icon icon icon icon icon icon icon

Rural Access to New Opportunities in WASH (RANO-WASH)

RANO-WASH works to help communities in rural Madagascar create solutions for sustainable and equitable water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) systems so people can live healthier lives and preserve the environment.

The project works in 250 rural communes in Vatovavy-Fitovinany, Antsinanana, Amoron’i Mania, Haute Matsiatra, Vakinankaratra, and Alaotra-Mangoro.


Madagascar has some of the most limited access to water and sanitation in the world – only 36% of households in rural areas use improved water facilities, and 57% of the population practices open defecation (UNICEF, 2019). The challenges to accelerating and expanding the use of improved, sustainably managed WASH services are three-fold: weak WASH governance, monitoring, and management capacities; weak private sector/WASH supply; and unhealthy behaviors/low demand for sanitation and hygiene.


RANO-WASH’s approach operates at the national, sub-national, and local levels and has three strategic objectives:

  1. Strengthen governance and monitoring.
  2. Strengthen capacity of private sector and support public-private partnerships.
  3. Improve healthy WASH behaviors and the demand for and use of WASH services and products.

Governance activities strengthen government, service providers, and communities so they can plan, manage, monitor, and sustain WASH services in an accountable manner. RANO-WASH provides institutional capacity-building, financial resources, and professional support to these service authorities and service providers so they can do their jobs. The project also strengthens civil society and community accountability mechanisms to ensure that communities, including women and other vulnerable populations, demand their right to WASH services and participate meaningfully in the decision-making processes for WASH in their communities.

To generate greater investment in improving WASH services in Madagascar, RANO-WASH mobilizes private sector engagement. The project works with the government and private sector enterprises so they can invest in, build, and operate rural water systems through public-private partnerships. RANO-WASH ensures strong community engagement, service quality, and effective governance to keep these partnerships equitable, sustainable, and affordable. The project’s approach also includes developing and strengthening markets, business models, and entrepreneurs for WASH services and products to ensure aspirational and affordable technologies (for example, sanitary napkins and other personal and household hygiene items, household water filters, latrine slabs, and pumping systems) that meet user preference and demand. At the same time, the project works to increase WASH service providers’ access to financial services and products so they can invest in and expand their WASH enterprises.

In order to increase adoption of healthy behaviors and use of WASH services, RANO-WASH seeks a better understanding of what influences the demand for and maintenance of sanitation and hygiene behaviors among target populations; develops specific strategies that target the sustained adoption of WASH behaviors and services; and informs national policies and programs that create an enabling environment for sustained positive sanitation and hygiene behaviors. This is supported by a gender-transformative approach that seeks to increase gender equality and change gender norms around WASH.

Program achievements

RANO-WASH trains government officials to plan and monitor services at national and local levels. It also works with the local private sector to make water services more available and reliable. In 2019, 12 private operators provided affordable and reliable piped water services to 5,300 people. These operators invested $152,000 of their own funds into their water supply system. A total of 60,200 people have access to basic or improved sanitation through stronger markets and stronger sanitation enterprises, and improved demand for appropriate and sustainable latrine technologies.



people now have access to basic or improved sanitation

The importance of RANO-WASH

RANO-WASH was designed to strengthen the building blocks for sustainable WASH services in Madagascar; test models for private sector investment in WASH to improve coverage and quality of services; and increase demand and sustained behavior change for WASH at the community level. At the center are strong accountability mechanisms between government, private sector, and citizens to ensure that services are affordable and accessible to all.