Ethiopia: A model for long-term microgranting programs for water and sanitation


  • Aileen Chang Columbia University
  • Theodore Sovornos Spark Microgrant, Community Lab
  • Neal Lesh Community Lab


microgrant, water, sanitation, Ethiopia


A microgrant is a small sum of money donated for the purpose of improving the standard of living of impoverished communities. The goal of this paper is to suggest a model which non-governmental organizations may employ to initiate long-term microgranting programs for improving access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. The model involves the partnership of the microgranting organization with local government and communities. The aim of the model is to facilitate long-term infrastructure and capacity building with regards to the administration of microgrants. While the model is specifically applicable to microgranting in Ethiopia, many of the recommendations may be applicable to microgranting projects in other countries. The paper will address the value of microgranting to water and sanitation, the importance of partnership with the local government, and considerations for how to design a microgrant program.

Author Biography

Aileen Chang, Columbia University

Aileen Chang received her MD from Columbia University and is receiving internal medicine training at the University of Miami. She is the microgrant coordinator for the Millennium Cities Initiative.






Original Research