Despite decades of effort and billions of dollars, 1 billion people still lack safe water and almost 2.4 billion lack safe sanitation. The time has therefore come to re-orient national and international efforts in support of a different approach. ‘LISTENING’ is about that new approach. It is an approach which has learnt from the failures of the past and begun to achieve well-documented successes of its own. But it is an approach that is not yet universally accepted because of the many vested interests that stand in its way. In brief, decentralization and empowerment of people and communities to enable them to take more control of their own lives and to support them in achieving their own development goals must be the method and the aim. But this does not mean that the responsibility to mobilise additional resources for the poor, and to create an enabling environment within which they can move forward, should be abandoned. In fact the responsibility for initiating and supporting community-led approaches means an even greater and more demanding role for government. ‘LISTENING’ attempts to bring these lessons – through the voices of many of those who have been most closely involved – to a wider international audience.À L’ÉCOUTE - De ceux qui œuvrent avec les populations d’Afrique, d’Asie et d’Amérique latine à la réalisation des objectifs des Nations Unies sur l’accès à l’eau et l’assainissement.