OneWaSH Baseline Report Summary

The Baseline Report on the progress of the OneWash National Programme (OWNP) has established a range of key findings that will help to measure the effectiveness and sustainability of Consolidated WaSH Account (CWA) funded activities within the OWNP.

For the report, a baseline evaluation was carried out, that will provide important measure that can be used for comparison at the end of the OWNP in 2019-20. The primary goals of the evaluation were to:

  • Measure the effectiveness and sustainability of CWA funded activities
  • Test assumptions in the programme and the Theory of Change.
  • Differentiate between theory failure and implementation failure
  • Provide lessons for future programming

The evaluation involved a household survey of 1,500 urban and 1,500 rural households across the country. Ethiopia. Forty-six semi-structured interviews were conducted with stakeholders, from federal government to Kebele (village) level, including government and non-government representatives. Assessments of WaSH facilites in schools and at health centres were conducted in 44 locations.

Key findings:

Access to clean drinking water:

Whilst households in urban areas are more likely to have access to piped water households in rural areas are almost as likely to have access to an improved water source. / The data clearly shows that the burden of collecting water, particularly in rural areas, usually lies with female household members: as spouses of the head of household; as other adult members of the family or as children. The average time to collect water and return home in urban intervention areas is 38 minutes compared to1 hour and 6 minutes in rural intervention areas. In these rural areas 41% of households spend over an hour collecting water and returning home.

Access to sanitation facilities:

Access to improved sanitation facility lags behind access to an improved water source, particularly in rural areas.

Hygiene practices and behavioural change:

The majority of households do not treat their water in any way to make it safe (76% in urban intervention and 80%in rural intervention areas). This includes 72% of those who think that their water is unsafe to drink. / Water was available for handwashing in just over a third of households in rural and urban areas (37% of urban and37% of rural intervention areas) and only a small proportion had soap or an alternative cleansing agent (21% in urban and 15% in rural intervention areas). / For the vast majority of some hygiene practices, respondents are aware of the importance of washing their hands when handling food, either before cooking or before eating and most understand the importance of storing water in a covered container. Echoing this, most key informants did not perceive serious problems with communities’ attitude and willingness to change and that the primary barriers were the availability of both water and sanitation facilities.

Institutional WaSH:

Our enumerators found that most of the schools involved in the assessments had access to an improved water supply and in more than half of the schools the supply was defined as ‘adequate’. All schools had toilet blocks and most toilets were an improved facility. However, only around one in three toilets were deemed clean, very few had functional handwashing stations and many informants described the water supply as being inadequate.


Strengthen the coordination of infrastructure development and outreach activities:

Our research suggests that beneficiaries understand the importance of good hygiene practices but often lack thefacilities act accordingly. We recommend that stakeholders consider coordinating the timing of hygiene promotional activities with the provision of WaSH facilities (both within villages and small towns as well as within the institutions,particularly schools where a lack of facilities prevents children from good hygiene practices).

Consider implications of provision of improved sanitation lagging behind water:

Our data indicates that considerably more households have access to an improved water source than an improvedtoilet facility. We recommend that stakeholders consider the reasons for this disparity and the implications this hasand whether prioritisation needs refocussing in particular areas.

Better understand and address barriers to water treatment:

We recommend that the NWCO identifies the barriers to households treating their drinking water to make it safe to drink. Our research shows that even amongst those who do not feel that their water is safe most are not doing anything to make their water safe to drink. Understanding of the barriers can then be used to develop a strategy to increase rates of water treatment, particularly in areas where there are higher risks of water contamination.