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☑ ☆ ✇ IRC Water

10 years of progress washed away

By: Smits

Honduras HUrricane Eta

In the wake of Hurricane Eta, IRC and Water For People support government appeal and call for immediate action to restore a decade's worth of water and sanitation development in Honduras.

Article jointly written by Stef Smits, Country Coordinator, IRC Honduras and Túpac Mejía Country Director, Water For People Honduras.

Over the last few days, while the eyes of the world were focused on the elections in the USA, further south, a disaster had happened. Hurricane Eta hit Central America. It left a trail of destruction, especially in Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. It reminded us of hurricane Mitch which hit these countries back in 1998. Fortunately, Eta was less deadly. So far, the victims number in the hundreds, while Mitch took the lives of 11,000 people. The material damage, however, is just as big. In Honduras alone, the estimated damage is US$ 5 billion.

As organisations that have been working on water supply and sanitation in the region, we saw several years of progress washed away. Though a full inventory of the damages is underway, the first reports from the three municipalities with whom we have worked most closely, show a severe impact. The situation is likely to be similar in many other municipalities. In 2012, the municipality of Chinda celebrated being the first municipality in Honduras to achieve universal access to water supply. Now the town’s drinking water supply is heavily damaged as part of the town was flooded. San Antonio de Cortés saw heavy damages to 33 of the 45 village water supplies. Communication with the municipality officials of El Negrito has not been fully established. So far 13 communities, including the main town, have reported damages. We expect this number to go up as we receive reports from the more remote communities with whom we have worked over the years to provide services. Across the three municipalities, this means a drop in the level of access to water supplies from 97% prior to Eta to 58%, affecting 40,000 out of the 75,000 people living in these three municipalities.

Aerial view of destruction

These are heart-breaking figures. Behind each of these statistics are villagers who worked hard to construct these systems; community leaders and politicians who mobilised the necessary resources; and users who rejoiced in getting water and sanitation services for the first time.

Efforts are being undertaken by the Government of Honduras, municipalities and NGOs to address the situation by providing filters and undertaking quick repairs. Honduras is especially vulnerable to natural disasters and hence has a reasonably well-developed emergency response system. We are confident that – in spite of everything – the immediate needs can be addressed.

More worrisome are the needed repairs, rehabilitation and reconstruction. The amount of money and, above all, time these communities, towns and municipalities had put into getting water and sanitation to everyone, are enormous. Ten years of hard work have been undone. And we cannot bring back that time.

But we also cannot just let 10 years of progress get undone. We need to get behind the communities and municipalities affected by Eta, and make sure that they get their water supplies back and functioning as they were before Eta hit. The Government of Honduras has made an appeal to the international community for support in its recovery and reconstruction efforts.

We fully support this appeal and will do what is in our power to help out. Through the Para Todos, Por Siempre partnership, we are working closely with the Government to inventory the damages to water supply and sanitation systems. Also, we are supporting the coordination and exchange of information in doing these inventories and the planning of repair works.

We call upon our partners, funders and friends to respond to the appeal made by the Government of Honduras and do whatever is in your power to make sure that 10 years of progress dis not washed away for good but is quickly re-instated.

In response to this urgent need, all donations received in November will go towards reconstruction efforts in Honduras.

Act now

☑ ☆ ✇ IRC Water

IRC launches new partnership with Kabarole District

By: kabarungi

New project on supporting WASH in healthcare facilities in the fight against COVID-19.

Fort Portal, Kabarole, UGANDA. 11 November 2020 - IRC Uganda today launches a new project with Kabarole District Local Government to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 through strengthening water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services in healthcare facilities.

IRC has through funding of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation supported Kabarole District to achieve universal access to WASH through the Safe Water Strategy since 2018. In March 2020 when Uganda confirmed the first COVID-19 case, both the WASH and healthcare sectors experienced immense pressure as services that were essential in prevention and control of the spread of the infection were limited. IRC responded through support to Kabarole District Health Office with various interventions including emergency provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to healthcare workers; improvement of sanitation and hand hygiene facilities in health centres; provision of drinking water kits to healthcare facilities and Infection Prevention and Control mentorships, among others.

"The pandemic has made obvious what we knew all along: that water, sanitation and hygiene are the first line of defence against many infections. As we embrace the new normal, full coverage of WASH services in all institutions is a must, starting with healthcare facilities" – Jane Nabunnya Mulumba, Country Director IRC Uganda.

The one-year project implemented with USD 154,000 funding from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation will deliver long-term interventions in infection prevention and control including COVID-19, through strengthening the district healthcare system and modelling comprehensive WASH in healthcare services.

"This partnership between IRC and Kabarole District is in line with IRC's goal to strengthen district capacities to provide lasting WASH services for all," says Ms. Mulumba. "We are making a deliberate statement that while COVID-19 has hit us hard, future resilience and sustainability of healthcare service delivery can only be guaranteed by good governance and management of water, sanitation and hygiene services in healthcare facilities."

Kabarole District will with this funding increase awareness about COVID-19 prevention and response efforts through risk communications and hygiene promotion; strengthen protection and safety of healthcare workers through provision of PPE and mentorship in infection and prevention control; and articulate standard WASH governance and management of healthcare facilities through model healthcare centres. The funding will also support capacity strengthening of the district health teams and healthcare workers for sustained WASH engagement and behaviour change.

☑ ☆ ✇ IRC Water

Partnership development in an alliance for increased impact

By: Grift

Documenting the processes used to develop strong partnerships among NGOs and sharing some lessons learned about partnership development in an alliance in Ethiopia.

Water station in Ethiopia

Millennium Water Alliance (MWA) has been implementing Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programmes in rural Ethiopia since 2004 to improve WASH service delivery. By convening members and partners, MWA has worked collaboratively to provide WASH services for more than two million rural Ethiopians in several regions. MWA has been using the collective impact framework to support greater impact by organisations working together rather than separately.

MWA convened and led a short-term, 2017-2019, programme titled, Bridge Program, funded by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation (Hilton Foundation). This work involved the MWA secretariat serving as the hub, IRC WASH providing technical support, and six WASH NGOs including CARE, Catholic Relief Services, Food for the Hungry, Helvetas, WaterAid, and World Vision providing the on-the-ground implementation work and collaborative long-term planning with district governments. One of the key deliverables of this programme was to develop strong partnerships both among the NGOs collaborating on the ground and with key government partners.

