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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Studying at Cambridge

Francesca O'Hanlon

Monitoring and Evaluation in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Capacity Building Sector: An Evaluation of the Quality of Evidence to Support CAWST's ‘Theory of Change’


WASH interventions have an alarmingly high failure rate; monitoring and evaluation within the industry can allow NGOs to identify areas of weakness and how to improve the sustainability of their interventions. In recent years, Theory of Change has been identified as a transparent approach to identify how specific interventions are creating the desired improvements to access to water and sanitation in communities that lack adequate infrastructure. ‘It has become overwhelmingly clear from both research and field observations that the main obstacle in the use and maintenance of improved water and sanitation systems is not the quality of technology, but the failure in qualified human resources and in management and organization techniques, including a failure to capture community interest. An appalling 35 to 50 percent of systems in developing countries become inoperable after five years’. Extracted from ‘The Role of Women as Participants & Beneficiaries in Water Supply & Sanitation Programs’ prepared for USAID in 1981.