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3ie WASH impact evaluations in 2020

Below are links to 2020 WASH evaluations by 3ie on the safe disposal of child feces, sanitation programming, and water saving technologies

Impacts of low-cost interventions to improve latrine use and safe disposal of child faeces in rural Odisha, India. 3ie Impact Evaluation Report 119, April 2020.

Our result demonstrates that theory-informed interventions designed to change behavior can be impactful. Latrine use behavior is changing in the research area overall, but increased 6.3 per cent more in the intervention area. Importantly, our intervention also increased reported safe child feces disposal by over 20 per cent. Safe feces disposal practices were not widely practiced in our research area before the intervention, primarily because their importance was not understood.

Additional investment in refining this and similar interventions is warranted to bring these efforts to scale, particularly as safe child feces disposal has yet to be an investment and communication priority in government campaigns to date. The costs needed for safe management of child feces disposal programmes, like ours, do not need to be extensive to enable change.

Moving forward, policymakers should leverage this and similar programs to not only continue to influence behavior change, but also to sustain changes already made. Increased investment to develop and evaluate evidence-based interventions specifically targeting behaviors is warranted. In turn, researchers need to engage target populations, apply theory to intervention design and conduct rigorous process evaluations to inform future adaptation and scale-up.

Improving households’ attitudes and behaviours to increase toilet use in Bihar, India. 3ie Impact Evaluation Report 118, April 2020.

We find a comparable and significant increase in toilet use across treatment and control areas. Self-reported toilet use increased substantially across three different measures of use (usual use, last time use and last three times use). Treatment areas did, however, show an increase in knowledge on correct pit filling rates, and decomposition rates, as well as an increase in the perceived convenience of pit emptying. Most households, however, still reported relying on hiring someone for pit emptying, not always waiting until decomposition was complete.

These results suggest the need for future sanitation programming to focus on knowledge of decomposition rates and the correct disposal of fecal matter, and to emphasize the ease of self-emptying. Sanitation programming must recognize deep-seated social and caste biases, which require sanitation to be treated as a social as well as a health issue.

Access to safe drinking water: experimental evidence from new water sources in Bangladesh. 3ie Impact Evaluation Report 109, March 2020.

The programme reduced arsenic contamination in household drinking water, but not faecal contamination. Each tubewell installed under the programme led to a reduction in arsenic contamination of household drinking water that is equivalent to its elimination at the World Health Organization level for about five households. However, each of these tubewells also led to an increase in faecal contamination that is equivalent to introducing faecal contamination into the drinking water of about two households (although we cannot reject a small reduction or no effect on faecal contamination in household drinking water).

Modest improvements in source water quality, with respect to faecal contamination, are offset by an increase in travel time and possibly by changes in storage behaviour. The programme somewhat improved faecal contamination at the source level, but also slightly increased travel time and induced small changes in storage behaviour, both of which increase the risk of faecal contamination in drinking water.

Our best estimates suggest that walking an extra minute to collect drinking water increases the risk of faecal contamination by approximately 1.7 per cent, while storing drinking water in the house increases the risk of faecal contamination by approximately 7 per cent. The consequences of these negative effects are modest because few households walk more than a minute to collect drinking water, and the majority of households did not change their storage behaviour as a result of the intervention.

Impact of alternate wetting and drying on farm incomes and water savings in Bangladesh. 3ie Impact Evaluation Report 108, March 2020. This impact evaluation highlights the impact of alternate wetting and drying, a water-saving technology used to reduce irrigation water consumption in rice fields, as compared to conventional flood irrigation on water savings and farm incomes in Bangladesh.

The 5 Star Toilet Campaign: improving toilet use in rural Gujarat. 3ie Impact Evaluation Report 105, February 2020. This impact evaluation evaluated the effect of the 5 Star Toilet Campaign on toilet use in rural Gujarat. The Campaign was launched to address the complex determinants of low toilet use and improve use among all members of households having access to government or contractor-built toilets in selected villages of Bhavnagar, Gujarat.


Just Add Water

Water metering and billing mobile technology contribute to the journey to self-reliance.

Photo credit: Benjamin Ilka/USAID

Located in the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains, San Rafael Pie de la Cuesta is one of six municipalities in the Western Highlands of Guatemala that benefits from USAID’s work in adapting communications technology to improve public service delivery. USAID’s Nexos Locales project partnered with the Guatemalan Ministry of Finance on an innovative water metering and billing application to provide citizens with a transparent and effective means to pay their water bills.

Prior to USAID’s involvement, San Rafael Pie de la Cuesta was not unlike many other municipalities, where Municipal Water and Sanitation workers must hand write thousands of meter readings in a notebook every month and then enter all the data into a national billing system. This time and resource intensive system means that citizens wait up to five hours in line in just to pay their water bills, often discouraging them from paying at all.

Click here to read the full story.

Photo credit: Benjamin Ilka/USAID

Just Add Water was originally published in Global Waters on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Just Add Water

Water metering and billing mobile technology contribute to the journey to self-reliance.

Photo credit: Benjamin Ilka/USAID

Located in the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains, San Rafael Pie de la Cuesta is one of six municipalities in the Western Highlands of Guatemala that benefits from USAID’s work in adapting communications technology to improve public service delivery. USAID’s Nexos Locales project partnered with the Guatemalan Ministry of Finance on an innovative water metering and billing application to provide citizens with a transparent and effective means to pay their water bills.

Prior to USAID’s involvement, San Rafael Pie de la Cuesta was not unlike many other municipalities, where Municipal Water and Sanitation workers must hand write thousands of meter readings in a notebook every month and then enter all the data into a national billing system. This time and resource intensive system means that citizens wait up to five hours in line in just to pay their water bills, often discouraging them from paying at all.

Click here to read the full story.

Photo credit: Benjamin Ilka/USAID

Just Add Water was originally published in Global Waters on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Delegated Management Models: ensuring service delivery at a local level

By Chisha Mwenso, Administrative Officer for WSUP in Zambia

In Zambia, WSUP has been supporting sustainable models for WASH service delivery to help reach more people in the most underserved communities.

In Lusaka, the capital and largest city in Zambia, around 65% of residents live in low-income communities, many of which lack access to clean water and safe sanitation. These areas are often overlooked by utilities and service-providers as they are less profitable than higher-income districts where residents can more easily afford water and sanitation services.

