Cambodia water, sanitation, and hygiene scale-up program 2.0 (WASH-SUP2) 

Water for Women partners with International Development Enterprises (iDE) to deliver WASH-SUP2 – Cambodia water, sanitation and hygiene scale up program to reach communities in six provinces of Cambodia.


Private sector delivery is Cambodia’s primary strategy to reach Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG6) by 2025.  The Government has a role in sector coordination, while development partners have supported WASH delivery, including through mobilising the private sector.  Further, Cambodia has been undergoing decentralisation reforms whereby planning and budgetary authority for service delivery rests with commune and district governance structures.

Research indicates that the remaining first latrine market in the targeted project areas is made up of:

  • poor households,
  • those in challenging environments (such as high groundwater or flood-prone areas),
  • migrant workers, sharing latrines and
  • people with disabilities.

Evidence suggests that by reducing the cost of standard pit latrines through offering targeted subsidies, uptake can be increased among poor households, while there is strong willingness-to-pay for product innovations, especially disability-inclusive products.

Cambodia has one of the world’s highest rates of disabilities per capita.  In addition, the number of elderly in Cambodia is increasing rapidly and expected to triple within a few decades.  Accessible sanitation provision is especially challenging in rural areas where there are very few affordable options available for purchase. 

In relation to waste management, in rural Cambodia there are no commonly available, affordable, sanitary services for emptying pit latrines when they become full.  Water scarcity, extreme flooding, and deforestation are intensifying and will have a disproportionate impact on the rural poor.

Poor people can, and do, pay for toilets

Building momentum toward open defecation free status in Cambodia

Thumbnail of downloadable country summary on activities in cambodia


Water for Women partners with International Development Enterprises to deliver WASH-SUP2 – Cambodia water, sanitation and hygiene scale up program to reach communities in six provinces of Cambodia.

The six provinces of Cambodia where the project will be implemented are Svay Rieng, Kandal, Prey Veng, Kampong Thom, Siem Reap and Oddar Meanchey.

Regional map of Cambodia

By developing connections between latrine suppliers and Provincial Departments of Rural Development (PDRD) and commune and village authorities, the project will ensure that market actors and local government entities coordinate efforts towards the mutual goal of inclusive WASH delivery.

Women are a critical component of the WASH supply chain.  Most latrine suppliers are family-run businesses and 80% involve a female partner.  Women play a managerial or decision-making role in 55% of latrine businesses, including 12% of all enterprises that are run with a woman in an executive role.

WASH-SUP2 takes a gender and socially inclusive approach that is both targeted and mainstreamed. 

  • iDE uses Human-Centred Design to identify the unique barriers and challenges facing each group, recognizing that vulnerable populations are not homogeneous.
  • Simultaneously, iDE mainstreams inclusion by using the market to scale solutions that are embedded in the supply, demand, and enabling environment rather than targeting one household, community, or even district at a time.
  • iDE facilitates the sale of improved latrines and other complementary products like toilet shelters and Alternating Dual Pit upgrades primarily through direct sales.
  • As the market matures, iDE will deepen the engagement with local government to focus on identifying and reaching the most vulnerable through a combination of targeted subsidies, product innovations, and supplier-led financing.

WASH-SUP2 mitigates climate change through carbon credit sales from the sale of ceramic water filters, which will offset approximately 360,000 tCO2e during the next four and a half years.  iDE is also launching new products designed to address specific climate change challenges.


"The Water for Woman grant will enable iDE to adapt its Sanitation Marketing intervention to ensure that the most vulnerable population segments gain access to improved sanitation in order to achieve the universal access target set by the Cambodian Government's National Action Plan by 2025. Moreover, the grant will enable iDE to address the SDG imperative of "safely managed" toilets by bringing to scale a market-based Faecal Sludge Management solution adapted to the Cambodian environment."

- Michel Dauguet, Director, iDE Global WASH Cambodia 


This project has four key outcomes: 

Outcome 1: Thriving Market System

  • Sales of water filters (Hydrologic)
  • Sales of latrines (through local latrine business operators) 

Outcome 2: Inclusive Market Access

  • Research and development, demonstrating proof of concept, training/coaching actors to produce and sell WASH solutions, and facilitating targeted subsidies and enterprise insurance to reach the most vulnerable. 

Outcome 3: Women’s Economic Empowerment

  • Continuously identifying and promoting ways to better engage women in sales, and a strong gender focus in recruitment of staff and change agents.
  • Skills-building and compensation structures taking into account women’s need to balance employment with household labour and the roles played in WASH businesses. 

Outcome 4: Innovation and Evidence

  • Combining human centred design with rigorous data to rapidly prototype products, services, and business models that are inclusive, sustainable, and scalable. Partnering with the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney to develop and pilot a multi-dimensional index to measure attributable impacts of WASH on gender equality. 

WASH-SUP2 aims to reach the following targets by 2022;

  • 37,500 Toilets installed (9,375 poor households targeted)
  • 2,800 Shelters with handwashing
  • 185 People with Disabilities (PWD) Households targeted
  • 15,000 alternating dual pit upgrades
  • 150,000 ceramic water filters delivered
  • 100 latrine business owners involved 


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The Australian aid program is investing in Cambodia over a five-year period to achieve these outcomes.  Water for Women is proud to be partnering with International Development Enterprises and other partners, Hydrologic and Engineers Without Borders (Australia).

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