Failing better in the WASH sector

Things can, and do, go wrong in water, sanitation and hygiene. In July 2018, an event at the Water Engineering Development Centre Conference in Nakuru, Kenya, “Blunders, Bloopers and Foul-ups: A WASH Game Show” inspired a call for WASH Professionals to publicly commit to sharing their failures and learning from one another. After months of iterations, including collecting feedback from the sector, we present to you:

The Nakuru Accord: failing better in the WASH sector

Transparency and accountability are necessary for achieving sustainable, positive impacts from water, sanitation and hygiene.  As a WASH professional, I believe that we can achieve this through a culture of sharing and adaptation when things go wrong. To support this, I will:

  • Promote a culture of sharing and learning that allows people to talk openly when things go wrong.
  • Be fiercely transparent and hold myself accountable for my thinking, communication and action.
  • Build flexibility into funding requests to allow for adaptation.
  • Design long-term monitoring and evaluation that allows sustainability to be assessed.
  • Design in sustainability by considering the whole life cycle.
  • Actively seek feedback from all stakeholders, particularly end-users.
  • Recognise that things go wrong, and willingly share these experiences, including information about contributing factors and possible solutions, in a productive way.
  • Critically examine available evidence, recognising that not all evidence is created equal.
  • Write and speak in plain language, especially when discussing what has gone wrong.


Please click here if you would like to sign The Nakuru Accord.

You can download a high resolution version of the Accord as a pdf or a png and stick it on your wall/door to spread the word and keep yourself accountable.


We also suggest adding to your email signature: I am a signatory to The Nakuru Accord: I believe that things can and do go wrong in WASH and I promote a culture of sharing and adaptation.

We’re excited to share that we have been awarded funding by the Royal Academy of Engineering for a project titled: “Amplifying local voices to reduce failure in the WASH sector”. The project began in October 2019 and is a collaboration between University of Leeds, University of KwaZulu-Natal, UNICEF Supply Division, National University of Science and Technology (Zimbabwe), University of Malawi Polytechnic, the MWANZA Centre (Tanzania), Cranfield University, York University, Imperial College London and Plymouth University.

Follow developments in this space on Twitter.



Organisations (11)

Aguas dulces paraguayas

Banka Bio Loo


Hameedah Poverty Relief Foundation

Irise International

Kenya Pastoralist Journalist Network

Land and Water Bolivia Ltda

MacroLabs Genetics

Ong Adig Mauritanie

SOIL Haiti

Water Integrity Network


Events (1)

Colorado WASH Symposium


Individuals (212 – 8 individuals have asked us not to share their names here)

Gheed Abdul Jabar

Acago Bernadette Virginia

Lino Deng Akot

Patrick Alubbe

Dale Andreatta, Ph.D.

