Plan International USA’s Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) programming is based on the principle that all girls, boys, women, and men should have access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities year round. To accomplish this goal, we engage children, youth, and adults to identify priorities and develop targeted water, sanitation, and hygiene programs in a holistic manner to maximize impact. We strive to ensure that programs are evidence-based and incorporate relevant and appropriate technology.
In recent years, we transitioned from prioritizing hardware and the supply of technology to working with communities to develop sustainable demand for sanitation systems and building local capacities to strengthen the enabling environment. This transition is part of an ongoing commitment to achieving sustainability and scalability. In addition, we continue to innovate and investigate new approaches to improve the cost-effectiveness, scalability, flexibility, and geographic reach of our WASH programming.
Sanitation approaches — Using approaches such as Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS) and Sanitation Marketing, we work to create demand for sanitation and to strengthen the supply chain to ensure that all populations can and do access improved sanitation. In 2014, our programs supported almost 5 million people in more than 30 countries to improve the sanitation options in their households.
Point-of-use water treatment — We work with communities to implement the use of low-cost technologies for point-of-use water treatment such as locally made ceramic water purifiers, solar disinfection methods, and chlorination. In 2014, these activities included the construction of more than 4,000 water points that bring clean, potable water to nearby populations.
Behavior change and hygiene promotion — We actively promote the proper use and handling of water and good hygiene practices using behavior change approaches, educational campaigns, and advocacy initiatives to equip local populations with the knowledge and skills necessary to live sanitary and healthy lives.
Urban and rural WASH — We work with communities in both urban and rural areas to overcome the context-specific barriers to access safe drinking water, good waste management, and proper hygiene practices.
Menstrual hygiene management — We provide women and girls with hygienic solutions for menstrual hygiene management (MHM) and address the social beliefs and norms that cause stigma and social shaming related to menstruation. We currently have MHM programs in nine countries worldwide.