Access to water and sanitation is unfairly distributed in Latin America and the Caribbean, with poor populations often forced to pay much more than more affluent citizens for services of substantially lower quality.

SIWI works with 19 countries in the Latin America and Caribbean region to strengthen their water and sanitation services. The support from SIWI is directed at UNICEF’s regional offices and country offices and revolves around improving accountability and the long-term sustainability within the WASH sector. On the SIWI side, water government experts are involved both from headquarters and from the Bogotá office.

The top priority is to improve the accountability and efficiency of the WASH sector. This is done with the help of methodologies such as the WASHBAT tool which has been especially adapted to Latin American circumstances.

The programme focuses on five priority areas:

  • Support to UNICEF offices. Both country offices and regional offices can receive support to develop their capacity and performance.
  • Knowledge generation and case studies: Research and case studies are carried out on how to strengthen the region’s WASH sector, including how to adapt tools and methods to local needs.
  • Capacity-building and learning: SIWI runs training activities during UNICEF’s regional meetings and has also set up networking where UNICEF staff and other practitioners can learn from colleagues in other countries in the region.
  • Dissemination of results: Lessons learned and other results are regularly presented at regional conferences and online.
  • A helpdesk: SIWI offers a help-desk function where staff from the UNICEF’s regional office can get technical support.