Contributing to Ethiopia’s nation-wide vision of achievement of SDG6

The long-term goal of this work was to contribute to Ethiopia’s nation-wide achievement of safe, affordable, and sustainable water service delivery by 2030. This requires working together and in a supportive role with the government which has the mandate to provide improved WASH services. Given the nature of the SDGs and the type of systems strengthening work required to achieve them, new ways of working and new approaches are needed. Trying to make this type of progress without trust and strong partnerships seem impossible. Additionally, there is a specific intention to ensure that innovations and methods that are proven successful get replicated in the work of partner organisations beyond this specific programme. Successful replication beyond a programme is more likely through existing and trusted relationships.

The Learning Brief has documented the processes used to develop strong partnerships among NGOs and shares some lessons learned along the way. It focuses exclusively on the development of partnerships and the use of the collective impact framework across a group of NGOs working on this joint programme. The paper discusses the activities conducted by MWA to develop trust and partnership across a group of NGOs; the methods used to engage in collective impact, and the lessons learned about partnership development in an alliance.

This paper can be found online at www.mwawater.org and was published in 2020. It is made possible through support from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

☑ ☆ ✇ IRC Water

She Makes Change - an update

By: Anonymous

COVID-19 has forced the women in Odisha to postpone the workshops that IRC raised funds for during the 'She Makes Change' campaign.

Women have more acute needs due to cultural and biological roles, and a lack of services is often at the cost of their health, education, employment and participation in politics and society. Therefore, it is important that women have a say in WASH decision making. On the occasion of International Women's Day on March 8th 2020, IRC raised funds for women to ensure their voices were heard.

The ‘She Makes Change’ campaign successfully raised €2,868.25 for capacity building of women in the state of Odisha in India. The funds will be used to organise a series of workshops to provide foundational knowledge and skills to women in Ganjam district of Odisha, to enable them to assert their rights as citizens and participate in local government decision making.

Originally scheduled to be held in the months of June and July 2020, these workshops have not yet been organised due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of corona cases in India has been on the rise since early this year. At 7,307,097, India is currently the country with the second highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world. However, in terms of number of daily cases, it has the highest in the world (on 15 October).

The strict lockdown enforced by the Government of India in March 2020 gave rise to a wave of reverse migration. A significant proportion of the working age population in Ganjam works as migrants in the textile mills of Surat in the state of Gujarat. With the closure of the mills, high rate of infection, loss of employment and poor living conditions in the industrial town, the migrants returned to Ganjam. It is estimated that over a million migrants returned to the district in the pandemic.

The return of the migrants to Ganjam has led to a massive surge in corona cases in the state of Odisha, making Ganjam the non-capital hot spot in July, with a peak of over 700 cases in a day. To date, the district has recorded over 20,000 cases, with 29 confirmed cases in the last 24 hours at the time of writing. The return of the migrants has increased stress on the limited health infrastructure in the district as well as on the resources.

Considering these conditions, the leadership workshops have been postponed to next year. It must be added here that, the pandemic has also reinforced the need for skill training. Handwashing with soap is one of the easiest precautions against the spread of infectious diseases such as COVID -19. Access to improved water, sanitation and hygiene services is thus essential. Therefore, it becomes all the more critical to strengthen the capacities of women and other marginalised sections of the population to effectively plan, make decisions, reach out to and  hold duty bearers and service providers accountable, where required, to ensure services for all.

The significance of these skills goes beyond the realm of WASH. They empower women to access more opportunities, enable them to demand for themselves as well as for other marginalised populations. We know that such skills have the power to bring about transformative change.

How to help

If you would like to help support this project, or any others, you can make a donation here. Alternatively, contact us for other ways to support the women and marginalised populations in Ganjam and beyond.

☑ ☆ ✇ IRC Water

Quatre ans après, Aboubakar Hema a-t-il tenu ses promesses ?

By: Anonymous

Interrogation l'édile de Banfora sur ses actions dans le secteur de l'eau et assainissement.

Après quatre années passées à la tête de la commune de Banfora, le maire, Aboubakar Hema, s’est prêté à l’exercice de l’Association des Blogueurs du Burkina (ABB) pour faire son bilan de mise en œuvre. C’était le samedi 12 septembre 2020, dans la salle de réunion du gouvernorat des Cascades. L’activité a connu une participation massive des acteurs de la dite commune, qui n’ont pas manqué d’exprimer leurs préoccupations en ce qui concerne le niveau de la réalisation de l’ODD N°6 à l’horizon 2030.

C’est au milieu de ses concitadins que le maire a présenté son bilan (Ph Com mairie)

C'est au milieu de ses concitadins que le maire a présenté son bilan (Ph Com mairie)

Plan Stratégique d'Approvisionnement en Eau Potable et d'Assainissement

Dès sa prise de fonction en 2016, le conseil municipal de Banfora a défini trois axes stratégiques de développement. Il s'agit notamment de la promotion de la bonne gouvernance, du développement de l'économie locale et de l'amélioration de l'accès de la population aux services sociaux de base. Lors de la présentation de son bilan, quatre ans après, le maire s’est logiquement appesanti sur ces trois piliers pour mettre en exergue des actions et réalisations qui font la fierté de la Cité du paysan noir. Le dernier axe qui prend en compte l’accès à l’eau et à l’assainissement, représente, selon le maire, une priorité pour la commune. La préoccupation permanente du premier citoyen de Banfora, étant de procurer aux communautés de la commune qu’il dirige, l'accès constant à une eau salubre et propre ainsi qu’à un assainissement durable, afin d’améliorer leur bien-être général.

«L’accès à l’eau  potable demeure une préoccupation dans la commune de Banfora. L’hygiène et l’assainissement aussi. Beaucoup de ménages n’ont pas de latrines. Certains font leurs besoins dans la nature. Ces cacas se retrouvent plus tard dans les eaux, ce qui peut provoquer beaucoup de maladies.» Des mots bien choisis par le maire de Banfora, Aboubakar Hema, pour traduire l’intérêt que la commune accorde au secteur de l’eau et assainissement, et mettre l’accent sur l’urgence qu’il représente. Du reste, la commune de Banfora a élaboré son Plan Stratégique d'Approvisionnement en Eau Potable et d'Assainissement (PSC AEPA), avec l’appui de l'IRC qui, pour la mise en œuvre, a réuni tous les partenaires interagissant pour la même cause ; partenaires sans lesquels, la réalisation de cet ambitieux projet serait une vue de l’esprit.

