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The Road to SDG6: Increase Impact x 20 Strategy Summary

The Challenge

The Strategy


The Challenge

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Over the next five years

Water For People will leverage our over 25 years of experience and demonstrate global leadership to help the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sector achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6). This includes an even greater impact in the nine countries where we work.

Strategy 2017 – 2021: Increase Impact x 20

The overarching objective from 2017 to 2021 will be to increase our impact in alignment with SDG 6 through three strategic goals: proof, global leadership, and scale. Our ability to successfully implement this strategy depends on the strength of our organization, which continues to grow within four foundational domains: people, revenue, reputation, and systems.

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Proof – 4.0 Million People Impacted: By 2021, we will be working in 40 districts and will ensure 4 million people are directly impacted with access to lasting, quality water services. Every community in 18 of the our districts will have reached the important Everyone milestone.

Global Leadership – Collaboration for the SDGs: We are building our capacity to proactively describe and share our experiences externally. This will allow others to benefit from our work and allow them to accelerate their programs that are also focused on reaching SDG 6.

Scale I – Replication of Everyone Forever to impact another 3.5 million people: Through our dedicated collaboration with national governments and other organizations, we aim to ensure an additional 3.5 million people have access to lasting, quality water services by 2021.

Scale II – National Advisory for 80 million people: We are working directly with national governments in four countries to strengthen the systems that ensure water, sanitation, and hygiene service delivery at national and district levels to achieve SDG 6. The combined population of these four countries (Uganda, Rwanda, Bolivia, and Honduras) will exceed 80 million by 2021.
Scale III – Sanitation for 2 million people: Our sanitation work uses business approaches and market forces to reach scale. This includes testing various ideas in different phases: idea testing, market testing, and finally scaling. We will improve access to sanitation services for over two million people by 2021.

Through the new strategy, we will increase our impact within nine countries by ensuring access to lasting, quality water services. This strategy will demonstrate Everyone Forever in a broader range of contexts, from district level to national level. Together with our collaborative efforts to advise and influence other actors and national governments, this work will multiply our impact 20 times, from 4 million to more than 80 million people.

Everyone Forever: The Four Forces

To achieve Everyone Forever for any given district, Water For People applies our impact model, Everyone Forever, using Four Forces to gauge the assets and gaps within the relevant domains of the local human and institutional environment: government, community, market and technology/technical skills. From there, we craft a flexible strategy for facilitating development of sustainable water, sanitation, and hygiene services through systems change. Such a model depends equally on strengthening each domain and promoting robust networks between and among them:

COMMUNITY - Promote ownership, capacity, civic empowerment, and a culture of payment for quality WASH services among families, leadership, and civil society groups.

MARKET - Mobilize demand for reliable water and sanitation services, strengthen water and sanitation businesses, value chains, and connection to financial services, and encourage a “pay-to-use” culture with consideration for the poorest of the poor.

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GOVERNMENT - Support local officials to support, regulate, and invest in water service (infrastructure, personnel, and management) and in sanitation (market friendly policies and demand creation).

TECHNICAL - Connect communities, government, and entrepreneurs with appropriate technology and complementary skills to develop and manage water and sanitation services for the long term.


We know that sustained access to quality drinking water and sanitation services improves health and education and drives economic productivity. This is especially true for women and girls. Getting girls to school and women to work and away from fetching water is critical to their empowerment, to sustainable development, and to the global economy.

There is a 5:1 benefit:cost ratio for every $1 invested in improved water supply and sanitation. But much work lies ahead if the world is to achieve SDG 6. Increased investment in water and sanitation from the 193 signatory countries of the Sustainable Development Goals must be paired with more official development assistance. We cannot aff¬ord to waver from the path of quality water and sanitation services for all, sustainably managed. This strategy will get us there faster.

View the Strategic Plan Summary

Our numbers are based off the following data:

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