: WaterCan/Eau Vive

Discussion Forum

School and Clinic Programs

By Blue Planet Network Posted on Mon 02 Dec 2013, over 7 years ago

Good morning and thank you for your good work, especially your partnership approach. Together, we can create success that lasts.

I would be very interested in how you address community access to the water systems you work to implement in conjunction with schools and clinics. Many of our members invite the broader community to utilise these facilities when schools or clinics are closed, as an example, to try to maximise their reach. Others restrict usage to schools and clinics only in order to be able to maintain control and quality standards. Just as you say that different communities require different approaches, what is your thinking with regards to community access?

It also would be much appreciated if you could share your learning on how to successfully work with local and district governments before, during and after project implementation. This often is a challenge that many of our members share, so your experience would be very relevant.

Finally, I want to ensure we introduce you to International Lifeline Fund, another Blue Planet Network member. They work in Apac, Uganda, so you may have run across each other. If not, this would be a productive connection for both organisations.

Many thanks for your thoughts and the best to you and your colleagues,
Lisa

School and Clinic Programs

By WaterCan/Eau Vive Posted on Wed 11 Dec 2013, over 7 years ago

Hi Lisa,

As mentioned above, we do not have a hard and fast rule on this but leave it to our partners and the school/clinic to determine this. Usually though, the facilities are not open to the general community. However, we do realise that it is important that there is WASH access in all areas of the community not just schools and clinics, so where resources allow we are trying to have an integrated community-wide approach serving the community members, schools, clinics etc.

With regards to our approach in working with local and district government, I think this is answered in an earlier answer, but I have copied it again here.
The approach of WaterCan’s partners varies considerably depending on context. Wherever possible the appropriate local government agency is involved in the project right from the start. Design and planning, location etc. are integrated with local development planning for WASH and MOUs are signed with the authority establishing the responsibility of each party. Depending on the county/region this may involve effective long-term support to WASH facility sometimes it may involve support to the community/school/clinic in their own maintenance of the WASH facility.

Partners also endeavour to engage with local government wherever possible in planning groups, WASH networks etc that will give them input into the process and also establish relationships and networks important in promoting accountability.

Finally, thanks for thinking of this introduction! We’d be happy to also introduce International Lifeline Fund to our Ugandan partners http://www.watercan.com/wherewework/uganda.htm

Tracking your past programs on the Network

By Blue Planet Network Posted on Mon 02 Dec 2013, over 7 years ago

Greetings and welcome!
The learnings and data from your programs impacting over a million people in the past 16 years would be hugely valuable for our network and beyond. Do you plan to enter project and program information from your past projects? Do you think our platform will help you manage the results and impact data and help monitor these projects? What features or functions should we be building or improving to help?

Again, thanks for your great work and your thoughts.
-Mark

Tracking your past programs on the Network

By WaterCan/Eau Vive Posted on Wed 11 Dec 2013, over 7 years ago

Hi Mark and thanks for the welcome!

When there is time available we would certainly like to input more information. Being a small and under-resourced organisation we are limited somewhat both in terms of the person-power and the financial resources to monitor or evaluate past program performance.

As we are still new to this platform – we likely will have ideas further into the future as we get to know this resource. At this time, it is helpful to see so many great ideas and similar projects posted by other organizations.

Financing, Girls' involvement, and post-construction monitoring.

By Water for People Posted on Tue 03 Dec 2013, over 7 years ago

Dear friends at Water Can,

Many of my questions build one ones asked by other reviewers:
-Given the challenge of long-term financing of water and sanitation installations, I'd be very curious to understand how your school work is funded-does it include cash contributions from government, PTAs, the schools themselves? Do you have case studies where schools have been able to assume large repairs following the capital investment phases?

-There is much anecdotal evidence, and increasingly more rigorous evidence, of the impact of improved school WASH facilities on girls in particular. With your work in schools ,have you had much experience with MHM?

-Finally, I would also be very curious to understand your approach to post-construction monitoring and if you have any data on the current status of the systems serving the million+ people, that would be very interesting to share.

Cheers, Kate

Financing, Girls' involvement, and post-construction monitoring.

By WaterCan/Eau Vive Posted on Wed 11 Dec 2013, over 7 years ago

Hi Kate! Hope you're doing well.

The school and/or community contribute labour and locally available resources such as sand and stone during the construction phase. Cash contributions in certain cases come through from the government (through school funding) and parents for provision of soap, menstrual hygiene pads and O&M.

We do not have any cases yet of large repairs being carried out, but schools have been able to make smaller repairs through a variety of financial mechanisms, either the allowance they get from govt. contributions from parents and sometimes income generation activities in the school such as growing vegetables.

We are very excited about working with MHM in all of our schools during our current School WaSH program. Last year we underwent a gender audit and training with all of our partners to see where our strengths and gaps lie and how we can improve on including gender mainstreaming activities in our school program. At this time, each individual organisation is preparing a gender action plan looking at both the school program and their own organizational activities. Activities falling under MHM vary at the moment by partner but some base targets we are hoping to reach include: a washing room/stall as part of the girls’ latrine block in each school for girls to use during their menses and a gender focal point at each organization and at each school to help in educating students about MHM and other topics.

Most of our local partners have been operating in the same regions since we began partnering with them. This allows them to check in periodically with communities on how past projects are doing and be available as a resource if there are questions or problems that come up. This being said, over the past year, WaterCan has been talking about doing a more complete and formal follow-up study of our past projects. If anyone knows of funding for this kind of work – we would be all ears! : )

Partners and capacity building

By Peer Water Exchange Posted on Thu 05 Dec 2013, over 7 years ago

Hi,

Am interested in your long (25 years) history of working with partners.


