Self-supply in Asia and the Pacific

March 2023

The University of Sydney - Institute for Sustainable Futures, together with UNICEF, recently completed this Innovation and Impact (I&I) project. The project found that more than 700 million people in Asia and the Pacific self-supply their drinking water, with this number growing by around 10 million annually. The findings provide important evidence to inform policy and practice to progress SDG6 in the region, which has been lacking.


You can read more about the project and the research findings in the project wrap up:

Bringing light to the prevalence of self-supply water in Asia and the Pacific



Blue background with white text stating, 'Innovation & Impact


University of Technology Sydney, Institute for Sustainable Futures

Partnering with: UNICEF

Innovation and Impact projects are contributing to ongoing research and development in Water for Women as a way of strengthening the use of new evidence, innovation and practice for inclusive, sustainable and resilient WASH.


Water for Women is partnering with the University of Technology Sydney, Institute for Sustainable Futures for the Transitioning to safely managed water services in self-supply contexts research project, to evaluate the risks and opportunities associated with on premises, self-supply water sources and how they support or undermine transitions towards safely managed services for poor households across Asia and the Pacific.


The Transitioning to safely managed water services in self-supply contexts research project has focused on areas lacking piped water, including densely populated low-income urban areas in Indonesia and small  climate-affected islands in Vanuatu.


Using the analysis from Indonesia and Vanuatu, the research project has successfully defined pathways to safely managed water services that benefit all.


Factsheets have been developed by UTS-ISF detailing the self-supply of safely managed water services contexts across South Asia, South East Asia and the Pacific. The factsheets include trend graphs and maps, equity dimensions of self-supply, such as access across wealth quintiles, gender of household head, and service levels such as safety and reliability.


This Innovation and Impact project is improving the understanding of self-supply in each country context in order to support advocacy and good practice across Asia and the Pacific.


The project is focusing on contextualising existing research results from the regional data analysis of self-supply to multiple priority countries.


Specifically, the project team is:

  • working closely with UNICEF, including on priority country selection.
  • developing country-level factsheets on self-supply of water services for each selected country.
  • delivering participatory workshops with UNICEF WASH professionals and government partners in each sub-region: South Asia, South East Asia and the Pacific.


The resources and workshops explore issues relating to monitoring of self-supply service levels and pathways
towards safely managed water services. They also include a focus on private sector actors. Private sector actors are fundamental to self-supply, due to reliance on supply chains for well drilling and excavation, pumps, storage tanks, and associated construction services. The connected financing and inclusion aspects are, therefore, also incorporated into the resources and deliberations.


These activities are enhancing awareness and understanding of self-supply across the Asia-Pacific region within and beyond UNICEF and governments, and equipping UNICEF and government representatives with the knowledge and evidence to support countries in their efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6 - clean water and sanitation for all.



UTS-ISF logo

The Australian aid program is investing in innovation and learning to deepen impact throughout Asia and the Pacific through the Innovation and Impact grants. By supporting partners to further their innovation and impact, we can not only improve WASH outcomes in this region, but also contribute to improved WASH policy and practice globally. Water for Women is proud to be partnering with the University of Technology Sydney, Institute for Sustainable Futures and UNICEF.


Header photo: Self-supply in Nepal, UTS-ISF / Tim Foster

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