Agenda for Change members working on systems approaches
Please note this is a summary of information. You can learn more on the WaterAid and WaterSHED websites.
WaterAid supports government-led collective action by identifying and promoting government champions, cultivating a sector culture of continuous learning, and building institutional capacity. Their work touches on all the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) system building blocks, and focuses on interactions and overlap between building blocks.
WaterSHED aims to shift the mindset of everyone in the system – including government, product suppliers, NGOs, and consumers. They utilize a market-based approach to support dynamic, resilient WASH products with a focus on the whole system.
Systems strengthening activities
Cambodia is one of the focus countries for WaterAid’s SusWASH programme, where the organization is working predominantly with provincial and local governments to support their increased responsibilities in WASH service provision, as part of the ongoing decentralisation process. This involves supporting the provincial government in Kampong Chhnang to assume new roles and responsibilities for operation and maintenance of water supply services and sanitation promotion. Together with provincial and district officials, WaterAid is working to strengthen their capacity and leadership and to address a number of key gaps, including improving WASH coordination mechanisms, integrating SDG indicators into the existing monitoring and planning systems, strengthening the national Monitoring Information System, supporting the development of the new national Hygiene Behaviour Change Communication campaign, and assessing the market for safely-managed water supply options.
WaterSHED’s approach involves taking the role of an industry facilitator, engaging the private sector and government to lead improvements in WASH sustainability, access, and behaviours. WaterSHED believes that a sustainable outcome requires the facilitator to progressively exit as its role is succeeded by private and public sector actors. The goal is to minimize external intervention and to reduce the barriers to market entry and increase the likelihood that demand creation and growth of supply will continue after the project interventions cease. WaterSHED works in several innovative programs that support various dimensions of capacity building in Cambodia. WaterSHED Ventures is an independent social business in Cambodia that offer consumers innovative, aspirational WASH products at a low price, thereby accelerating the commercial uptake of toilets, water filters, and portable sinks by partnering with over 70 local retailers. Additionally, WaterSHED’s Civic Champions intensive program fosters the emergence of transformational leaders. It stands apart from conventional capacity development programs because elected officials apply to join, pay to participate, and drive the process themselves.
Country Collaboration Representative
Sokkung has over 15 years of experience in programme leadership, management and development, and stakeholder engagement across WASH, climate, and community development programmes. His experience includes managing and leading local and international consultants as well as international organizations and government partners. For his work, Sokkung relies on pragmatic approaches that deliver influencing outcomes by coalescing, service delivery, learning, sector strengthening, rights, and advocacy activities in collaborative partnerships with a range of stakeholders. He has a strong relationship and partnership with relevant policy practices and systems at various levels, demonstrating a significant contribution to the progressive attainment of WASH for all by 2030.
Entities of the Central Government
Ministry of Health, Ministry of Rural Development
Provincial and district officials
Action Against Hunger, Cambodia Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Improvement Programme (CRSHIP), Plan International, Cambodian Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Improvement Project, Teuk Saat 1001, Sevea consulting company, Cambodian Water Supply Association, local retailers
- WaterSHED’s market-based sanitation program accelerated rural sanitation coverage from a stagnant 25% to more than 60% coverage in six years.
- Civic Champions significantly increased toilet sales independent of WaterSHED’s assistance – a key metric that gauged market sustainability and a key component of WaterSHED’s strategic exit plan.
- WASH in health care facilities (including waste management) now commands a part of the Ministry of Health’s strategy and plans, particularly those related to infection prevention and control and quality of care.
- Over the past 3 years the WASH Sector in Cambodia has become more coordinated, organised and productive. Key documents have been developed through true collaboration between the government and international nonprofits, especially the National Action Plan, among others.
- Historically, many non-governmental organizations worked in isolation from one another, and creating networks was slow and difficult.
- Inclusive WASH concepts and practices are limited among leading practitioners in the country.
- Attitudinal issues still persist with regard to bias and lack of prioritization of inclusive WASH in policy, operationalization, programme design, and implementation.
- Sanitation in urban settings in Cambodia has specific challenges, including the high-density of settlements, annual floods, limited drainage and sewerage systems, and absence of possession rights.
How strong are the systems?
To determine how well systems are working, we rely on data derived from Building Blocks, which are manageable ‘sub-systems’ that can be supported and strengthened. Certain building blocks may be more strongly developed or applied at district or national level. Interactions between building blocks are essential.