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Targeting the poor in sanitation and hygiene programs through result-based financing in Vietnam

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Over the past decade or so, donors have increasingly sought to link their financing to results on the ground, and focus on interventions towards the poor. In sanitation, this effort has mostly taken the form of pilot operations through government agencies; only a handful of schemes have involved international non-governmental organisations (INGOs). This discussion paper shows how the INGO East Meets West (EMW) pioneered the use of output-based aid (OBA) type incentives to ensure sustainability and better poverty targeting in Vietnam.

This paper written halfway through the CHOBA programme (2012-16) demonstrates that the OBA sanitation model can be implemented by an INGO and furthermore that it has significant potential for scale-up in Vietnam. It outlines each component of the project, how it is implemented, and provide an analysis to demonstrate its impact. Such an analysis adds further value when considering issues of scalability (e.g. cost effectiveness) and poverty targeting (e.g. incentives provided for implementers to reach the poor). Another point of interest noted throughout the paper is the programme’s capacity building approach for implementation partners, including sanitation and hygiene “change agents”. However, as this paper was written when the project had only been in operation for two-and-a-half years, it also presents as many questions and challenges as answers and solutions. In response, EMW developed and implemented a detailed research agenda also outlined in this resource.


Date: 4 November 2019