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Can you help me understand the difference between direct and indirect support costs?

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Direct support are expenditures to support water and sanitation service delivery directed to service providers as well as to users or user groups. While "indirect support" refers to support to water and sanitation service delivery at national/institutional level, for example expenditures linked to the development of a national WASH policy.

For example, when a district official periodically visits a community-managed water supply to take water quality samples and/or measure flow-rates this is direct support. Indirect support expenditure in this example would be the national level policy making and guidelines on water quality testing.

I hope this answers your question. Alternatively, you can also follow module 1 of the free Costing Sustainable Services online course where this is explained in detail with step-by step- guides, exercises and tools to help you. To register for the Costing Sustainable Services online course, go to

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