Lusaka Water Supply and Sanitation Company (LWSSC) has been implementing Delegated Management Models (DMMs) to expand access to water and sanitation in low-income areas and improve service delivery at the local level. This model establishes local management teams within communities which take over responsibility for day-to-day service delivery from the utility.

By preparing bills and payments, collecting meter readings, fixing leaks in the network and setting up new water connections they ensure a more reliable water supply and better customer service. As a result, residents become more positive about the service and more likely to invest in their own household water connections.

WSUP has been working to support LWSSC in the establishment and maintenance of these DMMs. This has included creating and monitoring service agreements between the operators and the utility; evaluating existing DMMs; mobilising capital to support new infrastructure; training staff and helping with community engagement. In addition, we have supported the low-income customer unit within LWSSC so that, in future, they will be able to establish DMMs without external support.

In the case of Mtendere East, a low-income community in Lusaka, WSUP also helped to mobilise financing to extend the water network to the area. Eight years on, this DMM is still working well, servicing 1,700 households with clean, affordable water. The local management team has also established positive relationships with the community through good service provision and a fast response time to queries.

“The DMM has been very proactive in resolving any challenges that arise and always provides good customer service. I receive my bills on time and in instances where I have been unable to settle my water bill at once the DMM has a facility that allows me to pay in instalments and not face any water service interruption” – Austin Kazelondo, a customer of the DMM in Mtendere East.

Austin Kazelondo, a customer of the DMM in Mtendere East

Investing back into the community

The management teams set up through DMMs require a start-up investment but are designed to become financially viable after this initial period. In Mtendere East, this start-up funding was provided by Australia Aid with support from CARE International who have worked with other DMMs in the area. Since then the local management team has been able to generate enough income to cover its own operating costs and establish an investment fund for the DMM. This fund is used to support payment plans that help residents spread out the costs of establishing a household water connection and to save towards the development of the DMM.

From this fund the management team has been able to save enough to build its own office in Mtendere East, allowing it to serve more residents in-person and extend its services within the community.

“The revenue being collected from the kiosks and payment of bills has enabled the DMM to extend the water network to service more people and build more kiosks, increasing the number from 15 to 24. Furthermore, the land on which these additional kiosks have been constructed is land that has been offered by the community members” – Benny Kaleya, Manager of the DMM in Mtendere East.

Benny Kaleya, Manager of the DMM in Mtendere East

What can we learn from Mtendere East?

The DMMs established in Lusaka have shown that this model can provide a successful path for commercial utilities and other government authorities to better serve low-income communities.

“We have seen high levels of efficiency with the DMM approach. You have a team dedicated to this area who are very efficient in providing services and are in constant contact with the customers”– Yvonne Siyeni, Peri-urban Department Manager for LWSSC.

Yvonne Siyeni, Peri-urban Department Manager for LWSSC

In Mtendere East, a key part of this success has been the involvement of the community in the development of the DMM. The role of residents in supporting the DMM, engaging with the services offered and, in some cases, donating land to be used for water kiosks has been critical in ensuring the sustainability of the DMM.

“When the Mtendere East DMM was established we ensured that clear roles and responsibilities were laid out in the service management contract between the DMM and LWSSC. This ensured the local management team were able to provide good customer service and could receive the support they needed from the utility.” – Reuben Sipuma, WSUP Country Programme Manager in Zambia.

There is still much work to do to improve water and sanitation access across Lusaka but WSUP is already working to replicate the success seen in areas like Mtendere East and expand the same model to other cities.

Find out more about how WSUP is improving access to safe water in Lusaka

Kenyan County Sets Sights on Lofty WASH Goals

A meter reader with the Kakamega County Water and Sanitation Company checks a
consumer’s water point. KIWASH supported the water utility to streamline this process by
making sure supporting photos are collected, which eliminates the opportunity to tamper with
readings. Photo credit: Euphresia Luseka/KIWASH.

The government in Kakamega County — Kenya’s second-most populated county (after the capital, Nairobi), with nearly 2 million residents — has set a goal to supply piped water to 80 percent of its residents by 2022. While 61 percent of residents currently have access to improved water sources, the county in Kenya’s far west is largely rural, so connecting more customers to the water utility is no small task.

“With the capacity development and infrastructure support we have received from Kenya Integrated Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (KIWASH) project, we are ready for take off,” explains the county’s Chief Officer for Water Joseck Maloba.

Two plumbers with the Butere Water Scheme create a new water connection. Photo credit: Euphresia Luseka/KIWASH.

KIWASH is a five-year USAID program with the goal of improving the lives and health of Kenyan citizens in nine counties through the development and management of sustainable water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services. It was developed to take on nearly all aspects of WASH from water catchment protection, to policy and legislation development, and services provision management.

“KIWASH was meant to try to holistically and comprehensively address the WASH needs in specific counties in Kenya,” says Amanda Robertson, Senior WASH Advisor with USAID/Kenya and East Africa. “Through KIWASH, we’ve really been able to be ambitious and to say ‘here is a wide set of problems and we’re going to try to tackle those in an exhaustive way.’”

Through KIWASH’s support, a water operator at Tindinyo Water Scheme helps ensure water supplied to consumers meets the minimum standard for potable water. Photo credit: Euphresia Luseka/KIWASH/2017.

To make the government more accountable for service delivery to citizens, Kenya devolved many of its governance functions from national to county level as enshrined in the country’s 2010 Constitution. As a result, the counties are now responsible for providing water and sanitation services, rather than the central government. Thus much of KIWASH’s work is with county governments. “We have staff from KIWASH that are embedded at the county level, so that means they are able to do their planning together,” explains Nicholas Owuor, USAID/Kenya and East Africa Program Management Specialist for WASH.

As a KIWASH WASH Governance Specialist, Euphresia Luseka is that point of contact in Kakamega County. “I sit in the office where the Minister of Water, the Chief Officer of Water, and the Directors of Water sit,” she says. “In terms of activity design, implementation, monitoring, participating in each other activities, mentoring and coaching, and being available all the time, it really helps in creating ownership and accountability of processes.”

“Local ownership is really what allows all the work to happen.”

