Still barking up the wrong tree? Community management: more problem than solution

by Dr Ellie Chowns Received wisdom still suggests that community management is an important component of sustainable water supply in rural areas and small towns. Despite a shift in emphasis “from system to service”, and the idea of “community management plus”, in reality the basic community management model remains standard practice in many countries.  And … Continue reading Still barking up the wrong tree? Community management: more problem than solution

#RWSN @ #WWW : the presentations

RWSN co-convened two sessions at last week’s SIWI World Water Week in Stockholm and presentations are available to download: WASHoholic Anonymous - Confessions of Failure and how to Reform All presentations: http://programme.worldwaterweek.org/sites/default/files/panzerbeiter_lt_1400.pdf Build and Run to Last: Advances in Rural Water Services India’s rural water supply services presentation: Solar powered water supply presentation: Ensuring Sustainability … Continue reading #RWSN @ #WWW : the presentations

Water taps and information gaps

An interesting blog post that has kicked off some interesting responses

Nonprofit Chronicles

wf_093014_Whatever_Glass_Hald_680x300If you’ve donated money to a water charity, congratulations. You’ve stepped up to try to solve one of the world’s most pressing problems–the fact that roughly 750 million people do not have access to clean water.

Has your donation made a lasting difference? That’s hard to know.

Big water charities point to numbers that, they say, demonstrate their impact. Since its founding in 2006, charity: water says it has funded 16,138 water projects. Water.org, in its latest annual report, says that in 2013 it completed 174 community-based water projects, constructed 73,081 toilets, established 66,632 household water connections and served 606,012 people with water and sanitation. In 2013-2014, Water Aid says it reached 2 million people with water and 3 million with sanitation.

But the charities, as a rule, do not report on how many of those projects are providing clean water a year, two or five years after…

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Predictors of non-functionality for community-managed handpumps: a simple summary of Foster’s analysis

Great summary

Improve International

By Susan Davis, Executive Director

This is a summary of a useful study by Tim Foster.  It was actually titled “Predictors of Sustainability for Community-Managed Handpumps in Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Uganda,” but as usual I find the reasons for failure useful to share.

Failed water point near Debre Zeit, Ethiopia. We were told the borehole collapsed (credit Susan Davis, July 2012) Failed water point near Debre Zeit, Ethiopia. We were told the borehole collapsed (credit Susan Davis, July 2012)

The study was published in 2013, but I’ve found that some people who are interested in this kind of rigorous analysis have not heard of it.  So I’ve summarized the findings below, in plain English. If you prefer the statistical language please see the original paper.

Where did the data come from?

  • Comprehensive water supply inventories were created by the governments of Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Uganda, with the support of development partners.
  • All three inventories were nation-wide and have technical, institutional…

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Addressing failure in rural water supply in Africa – how we can all do better (Video)

In his key note speech, Professor Richard Carter urged the delegation at the 41st IAH Congress to do more to explain why groundwater matters and why hydrogeological science is important. "I wish there was a District Water Officer or a Finance Minister speaking here, perhaps both instead of me, asking you what all this groundwater … Continue reading Addressing failure in rural water supply in Africa – how we can all do better (Video)

Resolution of Problems with Water Systems

More good analysis:

Improve International

By Susan M. Davis, Executive Director

Resolution is the process of addressing problems identified through monitoring and/or evaluation. The term reflects the concept that NGOs have responsibility to respond when finding water systems that are non-functional or need major repair. There is resounding agreement in the sector that rural communities in developing countries need some sort of support beyond installation of water infrastructure. A summary of key points is below. More information regarding typical failures, responsibilities, models, and costs will be presented in the “Resolution Action Report” being prepared by Improve International, as well as the WASH Advocates Monitoring, Evaluation, Resolution & Learning (MERL) portal (under development).

The problem

Average failures calculated from 125+ statistics Average failures calculated from 125+ statistics

The overall global water point failure rate has hovered around 40% since the 1990s. Furthermore, many systems that are considered “functioning” are not providing safe water around the clock. This represents a vast waste of…

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