Agenda for Change members are working in a number of countries applying systems approaches.
This is not an exhaustive list of the countries where these approaches are applied, but provide examples of the work to strengthen local WASH systems over the past few years.
Ongoing support is being provided in three departments (Tarija, Oruro, Cochabamba) to establish municipal WASH offices (DMSB) and plans. National guidelines were created to establish DMSBs in all municipalities and build into national policy framework. The regional WASH monitoring platform (SIASAR) and service-provider monitoring framework were also adopted nationally.
In the western prefecture of Mambere-Kadei, Water for Good launched a water asset inventory and needs assessment to identify the location and status of all water points in and quantify the remaining needs for the population. This baseline informs the development of a prefecture-wide plan to achieve universal JMP Basic service levels by 2020, integrated with a public-private-NGO collaboration for ongoing professional preventative maintenance services.
Several well-known organisations and alliances are piloting, testing and improving systems approaches across a total of 11 woredas. These are mainly focused on water, although some involve or integrate sanitation and hygiene. Welthungerhilfe Ethiopia is working to strengthen WASH systems in Becho Woreda, located in South West Shoa Zone, Oromia region. The district-wide approach ensures a comprehensive plan for assessing need, planning and delivering WASH services and monitoring performance in such a way that no communities or people are excluded. WaterAid Ethiopia currently uses the district-wide approach in three woredas. With a long-term presence in Oromia and Amhara regions, WaterAid have been implementing the woreda-wide approach since 2016, which has been institutionalised within the organisation as its main focus. As part of the Sustainable WASH Systems (SWS) Learning Partnership, a team led by IRC is developing and testing a structured and replicable approach to understanding, engaging with and strengthening decentralised woreda and small-town systems for WASH service delivery. The current Millennium Water Alliance (MWA) program focus on strengthening woreda systems for universal, safe and sustainable water services delivery in three woredas (Dera, Farta and North Mecha) in Amhara region. Partners in this program include: CARE, Catholic Relief Services, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, IRC, World Vision, Food for the Hungry, WaterAid, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Splash and Stanford University.
For more information, see this report on known system strengthening initiatives in Ethiopia.
USAID, CARE, Helvetas, Water For People, and government partners have championed support for creation of municipal WASH offices (OMAS). The Global Water Partnership and the network of WASH practitioners in Guatemala (RASGUA) are bringing more partners and advocating to national government to adopt the district-wide approach.
The national water regulator (SANAA) adopted costing tools for setting rural tariffs. Clear progress was made in 14 municipalities in achieving universal coverage and strengthened systems for sustainability. Municipalities are recognizing the need and requesting technical support for strengthened institutions and tools from the national sector coalition Para Todos Por Siempre.
Initial discussions were held with sector partners (SWA, UNICEF, NGO practitioners, government, and UNICEF) about adopting district-wide approach. Discussions were also held about the need for national WASH monitoring system.
The network of WASH practitioners in Nicaragua (RASNIC) are promoting a district-wide approach. Water For People facilitated a visit between Nicaragua’s and Bolivia’s national rural water authorities (FISE and PNSR) to encourage understanding of sustainable service delivery.
Seven training guides for sustainable WASH services developed by Water For People were disseminated by the Ministry of Housing, Construction, and Sanitation & National Rural Sanitation Program to regional governments, local governments, and community water and sanitation committees (JASS). Ongoing support is being provided to five northern regions for introduction and effective application of those guidelines.
A national District Wide Approach was adopted, including building comprehensive investment plans in 13 of 27 rural districts. Government and sector partners developed tools for comprehensive life-cycle costing and asset management at district level and are developing a national WASH monitoring system. WaterAid, Water For People, World Vision, and WASAC are piloting the district wide approach (DWA) in six districts, which will result into a costed WASH Investment Plan for these districts and eventually scaled up country-wide.
Government and sector partners are developing district investment plans for universal WASH services in the majority (80%) of districts. These partners are developing national monitoring indicators to assess progress towards SDG 6. Additionally, tools for effective asset management and service delivery models at district level were developed.
The WA4C was created by IRC, Water For People and WaterAid in Uganda and is coordinated by IRC who hosts the hub secretariat.
Just as Agenda For Change is about delivering services that last, and building local systems to deliver those services, the WA4C is a systems approach that embodies four sets of collaborative behaviours; the District-wide Approach (WaterAid), Everyone Forever (Water For People), Service Delivery Approach (IRC) and Aid Effectiveness (Sanitation and Water for All - SWA).
Many organisations and the Government of Uganda have embraced the idea of planning for universal services particularly with regards to creating the infrastructure, but acknowledge the key challenge to ensuring service sustainability. There is a strong government leadership for WA4C and support to its activities, with about 50 districts already having District Investment Plans (DIP) in place. Government policy reforms favour the WA4C agenda, and include a review of a range of policy instruments (investment plans, monitoring framework, district guidelines, capacity development plans).