This report presents the findings of research into the risks to delivery
of WASH results posed by climate change in Africa, drawing on rapid case
study reviews of WASH programming in Malawi, Sierra Leone and Tanzania.
A separate Case Study Report provides further detail on country
background and findings.
Section 1 of this report begins by looking at the WASH landscape, the
gains made, but also some of the bottlenecks that hold back progress. In
view of their importance and the sums of money involved, it is
remarkable how little is known about the performance of services, why
they so often fail, and the resources they depend on.
Having looked at the context for adaptation decision-making in WASH,
Section 2 of the report looks at the risks to delivery of WASH results
in three countries: Malawi, Sierra Leone and Tanzania. In each country,
the aim was to canvass opinion on a risk screening approach that could
be applied by programme designers and implementers to identify and
mitigate risks. The approach considered climate change in context – as
one of a number of threats affecting WASH outcomes - and focussed also
on WASH institutions and governance.
Section 3 of the report looks at the use of cost-benefit analysis (CBA)
as a means of appraising the adaptation options prioritised through the
risk screening process. The main aim is to show how CBA could be used as
an appraisal tool, alongside risk screening, to identify a broad set of
adaptation options and then go about prioritising them.
Finally, Section 4 of the report summarises the main conclusions of the
project and identifies some next steps in terms of the application of
research findings and further research needs. A main conclusion is that
clear opportunities exist to increase the resilience of WASH, and that
adaptation should start with the measures that tackle existing climate
risks that countries such as Malawi, Tanzania and Sierra Leone already
This report has been produced by ODI for the UK Department for
International Development (DFID) Adaptation Knowledge and Tools
programme and published through Evidence on Demand.
The Adaptation Knowledge and Tools programme is a DFID-funded programme
intended to maximise the effectiveness of UK and international
investment in climate change adaptation and resilience. The knowledge
and tools generated through this programme are expected to promote
greater understanding of what constitutes best practice in adaptation,
as well as better international cohesion and coordination around
adaptation. Through these entry points the programme expects to increase
the quality of international and UK adaptation programming and reduce
Oates, N.; Ross, I.; Calow, R.; Carter, R.; Doczi, J. Adaptation to Climate Change in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. Assessing risks, appraising options in Africa. Overseas Development Institute, London, UK (2014) vii + 82 pp.
Adaptation to Climate Change in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. Assessing risks, appraising options in Africa.