The overall goal of GoAL WaSH programme is to enhance the performance of the drinking water and sanitation sectors in partner countries for effective, equitable and sustainable service delivery. This is done through the support of governance reform, sector leadership and capacity development.


The overall goal of GoAL WaSH programme is to enhance the performance of the drinking water and sanitation sectors in partner countries for effective, equitable and sustainable service delivery.

The water target of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) was met in 2010, five years ahead of the 2015 deadline. The sanitation target, however, still lags far behind. Meeting the global drinking water and sanitation challenge requires more than drilling wells and building latrines. Addressing governance in this sector is equally important.

Improving the governance of the water sector is even more crucial in the context of GoAL WaSH target countries, post-conflict or otherwise fragile states with severe challenges in the water and sanitation sector and where progress on the MDGs is slow. But the challenges of reforming legal and regulatory structures in some of the world’s neediest states are daunting. Social and economic challenges to good governance are numerous: how do you create and introduce tariff systems in places where people cannot afford, or want, to pay for water? How do you bridge the gap between people and institutions and unite them in a belief that water and sanitation is a common good that needs to be sustainably managed for present and future human and non-human needs? Substantial long-term commitment is required, while at the same time political instabilities are a fact in many of the targeted countries and are likely to continue in the foreseeable future.

Inclusion in the GoAL WaSH programme is determined by government commitment to engage in a sector reform with good governance and effective and equitable service delivery in the long term. The impetus for the initiation of projects is provided by articulated official demand, submitted to UNDP, as post-conflict or otherwise fragile states embark on other important governance reforms. By focusing on creating and strengthening core national capacities in water sector governance at this critical juncture, GoAL WaSH provides an opportunity to help set economic development on a new path, put water at the centre of attention and link the activities in the water sector to other governance reforms.

GoAL WaSH steps in with a result-oriented approach, strategically targeted interventions, working in close partnership with governments. Flexibility of the programme and its capacity to respond to specific country needs and demands is also key in ensuring the efficiency and effectiveness of GoAL WaSH. Working together with local partners, the programme is able to deploy its resources to reach the greatest impact. UNDP continuous in-country presence, expertise and its mandate mean that they are invariably one of the first points of contact for government officials seeking support in water and sanitation governance reform. 

GoAL WaSH targets countries with low water and sanitation coverage with a special attention to fragile and post conflict states where donor support to the water and sanitation sectors is often low or non-existent. The programme focuses on countries where there is an institutional responsiveness to the services that the programme offers. The GoAL WaSH process needs to be fully owned and demand-driven.

GoAL WaSH supports work in three sequential areas:

  • Identifying the gaps, needs, constraints and opportunities in national water and sanitation plans, strategies and capacities.
  • Supporting development and reform of action plans, policies, laws, coordinating mechanisms and regulatory functions.
  • Supporting the implementation with accountability and transparency.


Each country project is overseen by a national manager in the UNDP Country Office, to ensure local ownership of the development process. GoAL WaSH national managers receive support from Water Governance Facility at SIWI, and national and international consultants for specific tasks.


All available evaluations of the GoAL WaSH programme have highlighted that the progress made in a short time under GoAL WaSH suggests that a strong case can be made for significantly scaling up the programme in future years.

Evaluations have also concluded that GoAL WaSH was able to provide prompt responses and high quality advice and support to most project countries, which has enhanced capacities and increased options to improve water and sanitation governance.

The success in leveraging additional funds at the country level has been demonstrated (ratio of $2.4 leveraged for every dollar invested in Goal WaSH). As an additional proof of its relevance, the programme has received a considerable number of requests from developing country governments for its services.


Dr. Alejandro Jiménez

Programme Manager

Ms. Lotten Hudendick

Programme Officer


GoAL WaSH, Hygiene, Integrity, MDGs, Sanitation, Values, Water supply