Contact Dr Paul Hutchings

Areas of expertise


Dr Paul Hutchings is a Lecturer in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Impact Evaluation at the Cranfield Water Science Institute, where he leads the Community Water and Sanitation MSc programme. His PhD research at Cranfield focused on institutional models and financing mechanisms for supporting community managed rural water services in India. His first degree was in Geography at the University of Liverpool, where he also studied for a Masters with Distinction in Globalisation and Development Studies. Before joining Cranfield, he worked as a researcher at the Chartered Management Institute and spent time in India at the microfinance institution Samhita Community Development Services.

Current activities

Paul’s interdisciplinary social science research is focused on advancing three core challenges connected to the global water and sanitation crisis:

Improving the institutional functioning of rural water supply

Understanding the functioning of water institutions is an important part of Paul’s work. Through the Australian Aid supported Community Water Plus project (2013-2016), he tried to better understand the institutional and financing mechanisms needed to support sustainable community management in India. He continues to be interested in the relationship between government and communities within service delivery systems. 

Finding better ways to measure success

Another strand of Paul’s research is investigating better ways of measuring the success of water programmes. As part of this work a new project, funded by ESRC and DFID (2017-2019), will examine the links between wellbeing and water security among pastoralists in Ethiopia – a group that uses water in ways which are poorly captured by conventional water security indicators.

Business models for the poor

As part of Cranfield University's response to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's challenge to "Reinvent the Toilet" (Phase III: 2016-2018), Paul is part of a team examining business models and innovation pathways for new sanitation technology for the urban poor.

Paul is always interested to hear from prospective research students and collaborators that are interested in working with him on these topics. 

He is Co-Editor of Waterlines: an international journal of water, sanitation and waste. 


  • Principle Investigator: “Water Security in Ethiopia and the Emotional response of Pastoralists (WEEP)”, Economic and Social Research Council and Department for International Development: Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation. 2017-2019

  • Research Lead: “Community Water Plus: Community Management of Rural Water Supply”. Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Government of Australia – Australian Aid). 2013-2016.

  • Other funders:

    Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

    European Commission: Horizon 2020

    Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council


Articles In Journals


  • Franceys R, Hutchings & P (2017) Governance and regulation of water and sanitation services provision. In: Routledge Handbook of Water Policy and Law. Rieu-Clarke A, Allan A, Hendry S (ed.), Routledge, p. 120-134.
  • Hutchings P, Franceys F, Smits S & Mekala S (2017) Community management of rural water supply: case studies of success from India. Earthscan from Routledge.