UNICEF, the Government of Mozambique and the Government of the Netherlands co-financed a USD 48 million rural water supply and sanitation intervention termed the One Million Initiative between 2007 and 2013. This paper presents the methods applied and the results obtained from the annual audits carried out in the programme using a Sustainability Check (SC) tool. The SC was applied by external audit company and was designed to ensure ongoing sustainability of investments beyond the programme lifespan. It grades the status of rural water supplies and ‘open defecation free’ (ODF) communities based on a multivariate composite index comprising institutional, social, technical and financial indicators. The SC uses three data collection instruments: a semi-structured focus group with the district authorities, a facility audit of water points, and an audit of ODF villages with a semi-structured household survey. The paper notes a trend towards increased sustainability of both ODF communities and rural water supplies during the course of the five-year period. The study concluded that an 80% sustainability score provides the greatest statistical probability of achieving >90% of functioning water supplies. The paper notes that when the sustainability score is <80%, the probability of the water supply functioning drastically reduces to 50%.

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