KIWASH’s emphasis on a close relationship with local government means that gains made through the program are likely to be sustainable. “It’s truly viewed as USAID having a partnership with the county government, and that local ownership is really what allows all the work to happen,” explains Robertson. “It’s very much owned by them.”

The billing and revenue clerk at Mumias Water Scheme, under Kakamega County
Urban Water and Sewerage Company, helps the utility curb non-revenue water
losses through effective billing, handling of customer complaints, and metering. Photo credit:
Euphresia Luseka/KIWASH

In Kakamega County, KIWASH has helped the local government develop policies that will guide their water services priorities, and the county has increased the budget allocation for WASH services and related capital investments by more than 100 percent as a result.

“KIWASH has really helped us improve water services through projects that are aligned to the government’s agenda. We now plan to create a rural water company to operate community water utilities for uniformity of service and sustainability of the water services in [all] the rural towns and villages,” says John Baraza, Kakamega County Minister for Water, Environment, and Natural Resources.

The program has also focused on strengthening corporate governance and operational efficiency at Kakamega County Urban Water and Sewerage Company (KACWASCO). As a result, the utility adopted automated metering and billing processes and data management, developed company policies, overhauled customer services, and introduced staff performance agreements. This led to improved overall performance and expanded water coverage for 87 percent of residents in the area (up from 68 percent before 2016). Annual revenues increased by 36 percent, from US$19.2 million to $30 million. KACWASCO is now one of the top-ten performing water utilities in Kenya, and its credit rating has increased from a B to a BB.

Students from Glory High School enjoy a newly connected water served by Butere Water
Scheme. KIWASH supported the scheme through an eight kilometer pipeline extension reaching
underserved areas and institutions. Photo credit: Euphresia Luseka/KIWASH

KACWASCO’s customers have noticed the improvements. A customer survey conducted in December 2019 indicated an 81 percent approval rating, up from 65 percent in 2017. “Customers are now willing to pay for water,” says Luseka. “They are now feeling like KACWASCO is more reliable and they can depend on their services.” Water quality is also critically important for consumers, and Luseka says that reported rates of waterborne disease have been cut in half.

“We have a huge potential in terms of resources in the private sector that we’ll be able to tap.”

KIWASH also emphasizes partnerships with the private sector to try to expand WASH coverage. “We have a huge potential in terms of resources in the private sector that we’ll be able to tap,” says Owuor. “We have raised close to $25 million from various commercial banks going into water companies.” Additional investments in WASH in Kakamega have come from KIWASH recoverable grants and growth in revenue from the 24 small enterprises working with the project.

Luseka feels that the future is bright for Kakamega County’s water services. “Even if another management team comes in place or another county government leadership comes in place, they will find this precedence, so it will be so tough for them to fall back. They will now be aiming higher and higher.”

By Christine Chumbler

Additional Resources:

This article appears in Global Waters, Vol. 11, Issue 2; for past issues of the magazine, visit Global Waters’ homepage on Globalwaters.org.

To subscribe to Global Waters magazine, click here.

Follow us on Twitter @USAIDWater.

Kenyan County Sets Sights on Lofty WASH Goals was originally published in Global Waters on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Putting integrity and accountability at the heart of government response to COVID-19, especially in the water sector

Posted by the Water Integrity Network, WaterAid, IRC WASH, GWP, SIWI, IWMI, Water Witness International, End Water Poverty, Shahidi wa Maji, and PNE Benin, BAWIN, and Sanitation and Water for All, with contributions by Sareen Malik (Coordinator and Secretary to the Board, African Civil Society Network on Water and Sanitation), and Robert Gakubia (CEO, Water Services Regulatory Board, Kenya).


The COVID-19 crisis has significantly increased the vulnerability of the millions of people whose human rights to water and sanitation have not been realised

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the stark realities of people who still do not have access to reliable supplies of clean water, and do not have decent houses in which they can safely isolate themselves from infection. There are two messages about how to minimise the spread of the Coronavirus: keep your distance from other people, and wash your hands with soap and water frequently.

“Washing your hands is such a simple act, and yet such an essential step in halting infectious disease transmission and saving lives”

– Oliver Schmoll, Programme Manager for Water and Climate at the WHO European Centre for Environment and Health in Bonn, Germany.

And yet, globally, one in three people does not have access to safe drinking water and nearly half the population does not have access to decent sanitation, at least in part due to corruption and mismanagement in the sector.


Governments across the globe are stepping up measures to slow down infections

During this crisis, many individuals and organisations have stepped up to fill gaps in services and increase availability of clean water and soap for regular handwashing, to prevent further spread of the Coronavirus. While these innovative responses and solidarity are commendable, governments as duty bearers have primary responsibility for managing the crisis, including in facilitating access to water, sanitation and hygiene.

For example, governments in a number of countries have taken targeted measures to either suspend or pay water bills and/or block disconnections for poor families. And a number of countries are taking action to improve access to WASH for vulnerable communities in particular. Currently, billions of dollars are being invested in emergency packages in response to the COVID crisis, including in the water sector. In Kenya, interestingly, proceeds from anti-corruption programmes by the government have been dedicated to providing water and other essential services to vulnerable communities in this crisis.

But governments face formidable challenges in quickly implementing such measures for populations that have no piped water systems, poor hygienic conditions, and are often times not reached by formal service providers. Increasing access now – to help control the outbreak – and sustainably for the future after the pandemic has subsided, are both fundamental, and require international support, as well as due attention to good governance, integrity, accountability and transparency.


If this is how you get your water every day… How do you physically distance? Will you get enough for your family? Will you get enough to wash your hands?

Photo: Hossain Ismail, WIN photo competition entry 2011


Integrity matters, especially in a time of crisis

Integrity requires that state powers and resources are used ethically and honestly, in this case, for sustainable and equitable water and sanitation services. There are four pillars to integrity: transparency, accountability, participation, and anti-corruption activities. Around the world, corruption and lack of integrity have contributed to the failure to deliver services to those most vulnerable, reinforced existing inequalities in access to water and sanitation, diverted resources from where they are most needed, and reduced the quality, availability and sustainability of services.

