A WASH and Markets Approach to Sanitation in the Philippines

2015 - 2016 • Oxfam GB


Using a WASH and Markets approach to improved public health and disaster preparedness to provide an alternative and sustainable model for access to services


The Wash and Markets (WHAM) approach integrates market-based principals to further WASH goals by supporting beneficiaries to enable them to procure affordable WASH goods and services, strengthening suppliers/traders and service providers of WASH products/services and strengthen the market to increase commercial opportunities for market actors.

Finding good quality builders was relatively easy, but Oxfam helped them to re-design the toilet products available, making them more cost efficient to produce and increasing the number of options available.

Oxfam approached Barangay Health Workers to serve as sales agents for the toilets. The health workers were already familiar with the communities Oxfam was working in and the families living there. The health workers discussed the importance of having a good toilet with the families and explained how they could purchase one, linking them to a local builder.

Oxfam worked with the Department of Social Welfare and Development through their Sustainable Livelihood Program Associations (SLPA). SLPAs took on the role of distributing materials they could benefit from bulk purchase discounts by identifying which suppliers had the best prices in each location.

Oxfam developed a partnership with Bayan Academy to provide the toilet builders and the sales agents with all the training they needed to help them run successful small businesses, focusing on product quality, financial management, marketing, sales and customer service.

The other major component of Oxfam’s new approach was to tackle the affordability aspect of buying a toilet. Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) specialise in providing relatively small value loans to customers that would not normally be able to get a personal loan through a commercial bank. There are several MFIs operating in the Philippines, all with large customer bases. The Cebu People’s Multi-Purpose Cooperative (CPMPC) was identified as being a suitable MFI partner. Oxfam worked with CPMPC to develop both a toilet loan product and a savings account product that were suitable for low-income families.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development provides financial support to the most vulnerable families in the form of subsidies. These are intended to help families with health related expenditures. Oxfam worked with DSWD to enable these subsidies to be paid directly into a toilet savings fund for eligible families, giving them the extra support needed to be able to buy a toilet themselves from the products available to everyone else.


Image: Liezel, a builder from Bantayan Island training more builders in Guiuan, Eastern Samar © R Ramos - Oxfam

Countries of activity

Location of main activity


Access to sanitation was low before Typhoon Haiyan that struck in 2013. Septic tanks, if existing, often discharge without treatment into drainage systems, and open defecation remains a major health risk. Oxfam has worked with micro-finance institutions (MFI) to develop affordable products to enable households can construct their own latrines, while enabling access to savings and insurance mechanisms.

Another element is market facilitation, to link the suppliers of services to MSMEs or local authorities to ensure products are available even remotest areas, while also giving them the Business development support they needed to develop their products and services.

Further information

Since the project’s completion the model has formally been adopted by CPMPC and its still being implemented without Oxfam’s support.

Contact information

Rona Ramos
Login to see the e-mail-adress of the contact person.

Filter tags

Asia & Pacific Enabling environment and institutional strengthening Market development Specific to one or several countries

Oxfam GB
United Kingdom

Oxfam is a global movement of people working with others to overcome poverty and suffering. Oxfam is a vibrant global movement of passionate, dedicated people fighting poverty together. Doing amazing work, together. People power drives everything we do. From saving lives and developing projects that put poor people in charge of their lives and livelihoods, to campaigning for change that lasts.

view profile page

Uploaded by:
Esther Shaylor (eshaylor)

Share this page on    

Follow us on    

SuSanA Partners  currently 366 partners

Show all partners »

Sanitation events

SuSanA newsletter

Stay informed about the activities of SuSanA and its partners. The SuSanA newsletter is sent out around four times per year. It contains information about news, events, new partners, projects, discussions and publications of the SuSanA network.

Subscribe to newsletter »

Latest tweets mentioning SuSanA

Tweets mentioning SuSanA »

30th SuSanA meeting

The 30th SuSanA meeting - the first virtual of its kind - took place from August 17th to August 28th 2020. It was organised by the SuSana Secretariat with support and contributions from SuSanA Partners, Members, Working Groups and Regional Chapters.

Click here to get to the Meeting Page!

SuSanA meetings





Resources and publications

Our library has more than 3,000 publications, factsheets, presentations, drawings etc. from many different organisations. It continues to grow thanks to the contributions from our partners.

Add item to library »

The three links below take you to special groups of items in the library for more convenient access:


The project database contains nearly 400 sanitation projects of many different organizations dealing with research, implementation, advocacy, capacity development etc. Advanced filtering functions and a global map are also available. Information on how and why this database was created is here.

People working for SuSanA partners can add their own projects through their partner profile page. You might need your SuSanA login upgraded for this purpose. Please contact us if you would like to add a project.

Trainings, conference and events materials

Missed important conferences or courses? Catch up by using their materials for self study. These materials have been kindly provided by SuSanA partners.

Regional chapters

Use the map or the search tool to access the most relevant information and knowledge products for your region or country. This includes relevant resources, events, partners or projects.

Shit flow diagrams (SFDs), excreta flow diagrams

Shit flow diagrams (SFDs) help to visualize excreta management in urban settings. Access SFDs and more through the SFD Portal.




Discussion forum

Share knowledge, exchange experiences, discuss challenges, make announcements, ask questions and more. Hint: Your discussion forum login is the same as your SuSanA login. More about the forum's philosophy »

Integrated content

We are hosting content from some other communities of practice and information-sharing portals. This section also provides a link to SuSanA's Sanitation Wikipedia initiative.

Suggest content to add »

SuSanA partners

Not yet a SuSanA partner? Show your organisation's support to SuSanA's vision and engage in  knowledge sharing by becoming partners.

Apply to become a partner »

Individual membership

Register as an individual member of SuSanA free of charge. As a member you can interact with thousands of sanitation enthusiasts on the discussion forum.  You can also get engaged in one of our 13 working groups and our regional chapters. Our FAQs explain the benefits further.

By getting a SuSanA login you can fully participate in the SuSanA community!

Register as a member


Forgot your password?