USAID’s new water strategy – when the numbers don’t add up

Thoughts on the USAID Water Strategy

water services that last

By Harold Lockwood  (Aguaconsult)

Well, probably it’s a cliché, but the USAID water strategy has had the gestation period of an elephant, but the good news is that now it’s out and its congratulations to the team in the water office of USAID for pulling this together and for bringing a clear focus on water for human consumption and agricultural production – two basic building blocks of life. No doubt it was a challenging and sensitive task to take into account all of the competing interests across USAID’s many areas of strategic intervention. For the first time in years this strategy provides a focus, a hook, on which to understand and engage with USAID around the core issue of water and sanitation.

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“We ate all the meat; there are only bones to chew on now”

analysis of life cycle costs in Honduras

water services that last

Comimos toda la carne; sólo nos quedan los huesos” (we ate all the meat; there are only bones to chew on now”, said Luis Romero of CONASA (the water and sanitation policy making body in Honduras), in response to the graphs below, when we presented these as part of the sharing of the results of the life-cycle costs analysis in Honduras.

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Rethinking Data: Part 2- Graphing “Open” Data

Interesting mapping of funding data

The Water Wonk

a continuation from Rethinking Data: Part 1

Two weeks ago I posted a blog about open data in WaSH- the challenges in gaining sector buy-in and our responsibility to promote open data (read it here:  The Wild-Card: Open Data). After the Akvo Track-Day event, I had a great conversation with Henry Jewell about what do we do with open data once we have it. Once it’s on the internet, is anyone really using it? What are the using it for? Is it making an impact?

I realized that while I promote open data, but I do very little with it. I’ve used some open data to generate statistics for reports and info graphics. I’ve even used some as a primary research data source. But the real point of open data is to improve public understanding of a given topic and influence future policy/decision making, from a national level…

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Country-led Monitoring of Rural Water Supplies — Is It Just a Dream?

re-blogged from

Editor’s Note:This guest blog was authored by Dr. Kerstin Danert, water and sanitation specialist at the Swiss-based Skat Foundation. Kerstin discusses country-led monitoring and why it’s important for developing country governments to lead the WASH monitoring process. An online community is being formed around country-led monitoring efforts. If you’d like to learn more about it, you may contact

In April 2013, I had the privilege of facilitating six sessions on country-led monitoring at the Monitoring Sustainable WASH Service Delivery Symposium in Addis Ababa. This blog is a reflection on the papers, presentations, and discussions from that event.

International statements such as the Paris Declaration, the Busan Partnership, and the New Deal for Fragile States call for country-led development. The statements also promote results-based development and highlight the importance of monitoring — specifically monitoring that is country-led.

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