The European Journal of Development Research

, Volume 26, Issue 5, pp 692–706 | Cite as

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Interventions in the Pacific: Defining, Assessing and Improving ‘Sustainability’

  • Matthew Clarke
  • Simon Feeny
  • John Donnelly
Original Article


Through the conduct of ex post evaluations, this article examines the impact of aid projects and programmes beyond the funding period in the water and sanitation sector, which, since the inclusion of hygiene, has recently become known as Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). The evaluations were conducted in rural areas of three Pacific countries: Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. This article argues that in assessing the lasting impact of community development projects (in this instance, WASH) the term benefit persistence better captures the wider scope of impact that a project might have on a community extending beyond the stated project goals and objectives. These ‘additional’ or unstated impacts can extend the benefit that aid projects can have. A number of areas that strengthen the likelihood of benefit persistence were also identified.


aid sustainability water sanitation hygiene Pacific 


A travers des évaluations ex-post, cet article examine l’impact, au delà des périodes de financement, des projets et programmes d’aide au secteur de l’eau et de l’assainissement qui, depuis l’inclusion de la composante hygiène, a récemment pris le nom d’« eau, assainissement et hygiène » (WASH). Les évaluations ont été effectuées dans les zones rurales de trois pays du Pacifique: la Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée, les îles Salomon et la République de Vanuatu. Cet article fait valoir que lorsque l’on évalue l’impact durable des projets de développement communautaires (dans ce cas, WASH), l’expression « persistance des bénéfices » rend mieux compte de l’impact plus large qu’un projet peut avoir sur une communauté et qui peut dépasser les buts et objectifs énoncés du projet. Ces effets « supplémentaires » ou non anticipés peuvent étendre les bénéfices potentiels des projets d’aide. Un certain nombre d’aspects renforçant la probabilité de la persistance des bénéfices ont également été identifiés.



This article is an output from an Australian Development Research Award (ADRA) research project generously supported by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID). The views are those of the authors and not necessarily those of AusAID.


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Copyright information

© European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew Clarke
    • 1
  • Simon Feeny
    • 2
  • John Donnelly
    • 2
  1. 1.Deakin UniversityGeelongAustralia
  2. 2.RMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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