Avalanche de questions

La présentation de ce bilan constituait donc une bonne tribune pour interroger l’édile de Banfora sur ses actions dans le secteur de l’eau et assainissement et principalement dans le cadre de la mise en œuvre de ce Plan. A cet effet, le maire a été soumis à une avalanche de questions, allant des actions concrètes de la mairie dans la mise en œuvre du PSC AEPA durant la période écoulée, à la concordance ou non des types d’ouvrages d’accès à l’eau potable réalisés avec la vision et les engagements de la mairie, en passant par l’implication ou non des forces vives dans la mise en œuvre du Plan et les avancées concrètes de ces actions par rapport à la réalisation de l’ODD 6 dans la commune.

Mayor A. Hema

Aboubakar Hema a rendu compte de ses actions à sa population (Ph Com mairie)

Des ouvrages

Abordant ces aspects, le maire a affirmé que la commune a réalisé comme actions, dans ce sens, plus de 45 forages avec une prévision de plus d'une trentaine en 2020, réhabilité plus de 200 forages en panne, construit 472 latrines, 326 puisards douche et 17 puisards bac en 2019. A ces ouvrages, s’ajoutent 115 latrines réalisées de janvier 2020 à mai 2020 et 30 nouvelles pompes à motricité humaines (PMH) en cours de réalisation. M. Hema a complété la liste avec le démarrage de l’élaboration de la stratégie de communication, pour la mobilisation des partenaires et des fonds pour la mise en œuvre du PSC AEPA. Selon lui, cette action épouse parfaitement la volonté de la commune à travailler en étroite collaboration avec tous les partenaires et forces vives de la commune.

Le problème d'eau

Cependant, plusieurs difficultés ont été soulevées, au titre desquelles, le manque d’eau au secteur 8 de la ville de Banfora, à cause des travaux du 11-Décembre, la fête nationale, dont la commune accueille, cette année, la commémoration tournante. Dans cette partie de la commune, les populations souffrent le martyr, à la recherche de « l’or bleu ». Le maire, au nom du conseil municipal, a rassuré ses concitadins : « Ce n’est pas la faute de la mairie, ce problème d’eau. Nous plaidons donc auprès des autorités en charge de la question eau, (direction régionale de l’eau, Onea), pour qu’elles soulagent les populations de cette souffrance. » Le maire, promet, par ailleurs, la réalisation de 100 forages en 2021, dont 70 seront destinés aux ménages. Un atelier de forage a déjà été acquis sur fonds de la mairie.

Le chemin reste encore bien long

De façon globale, le constat est flagrant, que les réalisations concernant les ouvrages d’accès à l’eau potable, se limitent aux forages équipés de pompe à motricité humaine. Ces ouvrages ne garantissent pas l’accès à une eau sûre, car, pouvant être contaminée plus rapidement avant la consommation, et n’éliminent pas non plus la corvée d’eau.  Ces situations sont donc en contradiction totale avec les engagements pris par la commune, selon lesquels 80% de la population consommerait de l’eau sûre, soit par robinet à la maison, soit à la borne fontaine.  Il est donc évident que le chemin reste encore bien long, pour parvenir au mieux-être des populations, en matière d’eau et d’assainissement. Mais, assurant les uns et les autres que son engagement et sa détermination pour que l’eau et l’assainissement soient inscrits en lettres d’or dans son programme demeurent intacts, le maire de Banfora a lancé un cri du cœur à l’endroit des acteurs du secteur, pour une collaboration efficace en vue de l’atteinte de ses objectifs. Parallèlement, IRC, à travers son assistance technique avec l’appui financier de la Fondation Hilton, continuera aux côtés de la mairie, le combat pour que cet engagement soit effectif.

☑ ☆ ✇ IRC Water

User's guide for the District Capacity Assessment Tool

By: Anonymous

Guideline for the District Capacity Assessment Tool, a tool developed to evaluate if a given institution has the required resources (financial and human) and if the working environment is enabled to ensure sustainable water service delivery.

☑ ☆ ✇ IRC Water

Post-construction support to Akatsi North and South districts

By: awumbei

Video stories of change from two Ghanaian districts as a result of post-construction interventions.

IRC Ghana has been providing post-construction support to Akatsi North and South Districts in the Volta Region of Ghana as part of the district system strengthening efforts. This intervention is a move towards professionalising the work of area mechanics and equipping them with the necessary skills to perform their tasks more effectively for improved water service delivery.

"In the light of long-term sustainability of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions, post-construction support is critical for continued maintenance and operation of rural water systems," IRC Ghana Country Director, Vida Duti noted.

Through IRC Ghana’s work in Akatsi North and South Districts under the Triple-S project, tools were developed in collaboration with the districts to support post-construction support for water facilities. IRC in collaboration with CWSA, worked with the districts to conduct service monitoring over three years. Following up on the previous work and to ensure that progress is being made to achieve the national target of full coverage by 2025 and the SDG of universal coverage by 2030, IRC Ghana has since 2017 provided the local authorities in the two districts with the tools and technical support to position them to lead in the process.

As part of the post-construction intervention in the two districts, the Akatsi South and North District Assemblies in collaboration with IRC Ghana organised a number of training workshops for area mechanics in the two districts to equip them with the skills and knowledge to undertake installation, uninstallation, repair and maintenance of various types of handpumps in the districts.

Earlier this year, the IRC Ghana documentation team visited selected communities in the two districts to collect and document stories of change and lessons emanating from the intervention. The visit to the two districts took place in February 2020, meeting community members, trained artisans, Water and Sanitation Management Team members and District Assembly staff including District Chief Executives in both districts, conducting community visits and interviews. The team was accompanied by staff of the District Assembly in both districts, helping the team in community entry and translations.

The following three short videos highlight the experiences of change in the lives of communities in the two districts as a result of the post-construction support intervention. They represent examples from real-life about how small but targeted interventions towards local system strengthening can make a difference in the lives of many communities in the districts.

These three short videos reflect the perspectives of the community members, area mechanics and the district authorities, respectively.

They trained us to repair the boreholes for the communities

 

 

When they collect revenue from the sale for water, it has most of the times been misapplied

 

It's government's responsibility to ensure communities have good source of water

 

☑ ☆ ✇ IRC Water

Freshwater conservation and WASH advocacy strategy workshop facilitator's guide

By: Anonymous

This guide covers steps required for engaging effectively with decision-makers; increasing the impact beyond programmatic solutions; and influencing individuals, organisations, policies, regulations, and financing.

IRC and Africa Biodiversity Collaborative Group Members, Conservation International and the Jane Goodall Institute, jointly developed the Freshwater Conservation and WASH Advocacy Strategy Workshop Facilitator's Guide because advocacy is a critical step in enabling integrated freshwater conservation-WASH management and must be closely tied to field-implementation of freshwater management strategies.

