Promotion of Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene in Hard-to-Reach Areas of Rural Bangladesh

Funding Organization:

Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)

Implementating Organizations:

NGO Forum for Public Health (NGOF) 
Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS) 

Duration: December 2011 – December 2015

Description: Keeping its commitments to the MDG targets, NGO Forum for Public Health and Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies have been facilitating the implementation of the project ‘Promotion of Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene in Hard-to-Reach Areas of Rural Bangladesh’ with the support of Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). The Project is under implementation covering 47 hard-to-reach unions under 5 agro-ecological zones in Bangladesh. Starting in December 2011, the Project is set to be continued up to December 2015.

Rationale: It is quite impossible to reach the national goal ‘water and sanitation for all’ keeping any particular area deprived of water and sanitation facilities. But the reality is that millions of people still living in dire necessity of water and sanitation facilities in the hard-to-reach areas i.e. the exposed coastal area, drought-prone area, haor area, char area and the flood-prone area of Bangladesh.

The salient aspects of the project include:

  • Reaching the hard-to-reach
  • Governance - linking the local government
  • Contribution to poverty reduction
  • Reducing climate change risks on water supply, sanitation and health
  • Focusing on health and hygiene habits
  • Women empowerment through WatSan intervention
  • Advocacy and communication
  • Addressing good governance
  • Sustainability with innovations
  • Scaling up of learning through HLP


  • Poor and excluded population are able to demand context-specific water supply and sanitation services with special focus on climate vulnerabilities in rural hard-to-reach areas.
  • Poor, disadvantaged and vulnerable population in selected hard-to-reach areas have established their access to sustainable water supply, sanitation and hygiene facilities.
  • Policy-makers, local governments and service agencies are sensitized and respond effectively in promotion of sustainable water supply, sanitation and hygiene services.

Target Population: Disadvantaged and vulnerable people in the selected hard-to-reach areas with special focus on the women and children of the poorest and excluded groups.

Hard-to-Reach Areas Definition: By taking into consideration the economic, geophysical and social context, the term ‘hard-to-reach’ is defined from two separate perspectives; hard-to-reach areas and hard-to-reach people. For this project it is defined as taking into account both hard-to-reach in terms of communication and in difficulty including the population in development actions.

Project Approach: The project is being implemented following a community-managed approach and, at all levels, participatory and bottom-up communication is being promoted for the adaptation of sustainable service delivery. Apart from the direct service delivery through local partners of NGO Forum, the project puts more of an emphasis on advocacy issues and on placing Union Parishads as accountable and playing a lead role in the initiative. The project emphasises a balance between service delivery and better management of services.

Partners in Operation

  • Local Government Institutions (LGIs)
  • Partner NGOs
  • Village Development Committee (VDC)
  • Union WatSan Committee (UWC) and Ward WatSan Committee (WWC)
  • Private Sector Operators
  • Journalists of mass-media
  • Local allies (school teachers, students, religious leaders, cultural groups and so on).

Project Management – Steering Committee

The project implementation isbeing guided by the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee is comprised of the following:

  • NGO Forum – Executive Director
  • Focal points from the implementation partners