News & Learning

14 Dec 2018
News | Multi-Country

Water & Sanitation for All: Inclusive Development in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos

On the occasion of the International Day of Disabled Persons, December 3, Thrive Networks renewed our commitment to inclusive, equitable and sustainable development which leaves no one behind. We recognize that many people particularly women and persons with disabilities (PWDs), face extra barriers in accessing these basic needs. With inclusion as a driving principle for our work, Thrive helps people in the poorest 40% of the population, especially people who struggle with disabilities or traditional norms to gain access to clean water and sanitation services.

In September, we launched our Women-Led Output-Based Aid (WOBA) program, which focuses on poor households – those led by women, PWDs, the elderly, and children. Under WOBA, we combine our output-based subsidy model with inclusive approaches. For example, we work with the Vietnam Women’s Union to better communicate with women-led families.

WOBA institutionalizes successful approaches for reaching rural, low-income and socially excluded households with improved access to clean water, safely managed sanitation, and hygiene.  The private sector plays a key role with suppliers and local partners using human center design principles to design and construct facilities to improve access specifically for persons with disabilities.

WOBA supports the government to embed a targeted smart-subsidy program with provincial governments steadily increasing their co-financing of the approach, with purposefully targeting of households with persons with disabilities and other marginalized groups.

In the next 3 years, we will reach over 22,000 households with hygienic latrines and over  9,000 poor and socially excluded households with piped water. Our vision is that the inclusive practices in WOBA are used in the government’s own WASH activities so these approaches become the national standards.

WOBA in Vietnam and Cambodia is made possible by the generous support of the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and is part of a larger regional initiative called “Water for Women,” which involves 17 countries. Our women-led WASH program in Laos is supported by the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). We strongly believe this project can help make our work more inclusive and ensure that, in future projects, everyone – regardless of their income level, gender, or status in society – has equitable access to water and sanitation services.

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At the heart of our programs are strong partnerships with government, private sector, civil society groups, and local communities. We also implement learning and feedback strategies to strengthen our approaches to promoting gender and socially inclusive WASH practices in our partner communities.