Sanitation is one of 8 indicators in the overall Business Plan of the Department of Internal Development (DFID).

DFID focuses its aid on the poorest countries. There is an excellent match between need and the countries in which DFID has WASH programming. Although there are no explicit governance conditionalities, the quality of governance and public financial management will determine how DFID programmes its spending in a particular country. In March 2012, DFID published its WASH Portfolio Review that assesses the results, impact and value for money of its entire Water, Sanitation and Hygiene portfolio to determine how DFID may be able to deliver greater results.


In 2010, DFID used the following criteria to select priority recipient countries: countries/regions of greatest need (in terms of coverage/access figures and poverty figures), established presence/relationship in-country or in-region, existence of strong national sector plans and budgets, strategic dialogue with countries, relevance and significance of UK’s contribution, fragile or conflict-affected state, and published targets or coverage of spending.

In 2010, DFID focus was increasingly on sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia

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Specific Target
Published in the Summary of the Bilateral and Multilateral Aid Reviews, DFID has outlined the following targets: 15 million people provided with access to clean drinking-water and 25 million with improved sanitation and 15 million to hygiene promotion between 2011/12 and 2014/15. In addition, a year on year increase of 15 - 30% for sanitation and drinking-water activities was identified.

Although the specific report on spending has been discontinued, focus has now shifted to reporting results of the impact of DFID spend rather than the spend itself.


In 2008 and 2010, 100% of commitments for sanitation and drinking-water was allocated to programmes that were between 3 to under 5 year’s duration.

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Tied vs. Untied Aid
100% Untied Aid

Aid Coordinated with Country Programmes
Most programmes are coordinated through discussions with governments but in very fragile states, where government is deemed not to function, NGOs may directly deliver programmes.

Use of Country Procurement Systems
Country procurement systems were used in Ethiopia, India, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Vietnam.

Use of Project Implementation Units


Email: w-niblett@dfid.gov.uk