WaterAid and innovation

Innovation – 'being creative and agile, always learning, and prepared to take risks to accelerate change' – is one of our core values and central to our Global Strategy.

There are no easy solutions to the water and sanitation crisis; to realise our vision of a world where everyone everywhere has access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene, we will need innovative solutions.

Circumstances in developing countries – extreme poverty, crowded slums, remote rural locations – require creative approaches to overcome challenges such as:

  • Emptying full toilet pits, particularly in urban areas.
  • Maintaining manual water pumps.
  • Changing behaviours of communities and authorities to improve good hygiene and sanitation practices.

Innovation is not usually about the technology; it’s about trying new methods and cultivating a culture of learning and flexibility. Pilot projects consistently show that successful technical innovations are:

  • Developed in response to residents’ needs.
  • Led by a local water and sanitation agency or authority.
  • Embedded within broader plans to improve water and sanitation.

Find out about our approach to innovation >