A Review of Decision-Making Support Tools in the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Sector

Published: May 15, 2008
Authors: Peter Gleick, Meena Palaniappan, Micah Lang
Pages: 101

While more than a billion people lack safe water and 2.6 billion lack access to sanitation worldwide, numerous technologies and approaches already exist to provide access to clean water, safe sanitation, and hygiene education. In a report from the Pacific Institute and the Woodrow Wilscon Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP), scientists and development experts evaluate existing resources and identify a pressing need still remains for a comprehensive decision-making tool that can assist practitioners in evaluating and identifying the best technology or approach to meet their water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) needs.

“A Review of Decision-Making Support Tools in the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Sector” evaluates 120 existing resources in the WASH sector, finds significant gaps, and recommends the development of a decision-making tool that can help practitioners evaluate which approaches are appropriate for their situation.

“The good news is there are already many workable solutions to provide safe water and sanitation to the billions who are struggling without it. Unfortunately, it can be a tremendous challenge for communities to figure out which strategy fits their situation best, and to maintain these technologies over time,” said Meena Palaniappan, senior research associate at the Pacific Institute. “This evaluation of the existing support resources identifies the need for us to create a workable decision-making tool designed to facilitate this vital process and ultimately lead to effective and sustainable WASH solutions.”