The target audience for this manual is development practitioners and advocates who desire a supportive policy environment for integrated freshwater conservation and WASH programming. The guide covers steps required for engaging effectively with decision-makers; increasing the impact beyond programmatic solutions; and influencing individuals, organisations, policies, regulations, and financing.

The Freshwater Conservation and WASH Advocacy Strategy Workshop Guide is comprised of five parts, the main Facilitator's Guide and 4 appendices:
1. Advocacy Strategy Workshop Facilitator's Guide
2. Appendix 1: Advocacy Strategy Workshop PowerPoint Presentation
3. Appendix 2: Country Context Presentation Template
4. Appendix 3: Facilitator Workbook
5. Appendix 4: Participant Workbook

The four-day workshop outlined in the guide is designed to introduce advocacy and provide the rationale for the important role advocacy and influencing play to advance freshwater conservation and WASH at national and sub-national level goals through changes in policies, budgets, and practices.
When using this guide, please use the suggested citation below. For questions about the methodology in the guide, please contact Elynn Walter (walter@ircwash.org) or Colleen Sorto (csorto@conservation.org).

Suggested Citation: Walter, E., Sorto, C., Edmond, J., Mercurio, S. and Rozenberg, E. 2020. Freshwater Conservation and WASH Advocacy Strategy Workshop: Facilitator's Guide. Washington, DC: Africa Biodiversity Collaborative Group and IRC.

☑ ☆ ✇ IRC Water

Launch of Good practice for WASH in Ghana booklet

By: awumbei

National Development Planning Commission - NDPC in collaboration with IRC and partners is disseminating the findings and is further engaging relevant stakeholders on the stories starting with the launch of the Good Practice for WASH in Ghana booklet.

 

launch of NDPC booklet

The Government of Ghana is committed to achieving access to safe water supply and water-related targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. With about 10 years left until the 2030 deadline for the Sustainable Development Goals Agenda, there is an urgent need to identify innovative actions that can help fast-track the delivery of the SDGs.
The National Development Planning Commission in collaboration with IRC embarked on a project to collate and publish ongoing innovative interventions on water and sanitation from selected district assemblies; namely Wassa East, Bongo and Asutifi-North District. Fieldwork was carried out from 18th February to 4th March 2020 to ascertain, assess and interact with developers and beneficiaries of the selected WASH projects. The aim of the exercise was to collate and publish these innovative approaches and interventions for the purpose of sharing experiences and lessons learnt to institutions such as MDAs, MMDAs, private sector and CSOs. The main outputs for the exercise which include website publication on the WASH stories (at both NDPC and IRC websites) together with the final WASH document have been prepared.

As part of the way forward to these publications, the NDPC in collaboration with IRC and partners would disseminate the findings and further engage relevant stakeholders on the stories starting with the launch of the Good Practice for WASH in Ghana booklet.

The objective of the programme is to i) raise awareness on the ongoing strategic, innovative WASH interventions identified in the selected districts; ii) highlight major findings in the report; iii) generate further interaction with stakeholders; and iv) provide an opportunity to widen the scope of the interventions to unserved or underserved areas in the country to help attain the national and SDG targets on WASH. Due to the Covid-19 health pandemic, the launch event would be organised within one-and-half hours targeting WASH-related stakeholders and beyond.

Selected stakeholders are invited to join a face-to-face session whilst wider stakeholder participation will be via Microsoft link: Join Here

Programme brief

Time (Day1) Activity Responsibility
9:00 – 9:30 am Registration and Arrival of invited guests and the media NDPC
9:30 – 9:40 am Welcome Address Dr. Kojo Mensah Abrampah, Director-General, NDPC
9:40 – 10:00 am Brief Statements:
                 - Country Director, IRC Ghana
                 - Ministry of MWSR
                 - SDG ICC Coordinator
10:00 – 10:20 am Presentation: Water Stories and Sanitation Tales by NDPC
10:20 – 10:40 am Discussions: Participants
10:40 – 10:50 am Launch of the WASH Report Dr. Kojo Mensah Abrampah, Director-General, NDPC
10:50 – 11:00 am Wrap-up and next steps Dr. Felix Addo-Yobo
11:00 am Refreshment and Departure

Go back to overview page 

☑ ☆ ✇ IRC Water

IRC Ghana and Latter-day Saints present COVID-19 relief items

By: Anonymous

Relief goods for 500 vulnerable and poor households affected by COVID-19 restrictions were handed over to the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly. 

Relief items for poor families in Kumasi

On May 18, 2020 in Kumasi, IRC Ghana in partnership with the Latter-day Saint Charities in Ghana presented USD 25,000 worth of COVID-19 relief items to the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA). The relief items are for onward distribution to 500 households in selected vulnerable communities of the Ashanti Region who have been most impacted socially and economically by the COVID-19 mitigation measures imposed by the Government of Ghana.  

Presentation of relief items

In a joint presentation to KMA, Abubakari Wumbei of IRC Ghana recalled that in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Ghana announced a series of measures for Ghana’s enhanced response to the pandemic, which included the imposition of a three-week partial lockdown in Greater Accra and Greater Kumasi. The directive, according to him affected social and economic life of people and incomes severely, especially for vulnerable and poor households with limited resources to support their their families with food and other essentials.

Mr Wumbei speaking at the handover of goods

Mr. Wumbei acknowledged that the Government through the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, the National Disaster Management Organisation and affected Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) embarked on measures to mitigate the effects of the lockdown on vulnerable populations, but the effort - including food rationing, was inadequate due to the large numbers within the affected cities.

“As a partner that works with Government and other development partners at the national and sub-national levels, IRC Ghana joined hands with the Latter-day Saint Charities in Ghana to work through KMA in supporting 500 affected vulnerable and poor households (approximately 2,500 people)  in the Kumasi Metropolitan area with USD 25,000 worth of relief items: 500 bags of rice (25kg), 104 boxes of canned fish, 83 boxes of vegetable cooking oil, 32 boxes with bars of soap, 35 cartons of carbolic soap and 104 boxes with cans of tomatoes,” Mr. Wumbei added.

He further noted that the COVID-19 experience has reaffirmed the relevance of WASH in the development paradigm and most of all the strong link between WASH and health that requires urgent attention of particularly Government; and that IRC will continue to build alliances to support Government to strengthen WASH systems for COVID-19 emergency response and beyond.

