The UK’s changing approach to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)

This information note provides an account of the development of the UK’s WASH portfolio between 2017 and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, how it has been adapted since, and how well the UK works with multilateral, NGO and private sector partners on WASH.

  1. Status: Completed
  2. Published: 7 April 2022
  3. Type: Information note
  4. Subject: Global health, UK aid funds
  5. Lead commissioner: Tamsyn Barton
  6. SDGs covered:Clean water and sanitation

Our approach

This information note provides transparency around an area of UK aid judged to be performing well in ICAI’s last review of the sector in 2016, and support independent scrutiny by the International Development Committee and other stakeholders.

The preparation of the information note involved reviewing UK strategies, aid data and programme documents, interviews with key informants from FCDO and external partners and stakeholders, and a roundtable with implementing partners involved in delivering UK WASH programmes. Information was collected on the following questions:

  1. What was the evolution of the UK’s WASH portfolio between 2017 and the onset of the pandemic?
  2. How has the UK adapted its WASH portfolio during the COVID-19 pandemic?
  3. How does the UK work with multilateral, non-governmental and private sector partners on WASH?

ICAI information notes are not scored, do not reach evaluative judgments or make recommendations. They present information to the public and suggest potential lines of enquiry for future independent scrutiny.

Data collection for the information note took place in January and February 2022, and publication was planned for Spring 2022. The information note will be led by ICAI Chief Commissioner Dr Tamsyn Barton and supported by ICAI’s service provider.



Published 9 February 2022

Evidence gathering


Review publication

Published 7 April 2022

Further scrutiny

To be confirmed