Planning Differently: District-Wide Strategic Planning for Universal Access to Safe and Sustainable WASH Services in Ethiopia


This is the first position paper in a series of five produced through the 2017–2019 Millennium Water Alliance Bridge Program in Ethiopia. It is made possible through support from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

This paper proposes that long-term (e.g., 2018-2030) strategic planning at the district level: 

  • Is useful to identify improved service delivery models and a range of system strengthening activities. These are required to achieve universal access and higher service levels demanded by the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 
  • Is a necessary first step to identify sources of increased financing based on projected requirements. 
  • Can play a critical role in developing and strengthening the partnerships needed to achieve the global SDGs. These may include those between governments, private sector and civil society organizations (CSOs), while promoting increased ownership and buy-in from related district stakeholders.