The International WaterCentre at Griffith University

(Type 2) Research: WRA063

Inclusive, resilient and sustainable WASH outcomes

Research Focus: Progressing inclusive, resilient and sustainable SDG 6 and WASH outcomes in the rural Pacific: approaches to enable effective community-based water management 

Locations: Solomon Islands and Fiji 

Partner CSOs: Plan International Australia, Live and Learn Solomon Islands, Habitat for Humanity Australia and Habitat for Humanity Fiji. 

Partner Universities: University of South Pacific


March 2023


International WaterCentre at Griffith University, together with Solomon Islands National University, Plan International, Habitat for Humanity and the University of the South Pacific in Fiji, has recently completed their research project, Community-Based Water Management: Progressing inclusive, resilient and sustainable WASH outcomes

You can read more about the project and the research team's reflections in their project wrap up:

Progressing inclusive, resilient and sustanable WASH in rural Pacific 

Key Research Questions:

How can CSOs and governments better enable rural community-based-water-management (CBWM) in the Pacific to improve SDG6 outcomes?


  1. What can be learned from evaluating CBWM across diverse community contexts, especially about which community governance, engagement, and support features are most aligned with inclusive, integrated and resilient SDG6, including WASH, outcomes, then
  2. What approaches and tools, that are sensitive and responsive to local context and improve inclusion, can CSOs/Governments use, to strengthen these community engagement, support and governance features? 


"Currently, governments and NGOs know communities need support to manage their own water supply systems but don’t have any evidence of what works and why.  The practical tools of this research, codeveloped with academics and practitioners, will allow us improve practice by NGOs and Government, and increase the likelihood of sustainable and reliable water services in communities."

Tom Rankin, WASH Program Manager, Plan International Australia


Research Description:

Poor management of water sources and services is associated with inadequate WASH outcomes, negatively impacting on human health and wellbeing, and often affects women and girls disproportionately.  Across the Pacific, community-based-water-management (CBWM) remains the necessary model for rural water services due to the limited presence of government and private sector. 

However, global and Pacific evidence indicates that current approaches to enabling CBWM don’t lead to inclusive, integrated and resilient WASH outcomes, and that external support is necessary. Although Pacific governments appreciate support is required and invest in providing support for CBWM, there is a lack of evidence about what support is effective, including in different community contexts.

In partnership with CSOs, government and communities in both Fiji and the Solomon Islands, this research seeks to answer how CSOs and governments can better enable rural CBWM in the Pacific to improve SDG6 outcomes, including the resilience, inclusiveness and sustainability of WASH outcomes.

This will be answered by:

(i)   First assessing the strengths of a variety of existing cases of good CBWM, and

(ii)  secondly co-developing and piloting a toolkit of context-sensitive community engagement approaches to enable effective CBWM. 

The approach involves male and female local University and village ‘researchers’, strengthening local research capacity as well as promoting gender equity in academia and local WASH outcomes, and participation of women in local water governance. 

Key outputs include a toolkit and guide of community-engagement and other approaches that enabling actors, including CSOs and government  can use to support context-specific CBWM, and guidance on enabling CBWM that governments can include in their plans and guides. 


Innovation & Impact


In 2021, this project was awarded an Innovation and Impact grant to further strengthen the use of new evidence, innovation and practice in sustainable and inclusive water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and, in doing so, contribute to improved learning and practice globally.

Led by the International WaterCentre at Griffith University, this Innovation and Impact project extends the impact of PaCWaM+ by sharing lessons and tools on community water management gained from Fiji and Solomon Islands with stakeholders in Vanuatu.


Learn more



International Water Centre Logo
Griffith University logo
Plan International Australia
Live and Learn Environmental Education logo
Habitat for Humanity Australia logo
Habitat for Humanity Fiji

Water for Women is proud to be partnering with the International WaterCentre and Griffith University along with Plan International and Live and Learn, Habitat for Humanity, University of South Pacific, Ministry of Health and Medical Services of Fiji, the Water Authority of Fiji and Solomon Islands Government in this important research work.

Photo: Community water mapping, Solomon Islands / International WaterCentre at Griffith University

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