Over recent decades, considerable work has been done to improve accountability, participation and transparency in the water and sanitation sector, and to reduce corruption. The challenge in this time of crisis is to defend and build on those advances. Past and present experiences shows that the threat is both severe and very real, not only in countries with weak government accountability systems: the US Government Accountability Office estimates that about USD 1 billion in emergency response funding was improperly used or fraudulently obtained after Hurricane Katrina. German authorities had to temporarily shut down emergency COVID-19 response grants for small businesses due to massive fraud risks. Others use emergencies to prey on the weak and vulnerable.


The approach taken can either exacerbate or reduce integrity risks

In order to provide services in the COVID-19 crisis, governments and state agencies, quite correctly, invoke regulations which are designed to enable speedy delivery in the face of an emergency. However, delivery under emergency conditions can, either unwittingly or deliberately, open the door for corruption, lack of integrity and reductions in accountability and transparency practices that may have been built up over years.

According to U4, “there has already been a wave of corruption-related incidents, decreasing transparency and accountability, as well as manipulative political propaganda from all over the world.” In Brazil, as just one example, media reports raised questions over government emergency procurement buying surgical masks at 12 times the market value from a company with ties to the president, despite other companies offering lower prices.

It is all too easy, in a time of crisis, for the elements of good governance to fall by the wayside, or, indeed, for the crisis to be used by those with particular vested interests to force through changes, not necessarily for the long-term good of the people.

This then raises the question as to what can be done to ensure sustainable delivery of water supply and sanitation to the most vulnerable in both rural and urban areas, based on the four pillars of transparency, accountability, participation and anti-corruption.

“The lesson for us duty bearers in the WASH sector is that we must create a new normal, characterised by ’outrage’ against continued inequities in WASH service provision that make public health messages not make sense, but also demand that actions be founded on integrity and accountability among other values.”

– Robert Gakubia, CEO, Water Services Regulatory Board, Kenya


Maintaining accountability, transparency, participation and social inclusion during the response

We have highlighted some actions for governments to ensure that accountability and integrity are at the least maintained, and at best improved, during and after this emergency, and that they form part of a programme of meeting the human rights to water and sanitation for all.


1 – Develop responses with affected communities:

Developing response mechanisms with affected communities is inclusive and recognises their agency. It brings a greater ability to address specific cultural, social and religious challenges and to effectively meet the needs of people with disabilities and other marginalised groups. Creative solutions can be found to doing this distantly and in languages that people understand.

The Asivikelane programme in South Africa provides a remarkable example of people in informal settlements monitoring delivery of water and sanitation services in their areas and thereby holding government accountable. The resulting information is provided to relevant organs of state to facilitate improvements. The tool holds potential not only for holding government accountable during the COVID crisis, but also going forward into the future.


Asivikelane Dashboard (South Africa) - example - inclusive WASH responses to covid19
Photo: Screenshot of the Asivikelane Dashboard (South Africa)


In Ethiopia, EthioTelecom has introduced a recorded message every time a phone call is made about COVID-19 prevention.

In South Sudan, the great majority of people has no easy access to internet, television or newspapers. Radio Miraya is available across over two-thirds of the country, and 80 per cent of those it reaches listen to it every day. Radio Miraya runs public service announcements (PSAs), including recently written songs by popular artists on the best practices to prevent any eventual outbreak from starting or spreading, such as handwashing and physical distancing.

Finally, inspired by lemiwashmyhands.org, UNICEF East Asia & Pacific is persuading tech giants to create a handwashing emoji and help spread the importance of handwashing for years to come. Scientists Nasim Lotfinejad et al state that hand hygiene emojis may strengthen infection prevention and control in different aspects such as raising awareness with no language barrier.


2 – Maintain transparency standards in emergency public procurement:

Government agencies must publicly disclose information on emergency procurement including how much (unit and total price) money is spent, for what (goods and services are acquired) and whom (target population and need), how (procurement procedure used), and to whom it goes (contractor).

Emergency measures should include complaints mechanisms to report corruption, misuse and other malpractices. While complaints from the public can be very effective against misbehaviour in frontline service delivery, whistle-blowing from staff is key for detecting irregularities in administrative processes including procurement, payments and accounting. This why robust whistle-blower protection in public institutions is crucial. Since customer service centres may be locked due to the confinement situation, alternative channels should be offered for ensuring communication between utilities and users such as websites, social media channels, etc.


3 – Establish a national oversight task force to monitor integrity and accountability in the COVID-19 response:

Consisting of experts from anti-corruption and accountability bodies (including investigations, procurement, audit, civil society watch dogs) and sector institutions (health, water, economic affairs), such a body can oversee budgetary allocations, monitor red flags in their use and launch special investigations and real-time audits as needed, and report to the public on the same.

This task force should also

  • Follow up and monitor cash transfers from government to service providers
  • Follow up and monitor cash transfers from government to households (universal versus targeted support to vulnerable households, how they are targeted, specific conditions)
  • Follow-up and monitor how service providers invest extra resources (e.g., cash transfers from government, donors, etc.) in improving services

The task force should also have oversight of the significant financial investments being made by donors and development partners into improving access to water and hand washing facilities. The use of these funds should be tracked and a clear commitment made to delivering sustainable and affordable solutions.

After the acute emergency phase, response measures need to be subject to the public reporting, auditing and review standards and processes and other government operations. This includes making sure that audit institutions, other oversight bodies and sector institutions (including their internal audit and compliance functions) are adequately resourced to carry out additional audits, conduct reviews, and produce diligent reports.


4 – Take measures against emergence of new water cartels in emergency water supply:

Systems should be put in place to prevent new cartels developing, or existing cartels taking control of emergency water supply arrangements. Such systems might include GPS tracking and identification of tankers, complaint mechanisms, widespread distribution of information on tariffs/free availability of water, and rotation of tanker drivers. Where possible, government should work with informal water suppliers to enhance the service that they provide and to build greater transparency and accountability into their service provision.


Strong WASH systems are the first line of defence and the path to resilience to crises, pandemics and climate change included. Corruption and lack of integrity in the water and sanitation sector undermines these systems and the human rights to water and sanitation. We call on government around the world to ensure that the water sector becomes an island of integrity, during and after this crisis, starting today.


