WASH projects provide crucial support for communities around the world. WASH means Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. Without safe access to clean drinking water, good sanitation and hygiene, many health problems arise that disproportionally affect the poor, minorities and marginalized groups. Today, we want to specifically address tips for writing proposals in the WASH sector to support the amazing NGOs that do great work in this area.
Look at the bigger picture
It is always important to look at the bigger picture when writing a project proposal. This is particularly the case though in the WASH sector. The availability and quality of water affect so many areas of life that it is not enough to look at WASH separately. Projects always have to be embedded in a bigger strategy or vision. Make sure you clearly mention the cross-cutting themes of your proposal and that you have thought about all risks and assumptions in detail before you submit a proposal.
Address the inclusion of marginalized groups
WASH disproportionately affects poor people, minorities and marginalized groups. Make sure that your project proposal takes this into account and makes sure that all beneficiaries will be able to benefit from your project on a similar level. Equal access to WASH is key for achieving more equality in the world. Only healthy people can use their potential to the fullest. Be careful to know all your stakeholders very well before you start a project and to include everybody – particularly the most vulnerable groups.
Stay up to date with current developments
Science is constantly moving forward with new developments to make access to WASH easier, cheaper and more effective. Make sure that you stay up to date with these developments. You do not want to be the organization proposing an outdated technology or approach. You can keep up with the developments by following foundations and NGOs working in the sector, following scientific news and networking with important stakeholders.
Connect to SDGs
The Sustainable Development Goals from the year 2015 aim to reach several important milestones for sustainable development within the next 15 years. There is substantial funding available to work on the SDGs. SDG 6 is to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”. Make sure your proposal draws a clear connection to the SDGs and shows that you want to work within this broader framework.
Keep the sustainability in mind
Sustainability is always very important to keep in mind when writing a proposal. In the WASH sector, it has particular importance though. Water is a resource that we all need to live – without water, there will be no life on earth. If you propose projects in the WASH sector, you should always consider the environmental effects they can have. Improved access to water can also mean that water resources will be exhausted more quickly – in this case, you might have to propose additional measurements so safe water. Improved hygiene can mean that there will be more wastewater that you have to deal with. Make sure that you have considered all these side effects and that you have a good sustainability plan in place.