Agenda for Change members working on systems approaches
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) works to improve sanitation coverage in schools and health facilities by supporting school health clubs and sanitation advocacy groups to establish safe water points, construct latrines and urinals, and create tippy tap handwashing facilities. CRS continues to integrate its Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC) programming into the WASH sector, which helps create a supportive environment for sustained behavior change.
WaterAid, with the support of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and other partners, is supporting the development of district-wide approaches (DWA) across Ghana. The DWA concept puts metropolitan, municipal, and district assemblies in charge of development, with increased responsibility for extending WASH services to everyone within their districts, including the most marginalized people. Under this process, WaterAid and other development actors will provide technical support where necessary.
Systems strengthening activities
CRS works in urban and rural communities, using schools and healthcare facilities as effective platforms to teach best WASH practices. The focus has been to end open defecation and help build or improve latrines and toilets. Promoting handwashing and good hygiene leads to lower death rates and the reduction of malaria, diarrhea, cholera, and other preventable diseases. CRS and local government officials work together to rehabilitate public toilets and train facility operators. This effort will reach around 255,500 people in Tamale city. Other work focuses on educational campaigns and supporting sanitation entrepreneurs to develop, supply, and market sanitation products. Constructive engagement with government and non-government actors—such as religious and traditional groups—will be key to establishing successful, long-lasting interventions.
WaterAid is aiming to make universal WASH coverage a reality through district-wide approach programming, and also works to develop a strong, proactive evidence-based policy influencing agenda. This requires addressing both the demand and supply sides of WASH sector issues at multiple levels, including rural, urban, peri-urban, and national. The main goal is to achieve universal WASH in the districts where they work and to reduce social and WASH-related inequalities, and poverty linked to the denial of WASH as a basic human right.
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.