Navigate Up
Sign In

Water, sanitation and hygiene

Civil Society, Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Fund

The Australian Civil Society WASH Fund is a multi-year program to support civil society organisations (CSOs) to deliver WASH programs in the Pacific, Asia and Africa. Funding covers grants to CSOs and components which will support CSOs to deliver the fund’s outcomes. These include research grants, innovation and impact grants, fund management and knowledge and learning events.

The core objective of the fund is to enhance the health and quality of life of the poor and vulnerable by improving sustainable access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene.


Grants were allocated via a competitive funding round, which was coordinated by the Infrastructure and Water Policy Section (IWP) in Canberra. Proposals were invited from both accredited and non-accredited Australian CSOs, as well as suitably experienced international CSOs (partnerships with national CSOs will be supported). Proposals were assessed primarily on program quality and organisational capacity, with consideration also given to the need to achieve a balance of funding across regions.

The fund will resource a mix of water supply, sanitation and hygiene behaviour activities. Australian aid favoured activities that place an emphasis on sanitation, which globally is tracking poorly against Millennium Development Goal target 7c: to halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. Furthermore, to be considered eligible both water and sanitation activities had to have a hygiene component.

In addition to delivering water, sanitation and hygiene activities, each successful CSO will be expected to contribute to the evidence base on effective practice in WASH. Activities should monitor and report on the cost effectiveness of WASH approaches, the success factors and risks associated with innovative approaches and lessons learned from taking proven interventions to scale.

CSO contributions to the evidence base will be enhanced by a Knowledge and Learning Component, which will have three parts:

  1. Innovation and pilot grants of up to $100,000 per year for up to two years, available to CSO participating in the fund, in collaboration with research organisations.
  2. Two Development Research Awards Scheme research grants of up to $400,000 per year for up to three years for research organisations with recognised expertise in WASH (the grants will be linked to the work of the fund).
  3. Knowledge sharing and learning events such as regional workshops, webinars and an active website.


Competitive grants program guidelines

Detailed design report for the fund

Fund Performance Assessment Framework

Annex D to the Design—Knowledge and Learning Component. This document provides more information on the Innovation and Impact Grants, the Development Research Awards Scheme grants linked to the fund and the role of the Knowledge and Learning Manager.

The Independent Progress Report from the first Civil Society WASH Fund, which ran from May 2010 to March 2012, provided recommendations for the design of a future program.

PowerPoint presentations to the sector (28 June 2012)

CS WASH industry presentation Q&A


Last reviewed: 30 January, 2014