WASH Aid Policy

The updated Australian aid policy An Effective Aid Program for Australia was released in June 2011. Saving lives through improving public health by increasing access to safe water and sanitation is one of the five strategic goals of this policy.

A thematic strategy describing Australia’s approach to water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) has been developed that specifies three pillars of action:

  • increased access to safe water and basic sanitation
  • improved hygiene behavior
  • creating sustainable services.

WASH and Prioritization Policy

Allocation of Australian aid to developing countries is based on three criteria:

  • poverty and need – countries where there are large numbers of people living in poverty and where progress against the MDGs is lagging.
  • effectiveness and capacity for Australian aid to make a difference – countries where the aid program is effective and where Australia has recognised expertise and experience.
  • Australia’s national interest – countries whose security and prosperity are linked to Australia’s own security and prosperity.

Screen Shot 2013-10-30 at 4.55.56 PM Screen Shot 2013-10-30 at 4.55.46 PMScreen Shot 2013-10-30 at 4.55.40 PMScreen Shot 2013-10-30 at 4.56.03 PM


Specific Target

The Australian Government identifies areas of specific focus for the aid program in the federal budget. These are described in an annual ministerial statement of budget commitments. In 2011-12 an additional A$433 million was allocated to WASH over the next four years resulting in a total allocation of approximately A$870 million to 2014-15.


AusAID publishes the AusAID Annual Report which outlines its activities and contributions for the year. Reports can be found on the official site of AusAID at: www.ausaid.gov.au. Australia also provides regular reporting on sectoral activities to the OECD DAC.


Although specific targets for water and sanitation services have not yet been identified by AusAID, in 2008 and 2010, 65 per cent of commitments for sanitation and drinking-water were allocated to 3 to 5 year programs and 35 per cent were allocated to programs of less than 3 years.


Sanitation: 30%**
Drinking Water: 70%**



Tied vs. Untied Aid

All Australian WASH funding is untied consistent with government policy.

Aid Coordinated with Country Programmes

All Australian WASH funding, except contributions to global and cross-regional activities are coordinated with recipient country programmes.

Use of Country Procurement Systems

Country procurement systems were used in 2010 in Vietnam, Indonesia, Malawi, Mozambique and the Solomon Islands.

Use of Project Implementation Units

One project is currently being implemented through a PIU arrangement. Where possible Australia works through partner systems.



Rohan Nandan
Director, Infrastructure, Water and Sanitation
Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID)
PO Box 887
Canbera, ACT, 2600
Email: rohan.nandan@ausaid.gov.au
Tel. : +61 2 6206 4187


* These amounts are based on OECD DAC reporting criteria. Due to the integration of WASH activities with larger education and health related projects, the amounts shown here are not fully representative of AusAID’s commitments and disbursements in the WASH sector.

** These figures are approximate only as Australia does not currently make explicit funding allocations for sanitation or drinking water activities. As a result of recent changes to the OECD reporting criteria AusAID will in the future be able to provide a more specific breakdown of WASH funding.