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We believe WASH services only endure on the long term when we take into account the five sustainability elements of FIETS: financial, institutional, environmental, technical and social sustainability.

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FIETS approach

How does it work?

The focus of the WASH Alliance programme is to create results that are able to sustain themselves. Therefore, sustainability is the leading principle within our approach. We believe WASH services only endure on the long term and can be managed locally when we take into account five sustainability areas: financial, institutional, environmental, technical and social (FIETS). These five key areas of sustainability need to be addressed in order to achieve this. We call this our FIETS approach.

FIETS sustainability approach videos

Check out this short explanatory video and learn more about our FIETS sustainability approach. For the extended versions in english click here.

Une vidéo explicative sur du système durabilité de FIETS, comme utilisé par l’alliance WASH en français

The five principles of sustainability

The five principles of sustainability are:

Financial sustainability
Financial Sustainability means that continuity in the delivery of products and services related to water, sanitation and hygiene is assured, because the activities are locally financed (e.g. taxes, local fees, local financing) and do not depend on external (foreign) subsidies.

Institutional sustainability
Institutional sustainability in the WASH sector means that WASH systems, institutions, policies and procedures at the local level are functional and meet the demand of users of WASH services. Households and other WASH service users, authorities and service providers at the local and the national level are clear on their own roles, tasks and responsibilities, are capable of fulfilling these roles effectively and are transparent to each other. WASH stakeholders work together in the WASH chain through a multi-stakeholder approach.

Environmental sustainability
The element of environmental sustainability implies placing WASH interventions in the wider context of the natural environment and implementing an approach of integrated and sustainable management of water and waste(-water) flows and resources. WASH interventions connect to and affect the natural environment and hence people’s livelihood.

Technical sustainability
Technological sustainability of WASH services is reached when the technology or hardware needed for the services continues to function is maintained, repaired and replaced by local people and it is not depleting the (natural) resources on which it depends for it’s functioning.

Social sustainability
Social sustainability refers to ensuring that the appropriate social conditions and prerequisites are realized and sustained so the current and future society is able to create healthy and liveable communities. Social sustainable intervention is demand-driven, inclusive (equity), gender equal, culturally sensitive and needs-based.

More information about the FIETS approach and the five principles of sustainability can be found in this document.