The single most significant barrier developing countries face in realizing improved health outcomes and socioeconomic benefits that rely on effective and sustainable WASH interventions is insufficient local human resource capacity across disciplines related to WASH.
Across the developing world there are large, experienced international, regional and national non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the WASH field, but many lack the necessary technical staff locally to fully deliver positive WASH solutions that are state-of-the-art, locally tailored and sustainable.
Recent research suggests that a significant part of the challenge is a dearth of water professionals including engineers, hydrologists, sanitation promoters, technicians and artisans with mid- to high-level professional skills
There are several key education-related factors that may explain this lack of skilled professionals in low-income countries:
- Students are not getting the education and skills they need
- Education around water sector skills is poor due to insufficient monitoring of student progress
- In many training centers, the WASH curriculum is outdated and the quality of teaching low.