Poor initial planning processes have been implicated in the high failure rate of rural water and sanitation development projects. This article critically examines 17 existing planning frameworks for rural water supply and sanitation projects with respect to key attributes of good planning practice, in order to discover the extent to which these address the elements of planning that relate to sustainability. It identifies sustainability-related factors from the sector that have been recognised as such and incorporated into current frameworks, as well as factors that are not yet well covered, and makes recommendations to practitioners wishing to employ such frameworks.
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