President of the Kumasi Bantama Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mr. Samuel Appiah

On his part, the President of the Kumasi Bantama Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mr. Samuel Appiah, said the donation was indeed to complement the government’s effort in supporting the needy and vulnerable who were affected by the COVID-19 situation. He said the pandemic had brought untold hardships to many people, especially the vulnerable, and added: “As a church, our aim is to seek the welfare of the poor and the needy, hence this collaborative gesture.”

IRC Ghana and Latter-day Saints teams then joined hands in presenting the detailed list of the relief items to the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) of Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, Mr. Osei Assibey Antwi.

Timely support as families urgently need food

The Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) of Kumasi, Mr. Osei Assibey Antwi, who received the items thanked the two organisations on behalf of his team and the affected beneficiary households, stating that the support was timely as a lot of people are yearning for food to feed their families due to the COVID-19 restrictions that affected the area.

Mr. Osei Assibey Antwi, Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) of Kumasi

He commended IRC for the great support over the years, “they were at the forefront of a nationwide MMDA sanitation contest that ended last year where KMA came up tops and was awarded GBP 400,000; and today they are here again, this time with the Latter-day Saint Charities brought on board at a time this support is most needed.”

The MCE said that the collaboration needs to be further strengthened as IRC’s expertise in WASH was crucial in the management of the pandemic since most of the protocols of COVID-19 are water, sanitation and hygiene related.

The Metropolitan Director of Social Welfare and Community Development and the lead person in-charge of the onward distribution of the relief items, Esther Apraku Nyako expressed her excitement and appreciation for the donation. “I'm excited because this is one of the biggest non-governmental donations of food items we have seen so far since the COVID lockdown and we really appreciate it.” She explained that the 500 target beneficiary households include widows, persons with a disability, the aged and those on the livelihood empowerment against poverty (LEAP) programme; and that each household will receive 1 bag of rice (25kg), cooking oil (2 litres), canned fish (5 pieces of 400g), tomato paste (5 pieces of 400g), 1 long bar of soap and 5 pieces of carbolic soap.

Present at the donation ceremony were the KMA team led by the MCE and Metropolitan Coordinating Director, representatives of IRC Ghana and Latter-day Saint Charities, and members of the media.

☑ ☆ ✇ IRC Water

Uganda: IRC supports COVID-19 response

By: Watsisi

In Kabarole District IRC's support is driven by strengthening WASH in healthcare facilities.

Provision of personal protective equipment

On 21 March 2020, Uganda had its first confirmed case of COVID-19. This was followed two days later by eight more. Prior to that, on 18 March, the President addressed the nation on COVID-19 and outlined the guidelines on preventative measures. 

The Government of Uganda has established a number of structures to coordinate various COVID-19 response activities. These include:

  1. A multi-sectoral and inter-ministerial National COVID-19 Response Team headed by the Prime Minister. The Response Team has various subcommittees including the WASH subcommittee.
  2. At district level, all districts have established District and Sub County COVID-19 Task Teams with different response subcommittees.
  3. Inter-Agency Joint Task Force established by Uganda’s National Security Council to support the Ministry of Health. It is led by the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces and comprised of the Uganda Police Force, Uganda Prison Services, National Joint Intelligence Committee, Immigration and Customs, National Water and Sewerage Corporation, UMEME (Electricity utility) and Kampala City Council Authority. 
Guidelines, operating procedures, information materials 

The Ministry of Health has published and disseminated key COVID-19 information materials including a fact sheet, a poster and guidelines for prevention of COVID-19 in public places (banks, offices, shopping malls, restaurants, markets). Other ministries including the Ministry of Water and Environment have also issued their guidelines. The Government established a call centre and a COVID-19 Information Portal with a real-time database.

A summary of the national and Kabarole District COVID-19 situation as of 31 May 2020:

Uganda

  • Confirmed cases - 457
  • Active cases - 283
  • Samples tested - 84,576
  • Recoveries - 72
  • High risk travellers - 1,550

 Kabarole

  • Alerts- 177
  • Suspected cases- 61
  • Total community and suspected case samples taken- 1,629
  • Confirmed case-01
  • Institutional quarantine-26
District/regional government priorities, needs and response

Following the confirmation of the first COVID-19 case in Uganda, Kabarole District Health Office constituted a District COVID-19 Response Task Team concerned with surveillance, response and mitigation against the spread of the disease. This is headed by the District Health Office and is part of the overall District COVID-19 task force. The task force developed a detailed Preparedness and Response Plan and Budget which was widely shared with all stakeholders in the district, including IRC. This was used to raise financial and material support in the district in addition to funding provided by the Ministry of Health. 

Kabarole’s focus is towards risk communication, surveillance, infection prevention and control, transport for frontline health workers, information education communication (IEC) materials and personal protection equipment (PPE). IRC agreed to contribute towards the key areas and participate as a member in the COVID-19 infection prevention and control (IPC) team albeit virtually and on the phone. 

IRC contributions in Kabarole District

IRC Uganda has supported Kabarole District’s efforts in the prevention and mitigation of the virus in the following ways:

  • Contribution to conducting IPC drills in healthcare facilities (HCFs) for healthcare workers and cleaning staff. The interventions are based on training of trainers (ToT) conducted last year for District IPC team. IRC Uganda has used the experience gained by being part of the IPC team for Ebola preparedness in 2019. Each HCF has an IPC focal person in an IPC committee that was trained to conduct COVID-19 IPC drills in 54 healthcare facilities. IPC and WASH in healthcare facilities often overlap, for instance on hand hygiene, medical PPE, environmental cleanliness, and healthcare waste management.
  • Eight radio programmes on Jubilee FM and Voice of Tooro (VOT) for risk management communication. The major focus was on providing facts about COVID-19 and dispelling the myths that were undermining government sensitisation of communities about the disease. The radio programmes were facilitated by the District Health Team and members of the Kabarole District WASH Task Team who emphasised the WASH component in mitigating the spread of COVID-19.
  • Personal protective equipment including disposable gloves, aprons and face masks. The major objective was to keep the health workers motivated to continue working, knowing they are safe from contracting the disease. And at the same time, reducing the chances of healthcare workers transmitting COVID-19 and other nosocomial diseases. PPEs were also important for practical IPC drills.
  • Renovation of eight latrines in health centres was another contribution IRC made towards the district response to COVID-19. Assessments had been done on 21 latrines in government HCFs that needed renovation to ensure the latrines are usable and reduce the current latrine deficit. Eight were prioritised and have since been renovated. The renovation involved pit emptying, fixing doors and handwashing facilities, making floors and adding sato pans. The District Water Officer, as senior district engineer, and the District Health Inspector have been focal persons in ensuring latrine standards are met.
  • IRC is committed to building WASH systems resilient enough to address even these global health challenges. It builds on earlier interventions to improve WASH in healthcare facilities in Kabarole by addressing the numerous gaps identified.
Renovation of sanitation facilities in health centres in Kabarole

Part of the low cost but high impact interventions that will be carried out by IRC to improve WASH in HCFs are based on the 2018 WASH in Healthcare Facilities Assessment Report. Latrines were not only inadequate in HCFs, but existing structures fell below standards of safety, privacy and convenience to the user. They were not washable, had cracked floors and most were nearly full. IRC contracted KAHASA (Kabarole Hand Pump Mechanics Association) to do renovations with a double benefit of improving WASH in HCFs and also further building capacity of the Hand Pump Mechanics Association to provide operation and maintenance of water and sanitation services.