Lisa Andrews

John Peter Archer

Santiago Arnalich

Gemma Arthurson


Eline Bakker

Philip Banda

Sanjay Banka

Mitesh Baran

Isaac Yaw Barnes

Jennifer Barr

Dr Dani Barrington

Joanne Beale

Dr Amita Bhakta

Tierra Bishop

Vikki Bolam

Tari Bowling

Marc Anthony Branch

Clarissa Brocklehurst

James Brown

Joe Brown

Sophie Budge

Lena Bunzenmeyer

Sandy Cairncross

Miller Alonso Camargo-Valero

Dan Campbell

Ken Caplan

Naomi Carrard

Sally Cawood

Robert Chambers

Paresh Chhajed

Vincent Chireh

Ajay Chouhan

Jack T. Chow

Dr. Clément Cid

Dr Richard Collins

Erick Corimanya

Mimi Coultas


Karanja Daniel

Allie Davis

Susan M Davis

Noémie de La Brosse

Justin DeKoszmovszky

Sengoga Desire

Awa Diagne

Caetano Dorea

James Dornan

Sam Drabble

Dr. Bismark Dwumfour-Asare

Martin Ede

John Edwards

Professor Barbara Evans

Rebecca Evans

Dr Joachim Ezeji

Ammar Fawzi

Peter Feldman

Melinda Foran

Naomi Francis

Hanno Führen

Blanca Rosa Garcia

Dr. Daniel Gerling

Eduarda Giffoni

Prof. Jeremy Guest

Leonel Alberto Guitian Berniser

Stephanie Hamel

Clare Hanbury

Dayna Hansberger

James Harper, PE, ENV SP

Ben Harris

Tom Heath

Jan Hennigs

Cecilie Hestbæk

Dr Sarah House

Erin Huber

Andrés Hueso

Angela Huston

Paul Hutchings

Esmaeil Ibrahim

David Ibuyat


Amy Javernick-Will

Dan Jones

Ina Jurga

Evalyne Kamau

Mofwe Kapulu

Shula Kasongamulilo

Rémi Kaupp

Kayode Tosin J.

Genevieve Kelly

Ruth Kennedy-Walker

Welldon Kinaro

Lorrie Lynn King, MPH

Nicole Klaesener-Metzner

Mohamed S Koroma

Tyler Kozole

Vincent Kutai

Patricia Labina

Dennis Langat

Kimberly Lemme

Puleng Letsie

Anna Libey

Sara Sánchez López

Dr Laura MacDonald

John Macharia

Fiona Majorin

Fungai Makoni

Adrian Mallory

Rossanie Daudi Malolo

Nathaniel Mason

Louise Maule

Martin Nyanzi Mawejje

Solomon Minaye

Berta Moya

Gloria Magut

Mujjabi Martin Mukasa

Regis Matimati

Mumba Matsautso S

Mbae Maureen

Gabrielle McGill

Principal Mdolo

Melese Mengistu

Emmanuel Kwaw Mensah

Mika Mitoko

Rebecca J Morante

Mutuku Muema

Francis Musinguzi

Kennedy Musumba

Jamie Myers

Arjen Naafs

Abishek S Narayan

Andy Narracott

Kate Neely, PhD.

Christian Fru Ngang

Muthi Nhlema

Martin Nyamai

Lindsey Noakes

Peter Nyamoko

Carolyne Achieng Odero

Ayo Ogunlade

Hugo Oosterkamp

Temple Oraeki

Osir Otieno

Umesh Pandey

Stephanie Diana Paredes

Bruce Pelz

Elias Phiri

Grace Phiri

Andrew Francis Price

Bronwyn Powell

Chris Prottas

Rakotoarison Yves Etienne

Dr Kirstin T. Ravndal

Dr Simon Reddy

Brian Reed

Mary Renwick

Bram Riems

Lona Robertson

Claire Rosato-Scott

Jan Willem Rosenboom

Regina Rossmann

Kory C Russel

Tristano Sainati

Komal Saini

Raj Sandhu

Sydney Sapper

John Sauer

Lars Schoebitz

Gloria D. Sclar

Pippa Scott

Antonio Rodriguez Serrano

Dr Karen Setty

Balogun Hameedat Shade

Shawn Shafner

Esther Shaylor

Casey Siesel

Prithvi Simha

Dr Rebecca Sindall

Kanika Singh

Costanza Sironi

Kyla Smith

Elon Sooknanan

Santiago Septien Stringel

May Sule

Stephanie Tam

Aliwa Thomas

Anju Toolaram

S Townsend

Carley Truyens, PE, MPH

NsikanAbasi (Koko) Uko

Emily Van Houweling

Nicholas Valcourt

Naomi Vernon

Marco Visser – WASH for life

Franziska Volk

Elisabeth von Muench

Samson Wachara

Bereket Seifu Waldekidan

David Weatherill

Nicole Weber

Sian White

Stuart Woolley

Kimberly Worsham

Eyob Yisfawossen

Mariam Zaqout

Fiona Majorin