Gallery Bdesh 2

Markets can effectively deliver WASH.

Public efforts and financing alone are not enough to meet the sustainable development goals for sanitation and clean water—the private sector needs to be engaged as well.

iDE’s Global WASH Initiative is a group of business savvy practitioners and strategists, knowledgeable about how to expand access to WASH products and services through successful market development programs.

Our work engages private businesses to collaborate with government and others to achieve social good while making a sustainable profit.

By being able to think both like a business and understand customers wants and desires, iDE determines what motivates both groups.

The entrepreneurial culture at iDE provides us the ability to take risks to accelerate progress and greatly expand scale and delivery.

The WASH Markets website is a compilation of lessons learned from the past decade, initially launched in 2019 with specific details from our Cambodia program. We plan to expand this site over the next couple of years to include our experiences in other countries, as well as continue to update Cambodia as it drives toward full sanitation coverage.

Check back often to find out how we are leveraging markets to deliver WASH at scale.

To learn more about our work, contact us at

iDE Global WASH Leaders

From country programs to headquarters, these are the people making a difference in WASH
  • Trang Bui Cc
    Trang Bui
    Program Coordinator, iDE Vietnam
  • Michel Dauget 0219 Cc
    Michel Dauguet
    WASH Program Director, iDE Cambodia
  • Ide Staff E Andrea Hernandez Tobar
    Andrea Hernandez Tobar
    Country Director, iDE Ethiopia
  • Quang Van Nguyen 0136 Cc
    Quang Nguyen
    Country Director, iDE Vietnam
  • Bd Deepak Dhoj Khadak
    Deepak Dhoj Khadka
    Country Director, iDE Bangladesh
  • Valerie Labi 0390 Cc
    Valerie Labi
    Country Director, iDE Ghana
  • Mike Roberts 0080 Cc
    Michael Roberts
    Country Director, iDE Cambodia
  • Eth Okelo Fekadu
    Okelo Fekadu
    WASH and Agricultural Technologies Director, iDE Ethiopia
  • Luke Colavito 0049 Cc
    Luke Colavito
    Country Director, iDE Nepal
  • Binod Nepal Portrait Web2
    Binod Mishra
    Project Director, iDE Nepal
  • Ide Staff G Molly Goodwin Kucinsky
    Molly Goodwin-Kucinsky
    Global WASH Knowledge Manager
  • Ide Staff G Greg Lestikow
    Greg Lestikow
    Global WASH Innovation and Performance Manager
  • Yi Wei 0277 Cc
    Yi Wei
    Director of Global Water, Sanitation & Hygiene

iDE pioneered market-based approaches in the WASH sector that incorporate private businesses, NGOs, government, and other stakeholders. Since iDE Vietnam launched the world’s first market-based sanitation program in 2003, this model has been successfully replicated across iDE’s other country programs and by other organizations. iDE currently works across our global WASH portfolio to improve sanitation coverage using an approach called Sanitation Marketing.

History of iDE WASH

  1. The beginning

    Pioneering sanitation marketing

    Hand-pumps in Vietnam

    iDE Vietnam launched a hand-pump project in 1995 to improve rural households’ access to water for kitchen gardens and household needs.

    Filters, pumps, and rainwater harvesting in Bangladesh

    In order to address a pervasive arsenic contamination issue, iDE Bangladesh received funding in the late 1990s from several international donors to improve users’ sustainable access and use of affordable water and sanitation facilities in the project area. iDE responded by using its market-based strategy to promote the development, production, and distribution of technologies including a ceramic water filter, rainwater harvesting systems, and two different types of hand pumps..

    Sanitation marketing develops in Vietnam and Cambodia

    In 2000, iDE Cambodia invited Potters for Peace to the country to explore the feasibility of their ceramic water filters in rural areas. The encouraging results convinced the iDE Cambodia program to enter the to the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) sector.

    iDE Vietnam began using a market-based approach to improve rural sanitation coverage in 2002. In a matter of years, the Vietnam program had achieved significant and sustainable impact, demonstrating the potential of this approach.

    iDE Cambodia began exploring the potential of Sanitation Marketing in 2007 and identified significant opportunity. A pilot project launched in 2008 led to the design of the award-winning Easy Latrine and facilitating the sale of over 17,000 latrines in 16 months. In the subsequent scale up project, iDE Cambodia facilitated the sale of an additional 100,000 latrines in two years, solidifying its place within the
    WASH world.

    Developing water solutions in Nepal

    During an annual review meeting, iDE Nepal’s technical staff mentioned the challenge faced by Nepali households, many of whom had to travel up to 30 minutes every day just to collect water, and discussed the best way to develop water sources for irrigation. Staff came up with the idea to design a new hybrid system (later named multiple use water systems) that would provide communities with water for both domestic and productive purposes.

  2. Scaling up

    Setting the standard

    The birth of Hydrologic

    iDE re-designed the ceramic water filter to target different market segments. The original filter, although effective, was considered ugly by many households. iDE worked with PATH to design a ceramic filter that could be both aspirational, easier to transport and affordable to rural households. The result of this project was the “Super Tunsai” ceramic water filter, a greatly enhanced model that
    fit the brief and has subsequently proved very popular with customers. In 2012, Hydrologic became the first organization in Asia to register a water filtration project under the voluntary Gold Standard scheme. As a sustainable and market-based water filtration business, Hydrologic has been able to benefit from carbon offset funding. Hydrologic ceramic water filters not only provide clean water to rural households, but reduce the amount of wood burnt to boil water, create local jobs and bolster economic development.

    Scaling sanitation marketing

    iDE Cambodia partnered with PATH to develop the Sanitation Marketing Scale Up (SMSU) project and secured over $7 million dollars in funding from the World Bank WSP, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Stone Family Foundation. The project quickly scaled and was selling an average of 5,000 latrines monthly within two years.

  3. Current

    Leading the way

    Addressing complexity

    The second phase of SMSU in Cambodia continued the trend of increase sanitation coverage, reaching nearly 70% in the areas of implementation by the end of the project. It also identified the challenges and issues to be addressed to continue increasing latrine coverage in the poorest locations and difficult environments (i.e., often flooded, mountainous, etc.). By the end of SMSU 2.0, iDE Cambodia had facilitated the sale of over 300,000 latrines.

    Expanding coverage

    In February 2012, iDE Bangladesh launched its first Sanitation Marketing project with funding from SDC. By 2018, the project had already facilitated 300,00 sales with continued strong potential.