This paper presents a set of nine building blocks of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) systems intended to reduce complexity to a manageable level, enabling and supporting action whilst neither oversimplifying reality nor losing sight of the entirety of the broader WASH system.

By assessing the condition of each of the building blocks – institutions, policy and legislation, finance, regulation and accountability, monitoring, planning, infrastructure, water resource management, and learning and adaptation – and of the linkages between them, WASH practitioners can identify weak points and target their interventions for greater effect.

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