Examining the role of WASH services within peace- and state- building processes: findings from Tearfund programmes in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of South Sudan

Research reports and studies
October 2012
This research focuses on Tearfund’s water supply, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions implemented through the ‘Capacity Building to Improve Humanitarian Action in the Water Sanitation and Hygiene’ programme, funded by DFID’s Conflict, Humanitarian and Security Department (CHASE). The objective of the programme is to increase the capacity of Tearfund Operational Teams, local partner projects and local government departments in conflict-affected and humanitarian contexts to support improved access to potable water, sanitation and public health education, resulting in sustainable improved health, well-being and dignity for grassroots communities.

This research project provides an opportunity to analyse more systematically the impact of the Capacity Building programme on peace-building and state-building in two countries (South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo), and to identify entry points to support these processes more effectively through future WASH service-delivery programming and ultimately to help future Tearfund programmes ‘support effective water supply, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) service delivery in ways that maximise their contribution towards peace- and state-building’ (PB and SB).

The specific research questions that guide the research are:

  • To what extent and in what ways can the processes of improving access to WASH make an explicit contribution to peace- and state-building in fragile and conflict-affected states (FCAS)? 
  • Given the impact WASH service delivery can have on peace- and state-building, what does effectiveness look like in FCAS and how can it be measured?
  • What diagnostic tools or indicators might guide future WASH service-delivery programmes in FCAS, to help maximise the extent to which they can contribute to peace- and state-building?