 
Budget Laufende Phase Schweizer Beitrag CHF    5’578’500 Bereits ausgegebenes Schweizer Budget CHF    4’663’297
Projektphasen Phase 1 01.10.2020 - 31.12.2024   (Laufende Phase)