Access: Money into Water

The RiPPLE project has initiated a LARS on access to water, sanitation and hygiene services (WASH) in Ethiopia. It focuses on key processes through which investments in WASH by government and donors are transformed into services for people. The Access LARS responds to some key WASH sector problems that were identified during the first phase of the RiPPLE project, which looked at growth, financing and governance and planning issues within the WASH sector, and the needs expressed by key sector stakeholders represented in the Learning and Practice Alliances (LPAs).


The overall objective of the Access LARS is to help sector agencies to improve the transformation of investments (money) into WASH services. This will be achieved through in-depth research to better understand problems, promoting sharing of information and ideas, and testing innovations in the areas of WASH financing, monitoring, planning, and information management through action research.

Main Research Areas

Governance and Planning:

At its simplest, water governance is about how decisions are made around managing water resources, and providing water and sanitation services. At the heart of strong governance lies planning. Planning, in its broadest sense, is the framework and process (typically visualised as a cycle) by which a problem is understood, possible solutions identified and prioritised, actions undertaken, impacts assessed, and lessons learned.


Understanding and improving the ways in which multiple streams of development finance are integrated to respond to local needs and demands is central to the problem of attaining sustainable and equitable WSS service delivery.


Work on sanitation and hygiene(S&H) focuses on rural areas, beginning with research on initiatives to improve household S&H (as compared with S&H in institutions, such as schools and clinics, or in public places, e.g. markets).

Aid Environments:

How can best practices in coordination and harmonisation of donor funding in WASH be scaled up to minimise the potential inefficiencies in dealing with multiple donors, financing modalities and funding channels?

Budget processes:

How can budget formulation, approval, implementation and monitoring be improved to tackle the problem of low utilisation of WASH budgets?

Woreda inventory systems:

How can information on access to services be improved and used to better target new investments and improve the sustainability of WASH service delivery?


Studies on sanitation, sustainability and financing have been conducted in RiPPLE’s earlier phases with findings on universal access plans, budget utilisation and sanitation. Initially, action research on Woreda Inventory Systems is focused on SNNPR, whereas the Aid Environment and Budget Processes sub-LARS research has started in Oromiya. The first phase to April 2009 is concentrating on better understanding current practices, and assessing and promoting sharing of information between the many other initiatives on similar issues. The second phase of action research from April 2009 onwards will focus on testing innovations, learning between implementing agencies and capacity development.

Page last updated 28 Aug 2009