KAHASA working on curtain wall of latrines at a health centre (IRC Uganda)

What has been achieved in Kabarole

These rather low-cost interventions have had a great impact on Kabarole District’s response to and mitigation of the spread of COVID-19. By 31 May 2020:

  • 126 radio talks shows have been held on local FM stations for risk communication management involving healthcare workers and influencers. These have been supported by the office of the Resident District Commissioner, UNICEF, IRC and Amref. 24 TV talk shows on NBS and King TV and 10 spot messages on prevention were offered by KRC radio. In addition, 43 Mobile van and megaphone risk communication days have been conducted mainly targeting market centres. The funding for these activities coming from IRC, Marie Stopes and HEWASA.
  • Of the five infection prevention and control steps issued by the Ministry of Health, four are related to WASH. So far 156 sessions of IPC drills have been conducted in 54 HCFs by the District Health Team supported by IRC.
  • Other outputs include: 57 routine sensitisations targeting trading centres, markets and hotels; 31 Sub County Task Forces created, oriented and trained. Follow up with volunteers and supporting their efforts in community mobilisation and sensitisation headed by the District Chairperson and with support from organisations like HEWASA, DHT, JESE, Amref, IRC and Baylor and 1512 IEC materials distributed such as information charts on COVID-19, handwashing and hand rub guides have been distributed to the communities.
  • The District COVID-19 Task Force has been active in ensuring health services are delivered. During the lockdown, 570 health emergencies (deliveries mainly) were responded to.
Investing in WASH in healthcare facilities is essential

These interventions have so far provided significant outcomes for Kabarole, marking a progressive response and mitigation against the spread of the virus. All healthcare facilities and healthcare workers in Kabarole have remained active and motivated. All Kabarole markets were able to maintain the standard operating procedures and none were closed by authorities during the lockdown compared to other parts of the country. There has been increased interest of the district in addressing WASH in HCFs. Extension of piped water in Kasenda and Kabende has targeted the HCFs. District decision makers take more note from the Health Team. There is also increased adoption of handwashing practice and gradually entrenching behaviour.

Moving forward, IRC would like to see strengthening of WASH in HCFs in Kabarole District. Therefore, immediate attention will be on advocacy and lobbying for increased interest and investment for WASH in HCFs; capacity development of the District Health Officer and ensuring adequate linkages with other key sectors like the water department.

Organising the availability of IPC materials (chlorine  dispenser, sanitisers, handwashing with soap, alcohol-based hand sanitiser) and access to safe clean water with the district water department, utility companies  and WASH partner organisations like Amref, PATH, HEWASA and the Infectious Diseases Institute among others. IRC will continue building a more sustainable medical waste management system in Kabarole (contributing to one or two centrally located incinerators and collection systems in the district).

In conclusion, significant lessons can be learned here. Having a strong WASH system prepares organisations, districts and nations to address even these global health challenges. Interventions in WASH in HCFs are ‘no regret’ investments as their impact is far reaching especially as it results in improved healthcare outcomes. And lastly, WASH is pivotal in IPC and primary health care. It is important that we demonstrate this to countries and donors.

 

☑ ☆ ✇ IRC Water

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.

☑ ☆ ✇ IRC Water

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

By: Anonymous

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.

☑ ☆ ✇ IRC Water

Avis d’appel à manifestation d’intérêt national

By: Zouré

Fabédougou - Maintenancier - SOURABIE Douossou maintenancier

 

PAYS : BURKINA FASO 

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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☑ ☆ ✇ IRC Water

‘She Makes Change’ if you believe in her

By: bhattacharjee

My story of empowerment starts from a toilet, or to be precise the lack of it.

It took one painful road trip for me to question the incredulous systems which expect a women to ‘adjust’ (read tighten pelvic muscles when you feel the pressure) when there are no clean toilets on highways or in the worst case scenario no toilets at all. Back in 2013, I didn’t feel so ‘empowered’ to talk about matters of pee or poo but I had a nagging sense of discomfort about the sheer lack of planning about sanitation facilities for women not only on our highways but also in our cities.

Indian women with sanitary products (Photo credit: Rudrani Ghosh photography)

This discomfort led me to dream about the possibility of setting up a service for building and maintaining highway toilets in India.  I was lucky to get through a fellowship offered by The DO School, Germany which believed in my idea and thought it had the potential of becoming a social business. The fellowship gave me a career boost and taught me the tools necessary to develop business plans, proposals, theory of change frameworks, social impact metrics etc. I did not end up building a ‘toilet business’ but I came up with a campaign ‘Loo Watch’ to make public toilets in India safer and inclusive especially for women through audits led by citizens.

Working on this initiative was my hands-on training to work in the WASH sector through the lens of gender equality and inclusion. During this planning, I also found employment at the CLTS Foundation run by Dr Kamal Kar who had their faith in a young woman whose experience in the WASH sector was built on a passion to improve the state of sanitation in her city. 

What does empowerment in action look like? 

To me empowerment means knowing that I have the agency and the tools to try and make changes in the systems which foster inequality. The gender imbalance in the planning and design of WASH services is a known fact. That is why I feel IRC WASH’s She Makes Change campaign is important to ensure women have the knowledge, confidence and skills to advocate for their right to WASH services and to participate in local government decision making.

Due to years of being excluded from decision making processes, we, women quite often do not know what it feels like to have power over structures and norms which result in crippling gender inequality. But thanks to ‘toilets’, I know how liberating it feels to have the right kind of tools to effect change. In 2015, the local municipal body refused to share a list of public toilets in Kolkata when I had visited their office. Due to the opportunities of capacity building I had received by then, I had become more confident about my rights as a citizen, thus I filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act enquiring about the status of public toilets in Kolkata.

