Looking through GLAAS

by Johan Gély, Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC)

2nd UN-Water GLAAS Evaluation Meeting in Bern 2nd and 3rd October 2012

Background

The UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-water (GLAAS) monitors the inputs, and processes and their outputs (e.g. policies, investments, human resources) that influence the provision and sustainability of drinking-water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) systems and services.  Following publication of a proof-of-concept report in 2008, GLAAS published two full reports in 2010 and 2012 – the latter covering 74 countries and 24 external support agencies. GLAAS is generally acknowledged as having gained itself a specific niche within the global WASH monitoring landscape.

It is an important tool for the SDC Global program Water initiatives as it is part of an important and logical sequence of work/partnership which combine the global water and sanitation data acquisition (Joint Monitoring Program – JMP), the data analyze/assessment (GLAAS) and the sector global advocacy (Sanitation and Water for All – SWA).

Meeting Outcomes

1) It is a low cost and high quality global monitoring product and process.
2) It allows us to unify forces to lobby for a water goal in the Post 2015 goals.
3) Water Quality should be included in the future water goals and reported by JMP and GLAAS.
4) We should strengthen alignment with national monitoring systems.
5) We need to improve link with others global, regional and national monitoring systems.
6) The presence of new actors (from emerging states) should be reinforced in the future.

Documents

UN-Water GLAAS 2012 report – Approach and Main findings

UN-Water GLAAS – A brief history and rationale 

For further information on GLAAS, please contact Bruce Gordon or Johan Gély.

water services that last

Next week more than 200 practitioners and policy makers from government, civil society, private sector and donors will come together for the annual Joint Water and Environment Sector Review in Uganda to review progress and set-backs during the past year and discuss and decide on priorities for the coming year.  For rural water Uganda is facing a situation where the expansion of coverage of rural water services is stagnating, functionality levels are not increasing and overall sector financing remains at its best stable.

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Don’t shoot the messenger, but embrace the sad stats

water services that last

Driven amongst others by the mobile phone applications, more and more statistics are becoming available on the state of water services. These go well beyond the coverage data we were used to in the JMP reports (and which this year gave us some reason to be mildly optimistic). The new stats provide more insight into the functionality of infrastructure and the level of service being provided. And these are saddening. Just have a glimpse at the overview of these sad stats made by Improve International. Though the specific figures differ from one country to another, but the order of magnitude of non-functional water points is around 30%, with another 10-20% being partial functional. Of the ones that are functional only a small percentage provides services that meet standards. Going a level deeper, one can find more details, such as the percentage of water committees that perform according to…

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Experimenting with water service delivery

water services that last

By Patrick Moriarty

Coming up with a convincing elevator pitch for our Sustainable Services at Scale (Triple-S) project has long been a challenge.  Which, given the complexities of the rural water sector itself, is possibly not that surprising.  Whether defining ourselves (at least in part) as a complexity informed water services development lab will help, remains to be seen – but for us it is progress!

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water services that last

Last week, we had our first Triple-S research seminar, discussing the first findings from the assessments of service provision around point sources in Ghana and Uganda. Although I had seen a sneak preview of some of the data, the consolidated results were shocking. After seeing them, I was tempted to declare community-based management (particularly of point sources) to be dead.

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Why physical unique identifiers on water points will improve sustainable services

This blog is by Susan Davis, executive director of Improve International, an organization focused on promoting and facilitating independent evaluations of WASH programs to help the sector improve. She has more than 13 years of experience in international development and has evaluated WASH and other programs in 16 developing countries. Her first career (8 years in environmental consulting) involved projects like combining databases across the 10 US Environmental Protection Agency Regional offices, which is where her respect for unique identifiers was born. 

What is a unique identifier?

You probably don’t think of it, but you use unique identifiers every day. In the US, your social security number is your unique identifier for the government (which is why if someone has it they can steal your identity).  Your bank account number helps the bank track all information associated with you.

What is a physical unique identifier?

Well, your house has one – in the form of an address.  Your car has one – the vehicle identification number. The license plate might count but it is too easily removed.  My dog has an identification chip embedded between her shoulder blades because her license tag could easily come off with her collar.  A physical unique identifier needs to be permanent – long lasting in tough conditions, and not easily removed.
Continue reading “Why physical unique identifiers on water points will improve sustainable services”

FLOWing data

water services that last

By Patrick Moriarty –

I mentioned some cool new outputs from IRC’s Ghana programme in my previous post.  These factsheets  present a rich picture of water services and their governance based on a total survey in our three Triple-S  focus districts in Ghana.

The fact sheets aren’t cool due to their content – which is actually rather depressing.  What is cool is the technology used for the data collection, the way in which the indicators we used were developed, and the impact that the factsheets are having.

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Allocation of funds for district level WASH programmes: What is the ideal formula?

water services that last

By Lydia Mirembe and Deirdre Casella in Lira, Uganda  –

What started off as a commonplace lecture-like meeting in the Lira District Council Hall, ended up in a spirited discussion about a variety of issues around the delivery of water services in a decentralisation framework. Conditional grants for water and sanitation; mobile phones for water; as well as Hand Pump Mechanics Associations (HPMAs) were the key issues under consideration.

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What does it take to sustain sustainability?

water services that last

As argued several times in this blog, post-construction support is one of the keys to sustainability of rural water supplies. One element of post-construction support is monitoring of aspects such as service levels and the performance of service providers, through which the support providers can better target their assistance. The last few years have seen a boom in efforts to set up information and monitoring systems of rural water supplies in many countries. Some were in first instance a one-off mapping exercise of all water points in a country; others were developed with the aim of regular updating for ongoing monitoring purposes. Particularly, cellphone technology has been instrumental in speeding up this process, as it is used in systems like FLOW (Field Level Operations Watch). A key question that comes back in the discussions on the topic (see for example the excellent discussion on the Rural Water Supply Network’s

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Monitoring, learning and adaptation – important lessons from Uganda for development partners

water services that last

By Harold Lockwood  –  

Yesterday I read an excellent report on how the water sector in Uganda has managed to build a truly national monitoring system. The report is written by the Rural Water Supply Network – RWSN – and so naturally focuses on the rural sector as it looks back at the detailed steps in the development of a framework which has allowed the sector in Uganda to be able to learn about its own performance and take steps to improve how it functions. It really ‘tells the story’ of what it takes to build such a monitoring system and gives insight into one of the most comprehensive monitoring systems that I know of in sub-Saharan Africa.

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