Data driving action on inclusive WASH in Timor-Leste

WaterAid, HAK and partner organisation team members pose together for a photo. Some men and women are seated with others standing beside and behind them. A blue media banner with the WaterAid logo repeated across it covers the wall in the background.

Representatives from WaterAid, HAK and other implementing partner organisations following completion of the review of the Community Score Card indicators (WaterAid / Antoneta Soares)


Across rural Manufahi and Liquiçá in Timor-Leste, new climate-informed data is placing the needs of people with disabilities and other marginalised groups at the core of government processes and funding for water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services.

With suppoort from Australia through Water for Women, WaterAid is currently implementing a revised, climate-informed Community Score Card (CSC) tool as part of the HALIRAS BESI project, which is feeding data into WASH decision-making. This data is helping to drive improvements to WASH systems and services that ensure everybody's needs are being met, including rural residents living with disabilities.

In rural communities throughout Timor-Leste, access to water and sanitation can become completely cut-off, left dysfunctional or destroyed due to climate-related events like the recent flash floods and landslides experienced. New data captured through the CSC is helping to inform government funding allocations for operations and maintenence to improve accessibility and the climate resilience of these essential services.


“WASH actors need to continue to support the government to provide better WASH services to the community through high consideration of climate changes and participation of women and people with disabilities.”

Carlito da Costa, Program Manager, HAK


The CSC was first used as a social audit mechanism that proved powerful in understanding community WASH issues and perceptions and raising concerns with relevant government and WASH sector stakehoders to action during the first phase of Water for Women, The CSC was implemented by WaterAid partner, HAK, a national rights organisation, with more than 40 rural water systems across Liquiçá and Manufahi.

Despite these inroads, partners continued to observe issues relating to the operation, maintenance and sustainability of rural water systems, water source depletion in the communities, and a lack of representaion among people with disabilities, women and girls in WASH decision-making, Partners came together to collaboratively review the existing indicators and identify amendments and additions to the CSC to improve the collection of gender equality, disability and social inclusion (GEDSI) and climate resilience insights.

Through this process, discussions also led to the inclusion of additional indicators to understand if and how communities protect or conserve their water sources, how different governance mechanisms, like the Tara Bandu (local customary law) are used to govern water resource management, and how people with disabilities, women and girls participate in GMFs (local water management groups) and community WASH activities. Suggested changes, including the alignment of indicators with definitions in relevant national policies and guidelines, were shared with national WASH and GEDSI actors for feedback, including the National Authority for Water and Sanitation (ANAS), public utility company Bee Timor-Leste (BTL), and the Secretary of State for Equality and Inclusion (SEII).

In addition to its implementation in Manufahi and Liquiçá, the renewed CSC is also being trialled in new municipalities across the country as part of the HALIRAS BESI project,

Water for Women partners with WaterAid to strengthen systems for sustainable and inclusive WASH services in Liquiçá and Manufahi through the project, HALIRAS BESI - Haforsa Ligasaun ba Igualidade, Resiliensia, Adaptasaun no Sustentabilidade ba BES, which means 'Strengthening Connections for Equality, Resilience, Adaptation and Sustainability of WASH in Timor-Leste.' It aims to directly benefit 18,615* people, including at least 300* people living with disabilities, across the two districts by the end of 2024.



December 3rd is the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

This year's theme, 'United in action to rescue and achieve the SDGs for, with and by persons with disabilities' conveys the solidarity and accelerated efforts needed now in order to get many of the Sustainable Development Goals back on track for 2030 - especially those for persons with disabilities that are lagging even further behind.

Across Asia and the Pacfic, Water for Women partners are united in action for SDG 6 - safe water and sanitation for all - upon which all 17 goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development rely.

Working in partnership with Organisations of Persons for and with Disabilities, rights holder groups, communities, sector stakeholders and governments, our partners are accelerating access to climate-resilient, gender equitable and disability inclusive WASH services for all.

With a core focus on systems strengthening and commitment to leave no one behind, partners are also helping to build resiience within the networks and infrastructure that underpin these services. 

Together, we have reached more than 3.4 million people in 16 countries so far, including almost 70,000 people living with disabilities and more than 1.7 million women and girls.

Inclusive communities are resilient communites.



*Project targets are based on partner Civil Society Organisations (CSO) project baseline studies. Project targets are updated periodically in response to changes in context as appropriate.


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