Further reading:

Five human rights principles that put people centre stage in water, sanitation and hygiene responses to COVID-19 (Wateraid)

Public Integrity for an Effective COVID-19 Response and Recovery (OECD)

The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Sector and its response to Covid-19: Initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean (SIWI)

COVID-19 and rural water crisis: putting pressure on Burkina Government (IRC WASH)

The post Putting integrity and accountability at the heart of government response to COVID-19, especially in the water sector appeared first on WIN - Water Integrity Network.

Regional Water and Environment Week 2020 in Kabarole District

By: biira

This report highlights the activities of the 2020 Regional Water and Environment Week which included among others clean-up exercises, home improvement campaigns and public dialogue.

CSOs, religious leaders, Uganda police defence force and members of the public join in the clean-up exercise

Uganda Water and Environment Week (UWEWK) is a weeklong event that is organised annually by the Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE) through the Water Resources Institute (WRI). Since its inception in 2018, the event seeks to contribute towards the attainment of sustainable socioeconomic transformation in achieving the Ugandan National Development Plan and vision. Based on the success of the 2019 Water Week, the Ministry organised the Second Albertine Regional Water and Environment Week in Kabarole District from Monday 16 March to Friday 20 March 2020 by bringing together stakeholders to enhance multi-partner collaboration, create public awareness, sensitisation and learning on water resources, environment and climate change. The overall theme of UWEWK 2020 was water and environment resources for inclusive-growth, employment and wealth creation. 

Within the Rwenzori region the Albert Water Management Zone conducted preparatory meetings for partners to identify different activities that will encourage community participation. These activities include clean-up exercises, promotion of good sanitation and hygiene by conducting home improvement campaigns, school debates, promotion of tree planting in schools, exhibitions of new innovations in water and environment and public dialogue. This year’s event attracted several partners namely; IRC, CARITAS-HEWASA, Water For People, National Water, Kyaninga Child Development Centre, Tooro Botanical Gardens, Tooro Kingdom, PROTOS, members of the private sector, politicians, community and government agencies. 

Of the above activities, IRC Uganda focused and led the home improvement campaigns and clean-up exercises in Karangura  subcounty and Fort Portal municipality in a bid to bring to light issues of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) and WASH as one of the areas of focus in the Kabarole District WASH Master Plan to achieve sustainable WASH services for all. Considering strengthening local systems, IRC works with established structures such as; Kabarole District WASH Task Team, local government, Catchment Management Committee (CMC), the Cultural Institution and the municipality at all levels in IWRM. The Regional Water and Environment Week is an opportunity for the WASH Task Team to learn more about the relationship between WASH and IWRM, in order to increase their knowledge and ably engage with the community to identify local solutions on issues around IWRM.

These activities bore fruit as local council chairpersons formed a task force to have households in their respective villages cluster into groups to increase the number of latrines and usage thereof in Karangura subcounty. And to organise the Health Assistants and Village Health Teams to enforce the by-law of penalising those who defecate in the river and its tributaries. In Fort Portal Municipality, leaders were urged to involve the private sector and business community since their activities pollute the environment the most.

Report of Regional Water and Environment Week held in Kabarole District and led by Albert Water Management zone 16 - 18 March 2020

A multi-partner collaboration to create public awareness, sensitisation and learning on water resources, environment and the link between WASH and integrated water resources management (IWRM).

Uganda Water and Environment Week (UWEWK) is a weeklong event that is organised annually by the Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE) through the Water Resources Institute (WRI). Since its inception in 2018, the event seeks to contribute towards the attainment of sustainable socio-economic transformation in achieving the Ugandan National Development Plan and vision. It provides an opportunity between sector actors and other stakeholders for knowledge exchange, dialoguing, learning for improvement of Uganda’s water and environment resources.  Based on the success of the 2019 Water Week, the MWE held the second one in Kabarole District from Monday 16 March to Friday 20 March 2020. The zone enhanced a multi-partner collaboration to create public awareness, sensitisation and learning on water resources, environment and climate change.

Improving School Attendance and Positive Feelings about Menstruation for Girls in Ghana through a Holistic Menstrual Health and Hygiene Management Approach.

Improving School Attendance and Positive Feelings about Menstruation for Girls in Ghana through a Holistic Menstrual Health and Hygiene Management Approach. Global Communities, May 2020.


Key Findings:

Girls reporting difficulties in attending schools was reduced from 47% to 10% as a result of the pilot intervention, suggesting that a holistic MHH approach, that includes providing sustainable period products and education effectively reduced barriers to girls’ school attendance.

As a result of the intervention, 92% of girls reported positive feelings about menstruation and 88% of boys reported feeling more comfortable around girls during their period, suggesting that SmartCycle® MHH education increased boys’ and girls’ awareness of reproductive growth and menstruation as natural biological processes.

The intervention was similarly impactful in rural and urban areas, with students in both regions experiencing a roughly fi ve fold decrease in reported difficulties attending school during menstruation. However, there is an underlying rural-urban divide, with 58% of girls in rural areas reporting difficulties attending school prior to the intervention, as compared to 41% of girls in urban areas.


Avis d’appel à manifestation d’intérêt national

By: Zouré

Fabédougou - Maintenancier - SOURABIE Douossou maintenancier



Nom du projet : Renforcement de la gouvernance communale de l’eau potable, de l’hygiène et de l’assainissement. 

Source de financement : conventionN° FED/2019/410-918

Réf. : AMI N°01/2020/IRC du 06/05/2020 

Services des consultants - Manifestations d'intérêt

L’ONG internationale IRC a bénéficié d’un financement de l’Union Européenne (UE) dans le cadre du projet de « renforcement de la gouvernance communale de l’eau potable, de l’hygiène et de l’assainissement ».

Dans le cadre de la mise en œuvre du projet, IRC recrute trois (03) pools d’experts pour l’élaboration de plans stratégiques communaux au profit de trois communes urbaines comportant des secteurs et des villages rattachés. Chaque pool d’experts se chargera de l’élaboration d’un plan stratégique communal.

