This project is active

Progressing equitable and universal access to safely managed sanitation and hygiene for at least 275,000 people across eight districts in Bhutan.

Beyond the Finish Line - Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All in Bhutan is part of a five-year multi-country programme (2018-2022), which is being implemented by SNV in Bhutan, Lao PDR and Nepal. First developed in 2008, the Australian Aid-funded SSH4A programme in Bhutan is currently on its third cycle of project funding as part of the Water for Women Fund. It is being led by SNV together with the Public Health Engineering Division (PHED) of the Ministry of Health (MoH), local government authorities and national civil society partners, including Ability Bhutan and BAOWE, and small-scale private sector actors. Knowledge and learning activities are supported through a multi-country partnership with the Institute for Sustainable Futures of University of Technology Sydney (ISF-UTS), and further technical support from CBM Australia

Building on the SSH4A approach, the project in Bhutan will contribute to the improved health conditions and well-being of selected rural districts, and will accelerate gender equality, social inclusion, and safely managed services within SSH4A and Bhutan’s national Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Programme. It aligns with the four outcomes envisioned for the Water for Women Fund (WfW) of the Australian Aid programme, the SDGs and Bhutan’s forthcoming Five-Year Plan and National Key Results Areas.

Implementation of the SSH4A adjusted, integrated and phased district-wide approach will:

  • leverage political commitments, decentralisation and cost-sharing mechanisms to expand the national sanitation and hygiene programme to at least four priority districts (Chukha, Dagana, Zhemgang, Punakha);
  • extend the current focus to progress access in schools, monastic institutions, basic health care facilities, small town district centres and temporary settlements; and
  • in parallel, strengthen safely managed services across four ongoing programme districts (Lhuentse, Pemagatshel, Trashigang and Samtse), by supporting the government to look beyond the “finish line” of ODF, e.g., safe emptying practices and to institutionalise monitoring systems and strategies to benefit potentially disadvantaged groups; ensuring access and usage for all.


As part of the Beyond the Finish Line multi-country programme, the project applies a rights-based approach, integrates menstrual hygiene management (MHM) in schools, and engages strategically with potentially disadvantaged groups, e.g., ethnic minorities, people living in remote and extreme poverty areas, women, and people with disabilities – to strengthen their voice and leadership, and to create positive role models for households, communities and local institutions.



Photo credits: (Banner) Nuns in Khardung Monastery participate during sanitation and hygiene workshop by Thinley Dem for SNV | (Main content) Leaving no one behind: water, sanitation and people with disability stakeholder meeting


Key facts



Strengthened national and local government, private sector and CSO capacity to develop safely managed sanitation and hygiene services for all


(Sub-)National stakeholders, CSOs and international WASH actors strengthen use of new evidence, innovation, and practices that integrate gender, socially inclusive, and sustainable approaches in safely managed sanitation and hygiene services design


275,000 more people in rural and urban Bhutan gain access to safely managed sanitation and hygiene services

Our experts

Gabrielle Halcrow

Multi-country Programme Manager, Beyond the Finish Line

Kencho Wangdi

WASH Sector Leader - Bhutan

Ugyen Rinzin

Project Manager - WASH

Donors & Partners