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Setting and monitoring outcome targets in WASH programmes

WASH Results Programme learning brief #2


The WASH Results Programme was a large-scale, PbR (Payment by Results) programme in which some payments to implementers were dependent on the achievement of WASH outcomes. This prompted considerable investment in the process of setting outcome targets and identifying approaches to measuring outcomes. Consequently, the experience of the WASH Results Programme has generated insights for potential funders and implementers in the design of large-scale WASH programmes, both in using PbR mechanisms and promoting sustained WASH outcomes.

The £112 million WASH Results Programme aimed to support poor people in 11 countries to access improved water and sanitation, and to practise improved hygiene.

The programme operates under a PbR modality, where suppliers receive payment upon successful third-party verification of their results. Results were expressed in terms of reaching individual beneficiaries; a ‘price-per-beneficiary-serviced’ for outputs and outcomes was negotiated between DFID and programme suppliers at the contractual stage. This was intended to incentivise both large-scale delivery and longer-term outcomes. Verification was systems-based, meaning that the third-party Monitoring and Verification supplier contracted by DFID independently appraised the monitoring systems and verified that the data they produce are accurate and realistic.