A group of people cheer as a new water pump sprays water.

The Lifesaving Impact of our Water and Sanitation Programs


World Vision Canada

Reported on

2023 Annual Results Report

Did you know? 4 lives are saved every day thanks to our water and sanitation programs.

In recent years, the global effort to enhance access to clean water and sanitation has taken a leap forward, particularly through initiatives like those run by World Vision Canada (WVC) under the WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) area of focus. A detailed analysis has shed light on the tangible benefits these programs offer, notably saving lives and improving health in underserved communities worldwide. Here’s a simplified look at how these programs are making a difference and how we can know that 4 lives are being saved every day thanks to these initiatives.

Understanding the Scope

Between 2019 and 2021, World Vision Canada implemented Integrated WASH initiatives in 111 projects across 29 countries, reaching more than 12 million people. These projects aimed to bolster health and nutrition among children, reduce risks of violence against women and girls, and improve overall community well-being through better access to clean water and sanitation facilities.

The Analysis

The assessment of the WASH program’s impact involved a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis, juxtaposing the economic and social costs against the wide-reaching benefits of the program. This approach included evaluating the reduction in disease incidences, like diarrhea and respiratory infections, and quantifying non-health benefits such as time saved in water collection and improved productivity due to reduced absenteeism from schools.

The Results in Brief

The findings are compelling: with an investment of around $2347 million, the WASH program delivered benefits valued at over $337 million. This resulted in a net present value exceeding $300 million, indicating a highly efficient use of resources with a benefit-cost ratio of 1437. Essentially, every dollar invested in the program generated $1437 in societal benefits.
Highlighting the program’s life-saving impact, the analysis estimated that 4,901 lives were saved during the analysis period, with significant reductions in mortality among children under five due to decreased instances of diarrhea and other infections. Additionally, the program averted 58,371 disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), showcasing a substantial improvement in quality of life and health.
A girl smiles at the camera as she fills her hand with water from a water pump.

Beyond Health

The benefits of the WASH programs extend beyond direct health improvements. The data showed significant gains in productivity and education, with reductions in school absenteeism and valuable time savings from lessened water collection duties, which have historically burdened many communities.

Global Perspective and Effectiveness

The effectiveness of WASH programs varied across the countries, but the overall trend was incredibly positive, with most showing a benefit-cost ratio well above the threshold of efficiency. This success demonstrates the programs' vital role in not only saving lives but also in contributing to economic and social development.

Moving Forward

The positive outcomes of World Vision Canada’s WASH programs are a testament to the critical role of water and sanitation initiatives in global health and development. As we move forward, the focus will remain on continuing these life-saving programs, backed by the compelling evidence of their effectiveness and efficiency in making a real difference in people’s lives.
Unless otherwise stated, data presented on this page reflects the most up-to-date results of World Vision Canada programs reported between October 2022 and September 2023, and any previous fiscal years available. Previously reported data may not match the current presentation as we continuously receive and refine data from our programs. If you have any questions, kindly reach out to us.