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Results BriefsJanuary 20, 2023

PAMSIMAS: Expanding Inclusion for People with Disabilities in Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Services in Indonesia

pamsimas disability

Toilet with disability inclusion approach in Bangunharja village, West Java. 



Since 2006, PAMSIMAS, a national rural community-based water and Sanitation project, benefitted about 24 million people with improved access to water supply facilities and provided 16 million with access to improved sanitation. As of December 2021, PAMSIMAS was in operation in more than 80 percent of districts in Indonesia. In 2016 PAMSIMAS launched a disability-inclusive approach to increase access for people with disabilities. 



In Indonesia, even as PAMSIMAS increased access to water and sanitation across the country, people with disabilities lacked access to various services due to inadequate facilities or accommodation. Many people with disabilities were excluded from decision-making processes related to public services, and facilities were not equipped with adequate accessibility features.

Many of the WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) facilities at homes and public areas were designed without consideration for disability inclusion. Many people with disabilities had difficulties accessing facilities on their own and without assistance. In PAMSIMAS villages, about one percent of the population were identified as people with disabilities, and less than three percent of these people with disabilities had adequate access to WASH facilities. 



The development objective was to increase the number of under-served rural and peri-urban populations that had access to sustainable water supply and sanitation services. In 2016, PAMSIMAS piloted a disability-inclusive approach in 59 villages. The pilot was followed by the development of guidelines and a series of capacity building activities for facilitators and consultants to support the scale-up and implementation of the approach. Starting in 2018, the disability inclusive approach was mainstreamed across the project, with the goal of ensuring universal access to water supply and sanitation facilities in all new PAMSIMAS villages. A standard operating procedure was developed and utilized as guidance for all stakeholders to ensure effective adoption of the approach. By December 2021, about 10,676 villages had adopted the disability-inclusive approach. The project also demonstrated that the cost for adopting the disability-inclusive approach at the design stage was much cheaper than retrofitting or modifying an already constructed facility.

24.4 million

people benefited from access to improved water supply and 16.4 million from access to sanitation facilities.



Beneficiary Story/Quote

pamsimas disability photo
Devina on her way to the toilet.
Devina, a student in a school for people with disabilities, uses a wheelchair. Before PAMSIMAS, she needed assistance from teachers to go to the toilet or wait for other people to help her to climb stairs. “I am very happy now as I can go to toilet any time on my own without assistance,” Devina says.

“PAMSIMAS emphasized inclusiveness in the planning process, implementation, and in the management of the system. I am involved in designing the infrastructure as well as active in the community-based organization managing the system. Through PAMSIMAS more than 100 households in my village are now benefiting from access to improved water supply at home.”


Bank Group Contribution

Funding for the World Bank PAMSIMAS (PAMSIMAS I to III) projects was provided by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) in the amount of $537 million, accounting for 32 percent of the total project cost. 



Five Indonesian directorate generals were involved: DG Community Health (Ministry of Health), DG Village Government and DG Regional Government (Ministry of Home Affairs), DG Human Settlements (Ministry of Public Works and Housing), and DG Village Innovative Technology (Ministry of Village). Local governments, communities, private sector actors, and non-governmental organizations were involved. The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade provided a trust fund contribution of about $96 million, while $1 billion was leveraged from the government and the private sector. DFAT also contributed to introduction of incentive grants for best performing village operators, water treatment technology for peatland areas, and adoption of the disability-inclusive approach. 


Looking Ahead

The PAMSIMAS project closed on August 31, 2022. The Government of Indonesia (through the Ministry of Public Works and Housing) has continued the project approach through its own financing, expanding to about 1,800 villages in 2022. The Ministry of National Development Planning (Bappenas) led multi-stakeholder discussion to develop policy and guidance on the sustainability of community-based rural water supply and sanitation and is expected to issue a multiple-ministerial circular in August 2022.