Member Profile: Africa AHEAD

Member Type
Referred By
Blue Planet Network | Status: approved
Also shown on map.

Our mission is to empower communities to take control of their own health through improved family hygiene and living standards. This is achieved by the establishment of Community Health Clubs and School Health Clubs in association with water and sanitation programmes:

1) Increase levels of hygiene knowledge and ensure behaviour change in order to eliminate all diseases that can be prevented by safe hygiene, particularly handwashing.

2) To increase access to sufficient quantity and quality of water for drinking and domestic purposes through self supply of new water sources, as well as rehabilitation and management of existing supply particularly for communities affected severe water shortages and desertification.

3) To decrease diarrhoea and other infectious diseases due to poor sanitation by ensuring, as a minimum, zero open defecation (ZOD) in all communities leading to self supply of family sanitation facilities.

4) To decrease infant and child mortality by reduction of Acute Respiratory Infections, HIV/AIDS, Malaria, through immunization, Mother’s safe hygiene and good parenting.

To create an international association of partner organisations and individual practitioners dedicated to implementing and promoting the CHC approach, to sharing of lessons learned and the promotion of best practices based on empirical evidence so as to enhance the overall cost-effectiveness of development in the Third World.


Africa AHEAD is dedicated to assisting local and International NGOs interested in using the CHC approach to health and development, and providing the following services:

• Information/Advocacy on the CHC Approach for opinion leaders/government

• Adaptation of Community/School Health Clubs for different countries/contexts

• Advice on integrating CHCs with water and sanitation programmes

• Design of the ‘membership card’ with appropriate key topics and messages

• Development of ethnographic illustrations, visual aids and training packages

• Training of Trainers workshops in the start up and running of CHCs

• Direct implementation of WASH programmes through CHCs

• Monitoring hygiene behaviour change using our household inventory
• Research and evaluation of Health Promotion programmes

• Incorporation of CHCs into existing strategies such as CLTS / sanitation marketing

• Data collection techniques using mobile phones, easy monitoring of progress.

Date Founded 1999-01-01
Primary Focus Hygiene Education
Secondary Focus Sanitation - Community
History of Water Projects
Related work not on PWX.

Africa AHEAD first started in Zimbabwe in 1999 as Zimbabwe AHEAD founded by Dr Juliet Waterkeyn and Anthony Waterkeyn.
(1995-1998) Unicef, WHO, WaterAid, ILO, Save the Children
(1999-2001) DFID, Danida, Oak Foundation.
(2006-2012) New Zealand Aid, Mercy Corps, OXFAM, MedAir, Catholic Relief Services, Concern, Christian Aid, World Vision, and many local NGOs.
(2011- present) ACF, USAID/OFDA, IMC, GAA, CAFOD.

ZERO OPEN DEFECATION (ZOD) in Zimbabwe, the CHC ability to achieve high sanitation uptake has been demonstrated in a number of district.
• Tsholotsho, Matebeleand North (2002) where 53% CHC members converted to cat sanitation with the balance of 47% constructing latrines within one year (total sanitation).
• Makoni District, Manicaland (1995-2006); 20120-present)
• Gutu District, Masvingo Province (1999-2001) & (2012-present)
• Chipinge District, Manicaland (2008-2010); (2012-present)
• Buhera District, Manicaland (2009-2011)
• Chiredzi District, Mavingo Province (2010-2011)
• Chiredzi Town, Masvingo (2011)
• Masvingo Town and Masvingo Rural (2012)
• Mberengwa, Midalnds (2012-present)
• Mutare Town, Manicaland (2012- present)
• Chimanimani, Manicaland (2012 – present)
• Bindura Town (2012-present)

In Ugandan IDPs Camps, in an emergency program, targets were exceeded with 11,800 latrines constructed by 120 Community Health Clubs within 8 months, where previously there was less than 10% sanitation.

2010: REDUCTION IN DIARROEA in one year in Health Centers in Vietnam by 90%, 93%, 59%, and 35% in 4 CHC areas but rose by 18% and 31% in 2 non CHC areas. (MoH)

Some of the highest recorded behaviour change in the literature is the Tsholotsho study in Zimbabwe where there was a difference of 47% in average of 17 hygiene indicators (CHCs : control) p<0.001(See right)

2012-2015: EVALUATION:
An independent evaluation to ascertain if our claims can be substantiated is being conducted by IPA (Innovations for Poverty Action) supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to ascertain whether the CHC methodology can indeed reduce preventable diseases.

Africa AHEAD has partnered with NGOs or government departments and has provided consultancy support to the following countries:

SIERRA LEONE: (2002-2003) Care International, DFID (present),
RWANDA: (2009-2011) Unicef; (2012-2014) Gates Foundation,
SOUTH AFRICA: (2007-2010) Danida, City Municipalities
UGANDA: (2003-4) CARE International, (2008) WaterAid
GUINEA BISSAU: (2007) Effective Intervention
VIETNAM: (2010-2011) Danida / MoH

Organization Background

The CHC Approach was found to be one of the most cost-effective methods worldwide for achieving high levels of hygiene behavior change (Waterkeyn & Cairncross, 2005).

In order to disseminate the CHC Approach, Africa AHEAD was founded as a Section 21, Not for Profit Company (2005/04037/08) in 2005 based out of Cape Town, South Africa where the founders still run a Regional Resource Centre for training throughout Africa.

The break-through using CHC for community mobilisation was recognised by African Ministers Council of Water (2010) when the Director, Dr Juliet Waterkeyn received an AMCOW for her contribution to improving sanitation in Africa through the Community Health Club Approach.

Africa AHEAD is now also a registered INGO in Rwanda (177/DGI7E/13) where it is running a programme to assist MoH to monitor the Randomised Control Trial (funded by the Gates Foundation) which will provide an objective impact assessment of the CHC Model.

In 2013, Africa AHEAD was registered as a charity in the UK (number 1151795), and in 2014 as a private operating foundation 503 (c) (3) was granted tax free status in USA.

Annual Water and Sanitation Budget
(in USD)
Annual Non-Water
(in USD)
Bank Info
USA-AHEAD Chief Financial Officer 2635 Piedmont Drive, Merced, CA 95340 Account Name: USA-AHEAD Valley National Bank Branch:106 Packanack North 1504 Route 23 Wayne, NJ 07470-0000 Tel: 973-694-0029 Routing #: 021201383 Account #: 040855406