Globally, 780 million people lack access to clean water and nearly 3 billion do not have access to proper sanitation. The WHO estimated in 2009 that 1 in 5 deaths of children under 5 are related to unclean water and poor sanitation. Government data estimates that nearly 45% of Ugandan’s rural citizens lack access to improved water sources - that’s nearly 14 million people, 8.5mm of which are children. Many interventions implemented to increase access to water and sanitation ultimately fail.This brings a necessity to prioritize lasting services and identify strategies that engage local communities in the maintenance of water and sanitation projects in order to ensure long-term use.
The Water Trust employs a demand-driven approach. They prioritize quantifying results, efficiency and effectiveness.They work only with villages, schools and health centers that apply to work with them. Approximately 7-10% of the construction process must be co-financed by the local partner. The Water Trust stimulates demand with awareness radio programs that explain why the work they’re doing is necessary and how to apply to work with the organization.
Since their start, The Water Trust prioritized an evidence-based approach with measurable results. In December 2014, they transitioned to a mobile monitoring platform to collect data. This transition included entering all historical – baseline and monitoring – data into the platform. The Water Trust uses the mWater mobile platform. The data is analyzed along eleven key performance indicators. The indicators align with industry standards, such as the Sustainable Development Goals. In line with the organization’s strategic goal to increase access to clean, flowing water, The Water Trust currently acts on two of the eleven key performance indicators – Functionality and Water Quality. The key performance indicators will also inform future programmatic improvements. All data – regardless of results – is shared on The Water Trust website. They are currently the only organization to make this data public.