Response to my RTI application about the status of public toilets in Kolkata

A few weeks later I received a letter with the full details of public toilets in Kolkata along with complete addresses and names of operators. It didn’t stop there. A few months later I found myself punching the air with joy because the municipal body finally put that list of public toilets on their website! All it needed was a fee of 10 INR (0.014 US$) to make an urban local body take a step towards transparency about the WASH services provided by them.

Investing in women is not a choice but common sense

When I look at my journey as a WASH professional, I believe I’ve had a rather non-traditional entry into the sector which was made possible by a few people and institutions taking a chance on a young woman and providing her with an enabling environment to work on her cause.  By sharing my story, I do not want to convince you to invest in women but I want to show you the possibilities of what could happen when you make an investment in us, who form 50% of this world’s population.

I have seen an immense desire in women to ‘do something’ when working on menstrual health in rural Assam. I have watched women with borrowed smartphones, searching for menstrual cup videos on YouTube after my sessions with childlike excitement. The women wanted to switch because they recognised the problem of disposal in their village which had no waste management facility. I always felt what more could we do to channel this immense potential or desire. Policies and campaigns work, but more important is our faith that with the right support, women from Ganjam in Odisha to Kabarole in Uganda can and will effect systems change.

I know it because I am one of those women. 

Mayuri Bhattacharjee is the 2019 Ton Schouten Award winner and tweets at @Mayuri_tezpur

☑ ☆ ✇ IRC Water

The good, the bad and the ugly of monitoring

By: Smits

Honduras

Last week, the Para Todos, Por Siempre (Everyone, Forever) initiative presented its results over 2019. It led me to reflect on the good, the bad and the ugly of our experiences with monitoring in Honduras.

Monitoring progress towards Everyone, Forever

Para Todos, Por Siempre (PTPS) is a partnership between 18 NGOs, government agencies and some 28 associated municipalities in Honduras. The aim of the partnership is to reach universal and sustainable access to WASH services in Honduras by 2030. It does so by working to create access in the 28 associated municipalities, and by strengthening the WASH system in those municipalities to such an extent that services can be sustainable. The approaches, methods and lessons are subsequently used to develop a model for reaching everyone, forever, and for promoting that approach amongst its members, as well as towards national government.

In order to assess progress, PTPS carries out an annual monitoring exercise, facilitated by its secretariat. The exercise consists of the following (more details available here):

  • Tracking levels of access and levels of service in the associated municipalities, thereby drawing on data from the national monitoring system, SIASAR.
  • Tracking performance of the service providers in these municipalities, drawing on data from SIASAR, as well as from the regulatory information system SIRAPS
  • Tracking the institutional capacity of the associate municipalities
  • Assessing change in the national system particularly in the form of the adoption by government of methods, tools, approaches etc.
  • An auto-evaluation by the PTPS members capturing the activities they have done, the extent to which they comply with the principles of PTPS and changes in their organisational approaches

This is complemented by a reflection from the government on the national level indicators, such as national levels of access to water and sanitation services (drawn from the JMP website), financial data and changes in the elements of the WASH system, as captured through specific aspects of sector development and reform.

So what transpired in 2019?

the third annual monitoring of progress of PTPS across its 26 associated municipalities and in national system strengthening
The third annual monitoring of progress of PTPS across its 26 associated municipalities and in national system strengthening

The bad

Let me start with the bad. Progress in terms of access, levels of service and performance of service provider at municipal level could not be assessed due to not having updated data. As mentioned above, PTPS uses mainly data from SIASAR. For most of the associate municipalities, data were collected through SIASAR a few years ago. Since then, data are scarcely being updated. Municipalities are expected to regularly visit communities, and fill out the data about the communities. However, the institutional mandate is weak, as this is not obligatory, and there are no incentives or penalties for (not) doing so; nor are there any fixed budgets for this. So in practice, data on access, service levels or service provider performance are only updated in SIASAR, when there are projects or programmes, funded either by NGOs or national government, which provide budget for this. There is no mandate nor budget for regular data collection and updating by municipalities. And even most of the PTPS member NGOs do not systematically plan and budget for contributing to such data collection and analysis through SIASAR in their projects. 

The good

This apparently bad situation triggered something good: a critical reflection on the need to tighten up these institutional responsibilities (and budgets). Monitoring is supposed to lead to reflection and learning. And in PTPS's case, the lack of monitoring data led to reflection. The situation with not-updating of data is not new; last year's report already mentioned that for few municipalities data were updated. The sector realised that organising monitoring in this way – i.e. promoting the benefits of SIASAR and appealing to the willingness of mayors – would not yield better results next year. It has therefore been agreed that within the Commission for Sector Reform a proposal would be elaborated to define institutional responsibilities more clearly, and make annual monitoring a strong obligation.

The same happened in a discussion around the institutional capacity of municipalities. The monitoring revealed that the institutional capacity of most municipalities associated with PTPS has not improved. In fact, in some of the municipalities that have received significant amounts of support, their capacity has gone down. But this negative result was turned into something good. A very critical reflection was held on whether the sector is not expecting too much from municipalities in terms of their institutional capacity. They are supposed to have a number of municipal platforms, have a number of dedicated staff and carry out a range of tasks related to WASH. The monitoring revealed that those platforms very quickly become inactive after initiating them. The smallest municipalities simply cannot afford to have staff exclusively dedicated to WASH. And as a result, many of the tasks are only carried out as part of externally-funded projects. Constructive proposals were presented to actually look into alternatives. One of the most promising ones is to have some of the key tasks not executed at municipal level, but at the level of mancomunidades (groups of municipalities). In that way, economies of scale can be obtained in staffing and institutional capacity for WASH. Great examples from a mancomunidad in the department of La Paz were presented at the monitoring meeting, which show high potential.

The lack of quantitative data also led to a re-appreciation for qualitative data. PTPS also organises reflection meetings with individual municipalities. Even though they may lack quantitative data on the number of people served, they do know the number of new water systems built, and the situation in most communities in their area of jurisdiction. They are able to use this qualitative data for reflection on the way forward. It may not be ideal to only work with qualitative information, but it is considered better than no information at all. 

