Hilton Tweaks Its WASH Strategy

When the Hilton Foundation laid out its WASH plans with its Safe Water program in 2010, it continued to stress access to safe water and sanitation as a major global health and development challenge.   

Now, after six years of operating under the 2010 strategy and with the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goal number six (SDG 6), Hilton is embarking on an additional approach in its WASH grantmaking, even as access remains at the heart of its work. 

SDG 6 calls for the “availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all” by 2030. Within that larger goal, the UN calls for greater international cooperation and increased capacity building support for WASH activities in least developed countries (LDCs), as well as strengthening local community participation in improved WASH management. Or as the Hilton Foundation puts it “pushing for bigger and better services.”

The Hilton Foundation is dedicating its 2017 to 2021 WASH grantmaking blueprint to the push for such services, by focusing on advancing WASH solutions and models that are proven and show promise, strengthening in-country water governance systems, and “building and disseminating credible and actionable evidence.” To those ends, the foundation recently announced a $19.53 million funding round, of which $9.5 million went toward the support of its Safe Water program.

The largest of these grants was $5 million, and it went to Safe Water Network, an outfit offering market-based WASH solutions using locally sourced water for their Safe Water Stations which are operated by local owner/operators. Those funds will go to back Safe Water Network’s small water enterprises (SWEs) market development program in Ghana.

World Vision received the second largest Safe Water program grant of $3 million for its sustainable WASH services in healthcare facilities located in Mali. And finally, PATH got a $1.5 million award to move the development of its onsite chlorine generator forward. PATHs chlorine generator in commercially viable and will be used to treat drinking water and prevent infections in health facilities, schools, and local communities in poor regions of the world.

With nearly 50 percent of total grants awarded in this latest funding round, the Hilton Foundation is really hitting the ground running with its new WASH strategy and its Safe Water program.