  • How long do you typically work with partners? Do you have a maximum limit?

  • How many partners have you worked with over the years?

  • How do you choose them and how do you decide to stop working with them?

  • How are your systems for communications and reporting? A standardized set of forms? Custom for countries or partners?

  • Have you strengthened the capacity of a partner so that they manage to fundraise on their own? They may do it anyway, but is that something you help them with?


Thanks,
Rajesh

Partners and capacity building

By WaterCan/Eau Vive Posted on Wed 11 Dec 2013, over 7 years ago

Hi Rajesh,

There is not necessarily a limit to how long we work with partners. Currently we have partners that we have been working with for 10 years.

I don’t have a total number of partners over the 25 years as we evolved quite a bit throughout the years. We are currently partnered with 13 local organizations.

We have specific criteria for partner selection (details available here: http://www.watercan.com/howwework/guidelines.htm). One of our goals is to strengthen the capacity of partner NGOs. Sometimes this involves building on existing skills and capabilities and it may also involve identifying particular weaknesses that need to be addressed to make them more effective or more self-sustaining in the long term. Wherever possible we would use this approach if a partner was not operating up to an expected standard, but sometimes inevitably there may be situations where we have to choose to no longer work with a partner. Intended financial impropriety would not be tolerated and would be a reason for us to terminate a relationship, sometimes program funding runs out and there is no follow up, sometimes there might be a change in long term strategy so that for example the region in which a partner works is no longer the geographic focus of WaterCan.

We have developed and refined (and continue to try and improve!) our communication systems and reporting. The reporting formats at times will need to be adapted depending on the funding organization (e.g. Canadian government). These forms are standard for all of the partners, so that there is consistency in the type and format of information coming in from the partners making it easier to analyse and to integrate information into one report where necessary.

WASH Community Management Committees

By East Meets West Foundation Posted on Thu 28 Nov 2013, over 7 years ago

Hello!

I read through the content of your website and was able to get a general picture of how WaterCan operates. I see that you partner with local NGOs that have a history of operating in the location of proposed new activity. So I guess this means you have opportunities to work with many different approaches to provision of WASH services, you must have many interesting lessons learned the PWX community can benefit from!

It would be great if you could provide us with more information on some projects that would allow us to dig deeper into your implementation approach.

One point that we are particularly interested in right now at EMW, is different organizations' experience and approach to on-going water service delivery after construction is completed. I understand you set up water and sanitation management committees and provide training, and also establish a fee collection system. However, given that water committees have a tendency to be ineffective in the long term with respect to capital maintenance and O&M, how do you deal with these kinds of challenges?

FYI, we have faced these challenges extensively over the past 15 years in Vietnam, and as a result are moving towards PPP models and partnerships with responsible government agencies that we judge have capacity for long term management of the water systems.

Thanks much!

WASH Community Management Committees

By WaterCan/Eau Vive Posted on Wed 11 Dec 2013, over 7 years ago

Hi Georgia and others! Thanks to everyone for your great questions! We apologize for the delay in responding but have now attempted to reply to everyone.

We work with thirteen different NGO partners in four East African countries. We have long standing relationships with our partners which has resulted in a high level of mutual trust and respect. While we do of course oversee and monitor their work, we are in a position to give our partners a considerable degree of autonomy and to introduce or adapt approaches in ways that they see as most appropriate for the particular environment (cultural, physical, political etc.) in which they work. For example, while many partners have implemented CLTS approaches, some have either chosen not to or introduced adaptations which they feel are more suitable to the local situation. We will post some case studies of our projects once we get some time!

The approach of WaterCan’s partners varies considerably depending on context. Wherever possible the appropriate local government agency is involved in the project right from the start. Design and planning, location, etc. are integrated with local development planning for WASH and MOUs are signed with the authority establishing the responsibility of each party. Depending on the county/region this may involve effective long term support to WASH facility, sometimes it may involve support to the community/school/clinic in their own maintenance of the WASH facility.

Where govt support is not possible, considerable work is done with user groups (community/school/clinic) to ensure that there is both capacity for maintenance and mechanism for accessing necessary funding.

WASH Community Management Committees

By WaterCan/Eau Vive Posted on Wed 11 Dec 2013, over 7 years ago

Hi again,

I forgot to also add that as in the above answer(s), our approach (or that of our partners) varies depending on the context. This gives partners the flexibility to determine which approach or approaches to optimising long-term sustainability will work best. We have noted some considerable success with water user groups maintaining facilities over the long term. For example during a recent field visit in Ethiopia a WaterCan staff member, by chance, drove past a WaterCan community WASH program from almost 10 years ago, still functioning well and with a thriving user group.

Some degree of commercialisation has also worked well in some situations. In urban contexts (such as Nairobi Kenya slum areas) our partners have had great success where water groups have set up commercial water kiosks and latrines. For a very small fee (much less than other options) clean water can be purchased and clean toilets are available (with paper, hand washing and soap!). Fees are used to both pay a cleaner and to maintain the facilities over the long term.

We will not pretend of course that this is always the case. But we have found that the best approach is to cover as many bases as possible. Engage government agencies, work closely with community groups to get buy-in, where possible find a way to pay someone to maintain and clean facilities and where resources allow ensure that partner organisations are able to check in occasionally (especially soon after project support is over) to help with trouble shooting.


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