GoAL WaSH Programme

The challenges of reforming legal and regulatory structures in some of the world’s most vulnerable states are daunting. How do you support decentralization processes in countries with limited resources and capacities? How do you develop sustainable and affordable tariff systems in impoverished areas?  How do you unite people and institutions in the belief that water and sanitation is a common good that needs to be sustainably managed? These are the issues the UNDP GoAL WaSH programme addresses.

GoAL WaSH was established in 2008, to accelerate achievement of the water and sanitation Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and now continues towards the fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The programme, which is managed by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), aims to enhance the performance of the drinking water and sanitation sectors in partner countries for effective, equitable and sustainable service delivery.

GoAL WaSH at a glance

GoAL WaSH supports work in three areas: 1) Identifies gaps, needs, constraints and opportunities in national water and sanitation plans, strategies and capacities; 2) supports development and reform of action plans, policies, laws, coordinating mechanisms and regulatory functions and; 3) supports implementation with accountability and transparency.

During 2010–2013, 140 products were developed in nine countries, including policy documents, legislation, educational materials, and operational guidelines for decentralization.


For the 2014–2017 phase, GoAL WaSH has shifted its focus to refining policy documents that will help implement the agreed policy frameworks in the coming years. This includes support to decentralization, tariff-setting methodologies, supporting regulatory functions, and capacity development at the local level. At the same time, GoAL WaSH has also started collaborations in new countries, including Jordan and the Philippines.

A strategic investment

In addition to achieving the intended GoAL WaSH results, there are added benefits and synergies. GoAL WaSH helped leverage an additional USD 58 million in countries with GoAL WaSH programmes. In other words, during 2013–2016, each dollar invested in a GoAL WaSH project leveraged USD 17 from other organizations, donors and governments. For example, in Togo, GoAL WaSH supported a study and a roadmap to improve drinking water systems in small towns. Following the development of these documents, the Government of Togo invested USD 23.4 million to improve water systems in semi-urban areas.

GoAL WaSH also develops strategic processes that are used in and benefit other initiatives. For example, the tariff-setting methodologies developed and piloted through GoAL WaSH in Tajikistan and Bosnia and Herzegovina will be replicated in other larger programmes in the country. In Chaco, Paraguay, the methodology for developing and supporting water units in six municipalities has been extended to nine more by the Government and World Bank, and will likely be expanded even further. 




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