The ugly

One of the ugly practices around monitoring is the setting up of parallel monitoring systems by NGOs. They often don't do that with bad intentions but driven by the absence of a functional national monitoring system. Luckily, PTPS has been able to avoid this ugly risk. One of the members needed data for its own planning purposes, and it found SIASAR data to be lacking. It developed a quick survey, which would not be filled out in the field, but as a desk-top exercise, in a meeting with the association of water committees and municipal technicians. Instead of seeing this as a risk of a parallel information system, the sector has taken this as an opportunity to discuss whether the current way of data collection of SIASAR is actually appropriate. Sure, a field visit to every single community to collect data for SIASAR would be ideal. But it is also costly. And many data would not change a lot from one year to another. Filling out data in a meeting with representatives from the water committees and municipalities' technicians can still provide good enough data. The experiences from this NGO on monitoring at a distance are now being discussed as an alternative for the more extensive field visits.

Conclusion

No updated data on service levels; institutional capacity of municipalities sliding back in spite of all the effort PTPS members are putting into that; and potentially parallel data collection exercises. At first sight, the annual monitoring of PTPS over 2019 revealed a bad, and even ugly situation. But – as monitoring is supposed to do – it triggered the good: a reflection on whether we are taking the right approaches – to institutional responsibilities for monitoring, to municipal capacity building, to data collection – and examples of members and associate municipalities trying out alternatives that have potential. Above all, it leads to a reflection that the perfect should not be the enemy of the good when it comes to monitoring. It is better to reflect on impartial qualitative information, collected through a desk exercise with technicians and water committees than not monitor at all - even though it falls short of the ideal of monitoring that we had put forward as PTPS. 

 

☑ ☆ ✇ IRC Water

She Makes Change : fundraising pack

By: dalrymple

Fundraising pack has ideas and tips to support fundraising for the CPC Run The Hague 2020.

Fundraising pack has ideas and tips to support fundraising for the CPC Run The Hague 2020, She Makes Change.

☑ ☆ ✇ IRC Water

Fundraising resources for She Makes Change

By: Martin

fundraise for CPC2020

Get involved, inspire others and make a difference. Support our campaign and help us fundraise for women's empowerment workshops in Odisha, India.

Our fundraising pack has ideas and tips to support your fundraising, whether you are running or walking the She Makes Change CPC Run The Hague 2020 with us, or simply want to raise money for this campaign in your own way.

Download the fundraising pack

To collect cash donations, download and print our sponsorship form below.

 

☑ ☆ ✇ IRC Water

She Makes Change: Running for gender equality

By: Martin

 She makes change

With the She Makes Change campaign, IRC participates in CPC Run The Hague 2020 to raise funds for women's empowerment workshops in India.

The global gender gap is staggering. The World Economic Forum's 2020 report estimates it will take 99.5 years to achieve universal gender parity at the current rate. Gender equality is innately linked to sustainable development: it benefits entire economies and societies.

Gender inequality means women all around the world are being excluded from decision making and access to social and economic resources. To overcome this, women must be empowered to identify and challenge power imbalances and be able to manage their own lives. Increased political participation of women plays a fundamental role in closing the gender gap.

To celebrate International Women's Day, IRC is fundraising for women to ensure their voice is counted. Run with Team IRC and raise funds to empower women in Odisha join us here or donate directly to the campaign.

Donate here

Women in Odisha

Odisha, a state on the East Indian coast, has a population of 41 million. Data indicates that women here have a low status: Maternal and infant mortality rates are high, and female labour force participation is low. The Ganjam district, within Odisha, has a population of 3.5 million with marginalised communities comprising almost a quarter of this. There are significant challenges in the socio-economic conditions as well as the delivery of services to the marginalised. Over the years, the Government of Odisha has taken some progressive gender centric policy measures, but much is left desired in terms of creation of an enabling environment for women to benefit from the same.

WASH the problem

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) is a human right. Basic access to WASH in the household has wide socio-economic impacts, particularly for women.

Women, in many cultures, have the responsibility of water and sanitation provision in the household, they have more acute needs due to cultural and biological roles, and a lack of services is at the cost of their health, education, employment and participation in politics and society. Gender inequality in politics results in a lack of adequate WASH services: unless women are prioritised in WASH systems and decision making, the problem will only worsen.

Therefore, real change begins with women. In Odisha, we work directly with women to ensure they have the knowledge, confidence and skills to advocate for their right to WASH services and to participate in local government decision making. However, these skills go beyond WASH. They enable women to empower their daughters, to speak up for other women, to claim their rights and achieve their ambitions. Political empowerment creates a level playing field for women in which they can access far more opportunities for a better life.

Only when women have positions of leadership and equal participation in politics, will countries transform. Empowering women changes the world, but we must start locally. Your support makes a fundamental difference to the women of Odisha, the wider community and the universal goal of gender equality.

About Watershed: The Odisha Project

The Watershed programme is a strategic partnership between IRC, Wetlands International, Simavi and Akvo. It focuses on advocating and lobbying for the inclusion of marginalised groups in WASH governance, and building the capacity of civil society organisations (NGOs and community groups) to represent these marginalised groups and advocate for sustainable WASH services for all.

Civil society organisations are fundamental to ensuring participation of every WASH user, particularly women, and accountability of the government and service providers. Watershed shares skills with these organisations for advocacy and lobbying through training and workshops. The Odisha project empowers women with the right knowledge and skills to stand up, speak out and make decisions for themselves, by themselves.

Targets

This campaign will raise awareness of the importance of women in decision making processes around WASH and raise funds for a project which enables that. With €2,500 we will facilitate three one-day workshops for 48 women from four different Gram Panchayats in the district of Ganjam, Odisha. This series of workshops provides foundational knowledge and skills training. If the fundraising target is exceeded, extra half-day workshops can be run to build on and strengthen these skills.

Activities
Budget (in Euros)
Basic knowledge sharing workshop
Learning rights and roles as citizens as in the constitution and other legislation
(1 day) – 48 women
835
Knowledge sharing workshop: 'Understanding the existing systems'
Learning the responsibilities of duty bearers, institutional architecture, and platforms to participate, ask questions and make decisions
(1 day) – 48 women
835
Skills sharing workshop: 'Speaking up'
Skills for leadership, public speaking, advocacy and conflict resolution
(1 day) – 48 women

835

 

Total

2,505

About IRC

IRC is an international non-profit organisation that works with governments, NGOs, businesses and people around the world to find long-term solutions to the global crisis in water, sanitation and hygiene services.

We believe that turning on a working tap should not be a surprise or cause for celebration. We believe in a world where water, sanitation and hygiene services are fundamental utilities that everyone is able to take for granted. For good.

For more information, please contact:

Anna Martin – martin@ircwash.org or info@ircwash.org

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