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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

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.

Course Overview


The need to engage in better problem definition through careful dialogue with all stakeholder groups and a proper recognition of context.


An ability to work with specialists from other disciplines and professional groups acknowledging that technical innovation and business skills also must be understood, nurtured and combined as precursors to the successful implementation of sustainable solutions.


An understanding of mechanisms for managing change in organisations so future engineers are equipped to play a leadership role.


An awareness of a range of assessment frameworks, sustainability metrics and methodologies such as Life Cycle Analysis, Systems Dynamics, Multi-Criteria Decision making and Impact Assessment.