When seeking to assess the linkages between participation, demand-responsiveness, sustainability, use and equity for women and men and poor people, a methodology is needed that is participatory, and gender and poverty sensitive. In 1997 a group of water and development specialists came to together to assess why such approaches had not caught on in the water sector. Led by the World Bank Water and Sanitation Programme together with the IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre, a new methodology was developed: the Methodology for Participatory Assessment (MPA). As a multi-level instrument it aims to combine sustainability analysis of community managed domestic water services with the analysis of gender and poverty perspectives. The development, use and evaluation of this new methodology are the subjects of this book. It describes the objectives, history and social and scientific background of the development of the methodology, followed by a detailed description and analysis of the methodology itself, with case studies of its use and impacts. Validation took place in a global study in which women and men in 88 rural communities in 15 countries used the MPA to evaluate their domestic water supplies. It presents the study results, the implications for policies and program planning of domestic water supply projects, and the lessons for training in the and use of the methodology.