Conducting disability inclusive baseline WASH assessments

Conducting disability inclusive baseline assessments for community-level WASH Projects


Clare Hanley and Hanna Goorden, CBM Australia in partnership with World Vision and WaterAid

May 2016


This report documents the lessons learnt and outcomes of collecting disability data in five water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) projects, with the aim of learning and therefore strengthening disability inclusive data collection processes in future projects.  With the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, which aim for universal access by 2030, awareness of the need for WASH programs to reach and benefit everyone, everywhere, is growing. Many programs are now proactively seeking to reach people with disabilities and collecting disability inclusive data is critical in setting the foundations for disability inclusive WASH. Global frameworks such as the SDGs also call for disaggregated data by disability to monitor progress towards the Global Goals and to ensure programs are leaving no one behind. Since 2014, CBM has partnered with World Vision and with WaterAid to support disability inclusion within five Civil Society WASH Fund Projects (two projects in Papua New Guinea (WaterAid & World Vision) and one each in Timor-Leste (WaterAid), Sri Lanka (World Vision) and Zimbabwe (World Vision).

Key Lessons on Disability Inclusive Data Collection in WASH

  1. Including people with disabilities in data collection teams resulted in positive outcomes for people with disabilities, their communities & other stakeholders, but needs to be resourced appropriately
  2. Collecting data on people with disabilities in communities needs to be done sensitively.
  3. Household surveys need to collect individual level data about access to WASH in order for that data to be disaggregated by disability. However, inclusion of the Washington Group Short Set of (WGSS) questions is also useful for identifying households which include people with disabilities who can then be followed up throughout the project.
  4. There are challenges with but also unexpected findings from using the WGSS questions in surveys
  5. A combination of quantitative and qualitative data collection processes produces the most useful baseline data on people with disabilities
  6. Collecting baseline data on people with disabilities led to more inclusive WASH programming and had a range of positive outcomes


Report for download

 Conducting disability inclusive baseline WASH assessments: word doc

Conducting disability inclusive baseline WASH assessments: pdf