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WaSHMEL Project

Photo by Heather Arney (The Water Institute at UNC)

Project Team  |  Funding  |  Collaborators  |  In The News


GGG_WaSHMEL Project_flagsThe Cycle of Change- Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning in Water Projects

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation has a long history of improving water conditions in the world’s disadvantaged communities. With the assistance of The Water Institute at UNC, based in the Gillings School, the Foundation is taking stock of what has been attained and how its investments can achieve maximum impact.


The WaSHMEL project is dedicated to creating, sharing, and implementing cutting-edge monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) tools for water, sanitation, and hygiene (WaSH) practitioners. WaSHMEL brings together diverse partners in a global community of practice to improve sustainable access to WaSH among the poorest of the poor.

The project is producing rigorous and consistent measures that will enable the Foundation to compare outcomes across all their water projects and can also be used by the wider WaSH community.  By building in continuous quality improvement and tailored learning programs, the Water Institute is assisting Foundation grantees and WaSH practitioners to achieve even better outcomes in future.

Through this partnership, the Water Institute is helping foundation grantees to develop their own internal monitoring systems by training them to use and report data based on a set of agreed indicators. The training is through both face-to-face meetings and distance-learning programs pioneered at UNC.

The team is creating flexible, customized learning plans for every grantee, helping them to identify success factors, learn from the process and prioritize areas for quality improvement.

A wide group of stakeholders from across the WaSH world were involved in developing a core set of indicators and multiple learning tools that Hilton grantees and others in the WaSH sector can use for continuous quality improvement to increase program impact.

Project Team

  • Jamie Bartram (Principal Investigator)
  • Peggy Bentley
  • Ryan Cronk
  • Mike Fisher
  • Georgia Kayser
  • Kaida Liang
  • Suzanne Maman
  • Rohit Ramaswamy
  • Kavita Singh-Ongechi
  • Mark Sobsey


Sponsored by: Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

Total funding: $1,500,000


  • Hilton Foundation WaSH: The Aga Khan Foundation, Alterniativas y Procesos de Participacion Social A.C. de C.V., The Desert Research Institute, The Foundation Center, IRC (International Water and Sanitation Center), The Millennium Water Alliance, The OneDrop Foundation, Safe Water Network, Water.org, WaterAid, Water and Sanitation for Africa (formerly CREPA), World Vision, UNICEF.

In The News

Hilton Foundation grants $1.5M to Water Institute at UNC to evaluate its water initiatives