Water Resources and WASH Finance and Governance

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Photo by Sedera Ramanitra for CRS

About Water Resources and WASH Governance and Finance

What We Do

Finance and government water page

CRS supports governments and local institutions to manage water resources and WASH services effectively and efficiently, focusing on social capital, local knowledge, leadership and participation. CRS adopts a system change approach to water resources and WASH governance and finance, fostering an enabling environment, empowering local and disadvantaged groups, and supporting governments and local institutions and communities to manage their own resources effectively and efficiently. CRS adopts integrate nutrition, health, education, inclusion, and social cohesion needs in WASH program situation analysis, design, implementation, and evaluation so that everyone, everywhere, has access to WASH services safely, in peace, and with dignity. Given the increasing in global environment, social and economic challenges, CRS believes water resources and WASH governance and finance, must not only achieve efficient and equitable management, but also find new ways to build socio-ecological resilience and adaptive capacity to surprise. For CRS and our partners, water governance and finance are our entry points for systems strengthening and impact scale up.



CRS incorporates a variety of approaches designed to advocate for and support accountability, responsiveness, equity, transparency in institutions and participation by communities. We collaborate with multiple stakeholders impacted by water resource use and WASH services across a range of rural and urban contexts. We do this by working with partners to expand and replicate governance models that can catalyze transformational change at scale, improve systems and processes, promote evidence-based advocacy for sustainable water resources and WASH services.

To strengthen governance and participation systems, CRS works on the dimensions of knowledge generation, positive leadership, generation of working instruments (plans, regulations, etc.), communication and accountability, and networking among stakeholders. This governance approach coincides with CRS' social cohesion approach (Binding, bonding and bridging). , which focuses on three aspects: healing and strengthening people, improving relationships with other peers, and building bridges with diverse groups or institutions through the collective construction of a common vision of change. Our water resources and WASH governance is aligned with CRS’ ACCIM (Analyze, Convene, Contextualize, Implement and Monitor) social accountability model which aims at galvanizing a critical mass of reformers from civil society, private sector, and to transform power structures, systems, norms, and ways of doing things to foster consistent and sustained accountability and responsiveness.

ACASAMAC, a community water supply system association located in Agua Caliente, is one of the more than 200 systems that have recieved support from Azure Technical Services led by CRS. Photo by Oscar Leiva/Silverlight for CRS

To help address the gap in funding needed to achieve SDG6, CRS catalyzes and mobilizes diverse financial resources, through taxes, transfers, and tariffs, to reduce water scarcity, extending beyond conventional, grant-based fundraising to achieve impact at scale. Funding from a variety of sources, including individuals, communities, the private sector, and both local and national governments, are combined with and supported by traditional aid and philanthropy through diverse funding vehicles like blended financing mechanisms (Azure, etc.), social-impact investment funds, guarantees, pay-for-success mechanisms and green bonds.


Addressing Cross Sectoral Issues

Water security programming at CRS recognizes that inequalities faced by youth, people living with disability, women and girls undermine their development. CRS addresses these inequalities by mainstreaming youth, disability and inclusion, gender issues are into all WASH activities and being intentional about engaging youth, people living with disability, women and girls in the design of gender responsive and inclusive WASH programs. CRS prioritizes the needs of the most vulnerable and marginalized populations, including women and girls and people with disabilities to provide sustainable and climate resilient WASH facilities in rural communities, secondary cities, peri-urban settlements and slums and institutions. We do this by collaborating with key stakeholders to conduct gender, equity, disability, conflict, climate change analyses to identify challenges and design solutions.

Emma Cheptoyek draws fresh water from the newly-installed well in her community in Bukwo, Uganda. Photo by Jake Lyell for CRS