Inclusive Development: USAID Water and Development Technical Series


This brief is part of USAID 's Water and Development Technical Series, which provides guidance on important topics for developing and implementing water and sanitation activities in support of the U.S. Government Global Water Strategy and USAID’s plan under the strategy.

This technical brief summarizes ways that practitioners can incorporate inclusive development approaches into activities, programs, research, and partnerships on water security, sanitation, and hygiene.


  • Perform rigorous qualitative and quantitative analysis of the local context and barriers to water, sanitation, and hygiene access before acting and consult with local stakeholders to ensure investments and partnerships are intentionally designed to address intersecting vulnerabilities and lead to more inclusive outcomes.
  • Build trust with local entities and support local capacity strengthening of diverse leaders, while mitigating risks from their participation or visibility, to improve the responsiveness and effectiveness of USAID activities.
  • Adapt and target service delivery, governance, financing, and research approaches in the water and sanitation sectors to meet the needs of underserved and marginalized groups and individuals.
  • Advocate with and on behalf of underserved and marginalized groups and support their advocacy and social movements for improved water security, sanitation, and hygiene.
  • Protect the rights, safety and privacy of partners and individuals and honor their experiences, needs, and proposed solutions in meetings, consultations, service delivery, research, and dissemination efforts.
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13 pages