Chaque pool d’experts sera composé de :

  • Un Chef ou une Cheffe de mission expérimenté en planification stratégique AEPHA ;
  • Un ou une Expert(e) institutionnel/le de délivrance des services publics d’AEPHA ; 
  • Un ou une Expert(e) socio économiste ;
  • Un ou une Expert (e) en développement du patrimoine eau et assainissement ;
  • Un ou une Cartographe, expert (e) en SIG

Chaque pool d’experts sera affecté à l’élaboration du plan stratégique d’une commune en suivant les cinq phases suivantes :

  1. Phase préparatoire
  2. Phase de diagnostic stratégique
  3. Phase de formulation de la stratégie communale de développement
  4. Phase de validation
  5. Phase Service-après-vente (SAV) : formations pour amorcer la mise en œuvre de la stratégie par la commune

Le Directeur Pays de l’ONG IRC, Juste Nansi, invite les experts individuels intéressés à manifester leur intérêt à fournir les services décrits ci-dessus.

Afin de confirmer leur éligibilité à un financement de ce projet, les experts devront joindre à leur candidature la déclaration d’intégrité (en annexe à ce document) dûment signée.

Les experts intéressés doivent produire les informations montrant qu’ils sont qualifiés et expérimentés pour réaliser la présente mission ; à ce titre, ils justifieront qu’ils possèdent des références récentes de prestations similaires à la mission.

IRC dressera une liste restreinte de candidats présélectionnés sur la base des candidatures reçues et auxquels elle adressera le dossier pour la réalisation des services requis.

Procédure à suivre

Les manifestations d’intérêt doivent être envoyées exclusivement par mail à l’adresse zoure@ircwash.org avec copie à sawadogo@ircwash.org au plus tard le 21 mai 2020 à 9 heures 00 minute, heure locale

Les experts intéressés peuvent obtenir des informations complémentaires et demander la mise à disposition des annexes au présent Avis à Manifestation d’Intérêt aux adresses mentionnées ci-dessous du lundi au vendredi de 7h30 à 12h30 et de 13h à 16h30 à l'adresse suivante : sawadogo@ircwash.org. 

Pièces jointes (downloads) :

  • Annexe 1 : déclaration d’intégrité et d’éligibilité
  • Annexe 2 : présentation du candidat
  • Annexe 3 : présentation des prestations fournies par le candidat


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Sanitation Challenge for Ghana evaluated

By: awumbei

Sanitation Challenge for Ghana
Lessons from the Sanitation Challenge for Ghana have been shared in a report and animation.

Sanitation Challenge for Ghana

In order to put sanitation on the agenda in Ghana and encourage local politicians to prioritise and invest in sanitation, the Sanitation Challenge for Ghana (SC4G) was launched in 2015 and ended in July 2019 with nine winners rewarded. It was an innovation programme motivating Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to team up with their citizens, innovators and solvers to design and then implement their own liquid waste management strategies.

Using an inducement prize mechanism the SC4G focused on bringing transformational change in sanitation service delivery to poor households in urban centres.

This short animation explains the SC4G and its outcomes:

Who is behind this concept?

The SC4G was set up under the UK Aid-funded Ideas to Impact programme. They design and run innovation prizes to incentivise contestants to find solutions to challenges faced by the poor in low-income countries. These include access to clean energy, water and sanitation, transport and climate change adaptation, in Africa and South Asia. The programme tests the value of prizes as a non-traditional mechanism to spur behaviour change and socioeconomic development.

The SC4G was delivered by IMC Worldwide with IRC Ghana as the local implementing agent and Maple Consult providing technical inputs. It was designed by Trémolet Consulting. The evaluation was conducted by Itad. The programme’s evaluators at Itad are supporting Ideas to Impact to understand if such prizes worked as intended, and when and where they could be useful as a funding mechanism for international development, compared to other forms of funding, such as grants.


Nine MMDAs won the competition based on independent verification of participants’ work and assessment by a panel of judges. Initiatives ranged from providing toilets in markets and schools to raising awareness of the importance of sanitation among communities. One of the winners rehabilitated a sewage treatment pond, used it to rear fish on a commercial scale and has been using this revenue to fund the facility’s maintenance.

Grand dignified city award
Kwahu East receiving the 2nd place award for in the District Assembly category of the Challenge - for their innovative commitment to the sanitation value chain and strong leadership commitment in the implementation of the liquid waste management strategy.

Four key lessons

The SC4G evaluation report explored what happened when Ideas to Impact tried using prizes in Ghana to improve sanitation to benefit especially the poor. Four key lessons emerged:

  1. Unlike grant-based programmes, prizes can spur solutions by many actors, with no upfront funding and minimal support. This can lead to increased value for money, ownership by participants and political engagement.
  2. As prizes can stimulate several projects that are run independently, their managers should monitor and understand the effects on people on the ground to act and avoid unintended consequences.
  3. Prize participants should be held accountable for the quality and development impact of their interventions. However, given the voluntary nature of participation, reporting requirements should be light and support might have to be provided.
  4. To ensure longer-term sustainability of results, prizes should be used alongside other funding mechanisms, so that post-award activities can take place to sustain and build on the prize results.

 Download the final evaluation report below.

Recordings of Webinar available

The WaterChannel hosted a successful webinar on ‘SMART WaSH Solutions in times of Corona’.

The recording and the presentations are available through the resources page of the SMART Centre Group.

We thank all those participated for the questions and discussions and look forward to hear more from you. Any feedback or ideas can be shared through info@smartcentregroup.com.

Click on the screenshot or read more to open the recording

The most momentus day in a century for the midwives: We must applaud midwives with WASH

By: H.E. Toyin Saraki, Wellbeing Foundation Africa

Today, on 5th May, we celebrate the most momentous day in a century for the midwifery profession, the International Day of The Midwife, in the first ever Year of the Midwife, as the world is currently at a standstill fighting the coronavirus pandemic, an invisible enemy that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. It cannot be a coincidence that today we also celebrate World Hygiene Day, a day set aside to focus on hand hygiene: that simple act of handwashing with soap. Hand washing was originally propagated by the 1840 Physician Ignaz Semmelweis to midwives at his maternity wards, as the best means to prevent and control childbed fever infection—as puerpural sepsis was then known. Thus, midwives and their clean hands have established and led life-saving and life-enhancing infection prevention and control protocols for centuries. They are at the very frontlines of health, safely guiding new life, as the first eyes to see and first hands to touch a newborn child, as they stand by women all over the world in their hours of labour, delivery and need.

And they are not alone.

