Issues We Work On
Community Choices System
The United Nations Millennium Development Goals, including those to improve access to safe water and sanitation, were developed both to shed light on urgent situations faced by poor communities around the world, as well as to help focus efforts of governments and aid organizations. As a result of related efforts, numerous technologies, methodologies, and financial mechanisms already exist to meet urgent water and sanitation needs, especially in lower- and lower-middle income countries, but are frequently offered through narrow, technology-driven, or single-model approaches. Communities and local water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) practitioners have no single source for assistance that allows them to choose the most appropriate option and provides information on technical and financial support to help implement that option. Instead, communities have relied on development partners to select and implement their solutions. Frequently, communities are not given multiple solution options, and at worst are left without understanding operation and maintenance of such solutions, which results in unused, broken, or poorly maintained facilities.
The Community Choices Project has developed a decision-making support system to help local governments, NGOs, communities, and households make informed decisions about their water, sanitation, and hygiene solutions, the Community Choices Tool at www.communitychoicestool.org. The Community Choices System offers users information on proven and tested technologies, connects them to technical and funding groups for assistance when there is need, and incorporates information on users’ socio-economic, cultural, hydro-geological and environmental factors prevailing in their locality or household or community.