Access to Basic Services

Access to basic services includes basic access to drinking water, basic sanitation and hygiene facilities, essential health care, education (as a minimum primary school education), energy, social welfare schemes (commonly referred to as safety nets) and basic mobility and in urban contexts additionally access to basic waste collection services and broadband internet access. Activities under this thematic area aim at improving quality and coverage of services offered by public (usually national and sub-national government actors and agencies), private (e.g. service provider companies) or philanthropic (such as NGOs in the absence of governmental or private service providers) actors to ensure they can meet basic needs.


The standard activities under this thematic area include:

  • Construction, rehabilitation and equipment of social infrastructure (health centres, schools, etc.) and productive assets;
  • Support to public institutions that provide basic services such as provision of training, technical assistance and/or resources to authorities and service delivery agents; for example, municipal waste management, decentralization, transparent procurement, etc.;
  • Supporting civil society and/or the private sector to deliver quality services in the absence of state actors (for example in contexts of conflict or fragile states);
  • Promoting access to quality education for children and youth;
  • Adaptation of basic service infrastructure to requirements of persons with special needs;
  • Provision of block grants for local public projects and/or direct support to the construction, operation and maintenance of social infrastructure;
  • Supporting social protection schemes such as social safety-nets (pension, insurance), incl. policy formulation;
  • Direct basic service provision outside humanitarian response (e.g. water treatment);
  • Supporting the creation of an enabling environment for effective, transparent and accountable service delivery, including the formulation and/or application of policies and reforms.