Health care workers, midwives, nurses, doctors, and the entire medical profession are at the forefront to save lives because they took an oath, an oath to serve regardless of the situation. They risk their lives to save the world in these unprecedented times. It is sad that during this crisis we have pushed to the background the work that we have put in over the years in various development aspects. I fear that this progress of prominence on the work we have put in reducing maternal mortality through they essential role of the midwifery profession in standing with women to ensure safer births will be threatened by a recession of recognition, and subsequent key investments as the focus shifts.

My thoughts and prayers are with the families of all the nurses and midwives who have lost their lives to Covid-19. Their deaths are a tragedy and I join their colleagues standing with midwives around the world in mourning their beautiful souls. Each and every one of them will be remembered in our hearts as a heroine.

As always in times of crisis, the most vulnerable among us will be the ones hit hardest. Women and girls will suffer the most from this disease which has already seen a rise in gender-based violence, and rights violations of pregnant women forced into giving birth alone. Some will face child-birth complications risking the lives of both the mother and child, some will have stillbirths and some others will successfully give birth to the future leaders that will hold us accountable for the lives of their mothers lost during child birth.

The repercussions will be a constant reminder that for years we have failed and continue to fail women and children where public health is concerned.

While the world grapples in its response to COVID-19, we must be mindful that everything else still functions as before. We still require access to SRHR, women will continue to require prenatal care and safe spaces to deliver in order to reduce maternal mortality.

For years midwives have joined the battle and reduced maternal mortality ensuring that even in the poorest communities, women still had access to safe births. This is most likely one of those challenging situations for midwives in various communities.

Midwives continue to be an essential service in this crisis and we should do more than just applaud their hard work and dedication. How are we ensuring their access to protective clothing and reaching women in need. This is why on this International Day of the Midwife we are launching the We Must Applaud Midwives with WASH campaign that seeks to remind people on the importance of washing hands. As well as protecting frontline healthcare workers, WASH plays a vital role in stopping disease transmission yet two out of five healthcare facilities still lack hand hygiene facilities at points of care.

Ten Immediate WASH Actions in Healthcare facilities to Respond to COVID-19

  1. Handwashing: Set up handwashing facilities, like a bucket with a tap with soap, throughout the facility. Prioritise the facility entrance, points of care and toilets, as well as patient waiting areas (and other places where patients congregate). If the facility is piped, repair any broken taps, sinks or pipes.
  2. Water Storage: Consider the water requirements to perform WASH/IPC activities with an increased patient load. If inconsistent or inadequate water supply is a concern, increase the water storage capacity of the facility, such as by installing 10,000L plastic storage tanks.
  3. Supplies: Solidify supply chains for consumable resources, including: soap (bar or liquid), drying towels, hand sanitiser and disinfectant. Ensure cleaners have Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for cleaning. If ingredients are available locally, produce hand sanitiser at the facility (or at district-level) – see WHO protocols.
  4. Cleaning & Disinfecting: Review daily protocols, verifying based on national guidelines or global recommendations for resource-limited settings and noting additional levels and frequency of cleaning in clinical areas with high numbers of COVID-19 cases, including terminal cleaning. Ensure adequate supplies of cleaning fluids and equipment, making allowance for additional cleaning requirements. Ensure handwashing stations and toilet facilities are cleaned frequently.
  5. Healthcare Waste Management: Strengthen healthcare waste management protocols by making sure bins are located at all points of care, that they are routinely emptied, and waste is stored safely.
  6. Staff Focal Points: Assign staff member(s) – cleaners, maintenance staff, or clinicians — whose job it is to oversee WASH at the facility, including: refilling handwashing stations, auditing availability of supplies in wards, reporting on WASH maintenance issues, monitoring cleaning and handwashing behaviours of staff and communicating updates to the director daily.
  7. Training: Organise training for all staff on WASH as it relates to their role at the facility, including a specific training for cleaners based on the protocols reviewed above.
  8. Daily Reminders: Remind staff of WASH protocols during morning meetings. Post hygiene promotion materials throughout the facility, particularly next to handwashing facilities.
  9. Hygiene Culture: Encourage a culture of hygiene at the facility. Emphasise that all staff members, including cleaners and maintenance staff, are part of a team working to prevent the spread of infection. Recognise individual WASH champions in the HCF.
  10. IPC Team: Work with the Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) team at the facility to make sure efforts are reinforced and aligned, avoiding duplication. Encourage WASH focal points/partners to participate in IPC meetings. Coordinate WASH/IPC activities based on plans to isolate COVID-19 patients.

BONUS – Preventative maintenance: Check on WASH infrastructure and undertake any necessary preventative maintenance, such as repairing possible disruptions to the water supply, storage, distribution or treatment.

There is much work to be done to ensure that the focus on WASH lasts beyond this crisis and translates into a radical change in how we understand and prioritise water, sanitation and hygiene. A key part of achieving that will be demonstrating that without good WASH standards, global health security is impossible.

Clean water is health and security, and clean hands save lives.

The ripple effect of COVID-19 runs far beyond the disease itself. We must stand in support of midwives, and the entire medical profession, to build a strong bridge between the global health community and WASH, in order to mitigate and heal the scars of this modern-day pandemic on medical workers, women, our newborns and humanity for the many years to come.

My prayers are thus reinforced as 2020 marks not only the Year of the Midwife but also heralds the Decade of Action and Delivery, designed for us to take deliberate steps towards the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Because midwives have supported women for centuries by delivering routine maternity care and counsel on a daily basis, we must use this opportunity to advocate louder and stronger together. We must mobilise women and policymakers to stand with midwives as midwives stand with women, newborns and their families. We must stand for the midwifery profession around the world to be recognised, respected and remunerated, and routinely provided with whole-system support.

What key principles should we use to guide our coronavirus hygiene programming ?

By: Sian White, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

This article was originally posted on the COVID-19 Hygiene Hub. 

There is not one standardised approach to coronavirus response and context adaptation is important. Irrespective of what your organisation decides to do we recommend that you use these three principles to guide your work and ensure it remains relevant and that you minimize harm.

Stay informed

It is complex to stay up to date on coronavirus during this pandemic. SARS-Cov-2 is a new virus. There are still many things we are learning about this virus and the disease it causes (COVID-19 or coronavirus disease). Because so much new information is being produced, our first key principle for guiding coronavirus hygiene programming is: stay informed.

