Does external funding for WASH in Schools undermine national and local commitment? Join the debate

You are invited to join the second in a series of three e-debates on WASH in Schools, inspired by lessons from the SWASH+ Project. It will take place from 1-5 October on

The key question that we are raising in this e-debate is:  When NGOs, donors and other stakeholders fund direct delivery of school WASH services do they undermine the commitment of national governments and communities to do so?

Within The Hague WASH in Schools Framework for Action meeting, which was held from 24-25th of May 2011, a number of key challenges and recommendations were developed as part of the joint call to action 2011/2012. One of these key messages was the importance of increased Investment in WASH in Schools, by donors in mobilizing resources to secure children’s health, now and for generations to follow.

However, increased funding does not equate wise spending; not only is the manner in which funding is spent crucial for success but some have called into question whether some types of funding, by virtue of their very source, can jeopardize long-term impact by providing services that are the responsibility of government.

Background information on the e-debates

This series of e-debates  look specifically at the issue of school WASH, inspired by questions asked during the implementation of the SWASH+ Project, an action-research school WASH project in Kenya.

There are now a total of three e-debates in the first week of September, October and November. The first of these three e-debates focused on monitoring for WASH in schools cited by the JMP Post-2015 working group. The key statement for this first e-debate was “The JMP Post-2015 Working Groups have chosen the right indicators for WASH in Schools. It focused on the JMP Post-2015 Working Groups combined “Draft Long List of Goal Target and Indicator Options for Future Global Monitoring of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene”.  For a summary overview of this e-debate please refer to:

This second e-debate focuses on:  Funding for direct delivery of school WASH services from NGOs and donors undermines the commitment of national governments and communities. This second e-debate will take place between October 1st-5th.

We now invite you to help fire up the discussion and ensure we are all being challenged by different viewpoints!

How can you join in?

  • Go to the e-debate page on IRCWASH. using this link: If you are new to, you will need to create a (free) account.
  • Make sure you include your function title and organisation in your online profile so that people know who you are.
  • Add your argument to the debate or write a rebuttal. You can link to another website as evidence for your argument or embed a relevant video.
  • You can add as many arguments as you like but you can only cast one vote for each argument (you can change your vote).
  • Remember to keep discussions civilised. We will observe a zero tolerance policy for abusive language.

The E-debate team: Malaika Cheney-Coker, Learning and Influencing Advisor, Water Team, CARE USA, Dr Marielle Snel, Programme Officer, Africa Team and Cor Dietvorst,  Programme Officer, Global Team, IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre

2 responses to “Does external funding for WASH in Schools undermine national and local commitment? Join the debate

  1. The external funding for WASH IN school is actually a way to realize people that they are poor and this is a way to give light abuse them to call poor in a sense.
    External Funding is a way to creating the sense to dependent of the nations ,state, community and individuals as well. as they use to wait for external funding and decrease the self help and self motivational attitude .

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