With so much new rapidly emerging information, it can be hard to stay up to date. Below we include some advice for staying informed:

  1. Identify key information sources: We recommend regularly checking the websites of your National Ministry of Health, World Health Organisation, and the Centres of Disease Control and Prevention. Following these organizations on social media (Facebook, Twitter) will also allow you to stay up to date on recent news and updates. The COVID-19 Hygiene Hub will continue to update all our briefs and resources based on the latest information too.
  2. Check information before you act on it:  If you see a surprising news story; don’t immediately assume it is true. Take time to look at the sources it is using and see whether that same information is reported elsewhere. If you are unsure it’s best to rely on major international media sources as these will have had to have gone through a range of validation checks prior to publication.
  3. Plan to adapt your programme: When designing a COVID-19 response programme you will need to make decisions without perfect evidence to back it up.  It’s important to continue to pay attention to new information and adapt your programme based on this.

Involve others and stay connected 

The scale of the COVID-19 pandemic is unlike anything we have ever seen before. In order to reduce transmission we need to act fast and at scale. To do this, we need as many people and organisations involved as possible. Our second principle is: involve others in the coronavirus response.

Below we recommend some practical actions for involving and coordinating activities where possible:

  1. Identify people in your existing networks who you could partner with. This could include businesses, community leaders or social and religious organisations. Remember that for businesses their most important asset is their staff, and that social groups couldn’t exist without their members. This is the time where they can show that through clear actions.
  2. Identify where partners can add value: When you are working with different stakeholders get them to focus on their employees or community first by setting up handwashing facilities at the entrance to buildings and in places where they meet. Then get them to think about the various ways they could contribute to your work. Local groups and businesses can provide financial support if that is what is needed but partners can also contribute to your response through skills sharing. Examples of useful skills could include graphic design, media development, IT skills, and website design.
  3. Set up communication channels: When you are working with others make sure to set up communication channels for you to stay in touch should it not be possible for you to meet in person or work from an office. Mechanisms may already exist to support this in your country. For example countries commonly affected by crises often have a National WASH Cluster and the Global Handwashing Partnership is working to establish national handwashing partnerships in many countries. Establishing localised communication channels to bring together key leaders within your community is advised so that you can continue to learn about what is working and share information.
  4. Learn from and build on local community action: Communities will develop their own coping mechanisms in response to COVID-19. Make sure you take time to establish mechanisms to learn from your communities about what is working well and use this to shape and adapt your organisation’s work.

Align your work with the national response

At the moment many organisations and individuals are motivated to play a role in COVID-19 response. However it is important that all efforts are coordinated and adapted to your context. Each country is at a different stage in the pandemic and has a different set of national or local control measures that have been enacted. Therefore our third principle focuses on aligning your work with the national response.

Below we recommend some practical actions to ensure that your work is consistent with national guidance and responsive to the situation in your country.

  1. Be familiar with the government strategy and current guidelines. Normally these guidelines will be widely available or can be found via the Ministry for Health. Countries are also being encouraged to share their plans more widely, for example, this website provides updates about how each nation is responding (this does not cover all countries yet but is expanding). It is important that staff within your organisations adhere to national guidelines since they will often be involved in role-modelling good behaviours during their work with communities.
  2. Be aware of what stage of the response your country is in. The WHO has defined 4 levels of preparedness, readiness and response based on localised patterns of COVID-19 transmission. Organisations should be encouraged to put together a plan for how their work will be adapted at each one of these stages. There are also several global data trackers so that you can keep up to date with confirmed cases and mortality in your region.
  3. Identify high risk areas. Not all areas of a country are at equal risk during the current COVID-19 pandemic. For example COVID-19 will spread more rapidly in areas with high population density such as informal settlements in urban areas or displacement camps. If these settings exist in your country it makes sense to try to prioritise prevention measures in these settings.

Assess the risk locally and based on your organisational capacity

Our fourth guiding principle is take time to assess risk and err on the side of caution. Make sure that you are not putting your staff or communities at risk through your programming. Here are some practical tips for mitigating risk:

  1. Avoid community gatherings: At this point we would recommend that all COVID-19 response programmes avoid using large community gatherings. If, through assessment, you identify that there are no other ways of reaching a community then you could consider organising events where people are physically distanced (such as in the image below where circles have been marked out with coloured sand).
  2. Make a context-specific decision about household visits: In many countries household level visits may still be safe to conduct but before doing this make sure first follow government advice and guidelines and to assess the risk locally. If your staff are in communities make sure they have the ability to practice hygiene regularly and that they maintain physical distancing. You can find out more about how to do this safely in this brief.
  3. Focus on mass media, social media and handwashing infrastructure: Identify or establish ways of reaching populations if in-person work is not possible. This could include radio, television, social media or text messages. Creating handwashing infrastructure will also be key at this time. You can find out more about how to do this here.

Built to Last – Upgrading Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Through Results-Based Financing: The Vietnam Experience

Built to Last – Upgrading Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Through Results-Based Financing: The Vietnam Experience. World Bank, April 2019.

Challenge – As in most rural areas in Vietnam, access to safe water and sanitation services in eight provinces in the Red River Delta was a significant challenge. In 2012, only 36% of households had access to ‘clean’ water, defined as meeting the national quality standards.

Groundwater, which generations of local people used for cooking and drinking, was becoming increasingly contaminated by toxic hazards. Piped water networks were either broken or failing to reach households. At the same time, only 56% of rural households had hygienic latrines and less than 20% of people washed their hands with soap at key moments.

Approach – Vietnam rolled out an ambitious National Target Program for Rural Water Supply and Sanitation – Phase 3 (NTP3) in 2013. This project used the World Bank’s Program-for-Results (PforR) lending instrument, which for the first time linked the disbursement of IDA financing to results achieved on the ground.

The PforR framework created powerful incentives to drive results and achieve the sustainability of water and sanitation services. For example, a commune was deemed qualifying to receive funding only if it had met all criteria for the ‘Community-Wide Sanitation’ (CWS) status: 100% of public schools and health centers have clean water and hygienic sanitation facilities; at least 70% of households have hygienic sanitation meeting government standards; 100% of households use latrines of some kind; and the commune is open-defecation free.