The Systems Learning Exchange is a peer learning program for Agenda for Change members, with opportunities to explore different themes related to strengthening water, sanitation, and hygiene systems. The objective is to encourage conversation and sharing among a broad range of Member representatives and countries.
WASH Systems and Emergency Response
Speakers will explore and discuss how they have applied a systems approach in fragile contexts or emergency states. Key questions include:
- What can we learn from the immediate and near-term response to COVID-19?
- Who is making the case for long-term attention to WASH systems strengthening?
- What examples are there of what’s working? Where are the gaps?
- How can we build resilience for future emergencies?
Strengthening WASH systems for long-term service provision in Democratic Republic of the Congo
Presented by Gian Melloni, DRC WASH Consortium
The DRC WASH Consortium (2013-2019) was a rural WASH project by Concern Worldwide in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, funded by UK-aid. At the heart of the Consortium was a consistent commitment towards sustainable WASH systems, by adapting the life-cycle costs approach to the difficult context of rural DRC. The Consortium showed that development actors, even in fragile contexts, can successfully design and implement WASH interventions to focus on longer-term services.
Systems strengthening and emergency responses: Helvetas’ experience in Burkina Faso and Niger
Presented by Ben Blumenthal & Agnes Montangero, Helvetas
We are used to applying a system-wide approach to WASH in our development work – but can we use the same systemic methods in emergency situations? This presentation looks at several concrete examples from Burkina Faso and Niger, where Helvetas intervenes both in long-term systems strengthening projects and in humanitarian responses (protracted humanitarian crisis, COVID-19 response). We will identify key principles that guide us in “squaring the circle”: providing immediate relief while also strengthening systems in emergency situations.
Working on WASH systems amid conflict, fragility, and humanitarian action in the Central African Republic
Presented by Farel Ndango & David De Armey, Water for Good
The last 20 years of WASH investments in the Central African Republic (CAR) have been largely short-term, project-based, and focused on addressing people’s urgent and basic needs. Within this context, Water for Good operates as a proxy-private water services provider, aiming to strengthen the water systems at scale. This approach to building private sector service delivery capacity has had success in catalyzing systems-building in CAR, amidst conflict, fragility, and humanitarian action.
Strengthening WASH Systems: The New Normal
Speakers will explore and discuss how they are continuing to strengthen systems in the mid-term COVID-19 response. Key questions include:
- How are we bringing in systems strengthening as we start to go back to more normal kinds of work?
- What needs to change?
- What are some examples of strong collaborations with government and/or among NGOs?
- What are examples of a collaborative response that provided some resilience to COVID-19?
Promoting the WASH systems approach for sustainable, inclusive services alongside COVID-19 in Madagascar
Presented by Avo Ratoarijaona, CARE & Rodolphe Rakoto-Harisoa, WaterAid
RANO WASH is a 5-year project funded by USAID and implemented by CARE, WaterAid, Catholic Relief Services, Sandandrano and Bushproof, which aims to strengthen the WASH system to ensure universal and sustainable access to services. Confronting COVID-19 confirmed that a strong WASH system would have strengthened the capacity of governments and sector actors to better organize for community resilience. Also, emergencies push actors to adopt behaviours that a strong system requires.
WASH System Strengthening alongside COVID-19 Response in Nepal
Presented by Yogesh Pant, Helvetas
Helvetas Nepal supports WASH initiatives in some selected areas in the country. System strengthening is one of its working approaches. It works simultaneously on various interacting components that comprise the whole WASH service delivery system. Helvetas is continuing its WASH initiative during the COVID-19 pandemic as well. It is now focusing more on COVID-19 response. The experiences are important to adapt its working modality to the changed context as ‘ the new normal’ in the days ahead.
Networking approach: the trigger for the WASH response to COVID-19 in Honduras
Presented by Martín Rivera, Para Todos Por Siempre (PTPS)
The prevention and control of COVID-19 depends on the level of response of the actors in the WASH sector, so collaborative and coordinated work is the best strategy to achieve the desired results in an effective and timely manner. The networking approach facilitated by PTPS in Honduras allowed the development and monitoring of a coordinated response plan to the emergency and the articulation of the different actors.
The role of stakeholder coordination in addressing emerging WASH problems: Kamwenge District COVID-19 response in Uganda
Presented by Cate Nimanya, Water For People
Kamwenge District Local Government has effectively coordinated and collaborated with various institutions and stakeholders to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Having already engaged effectively on WASH services for Everyone Forever, the District has demonstrated exemplary leadership. The outcome of the effective coordination has seen Kamwenge seize the outcomes of improved WASH in some villages, respond to case identification, and quarantine of suspected cases amidst challenges of inadequate health care infrastructure.
Recasting our WASH systems boundaries post COVID-19
Speakers will explore and discuss how this pandemic will recast our systems boundaries going forward. Key questions include:
- How do we make the case for systems strengthening outside the WASH sector?
- How do we bring in health systems perspectives?
- How do we bring in climate change and resilience planning?
Systems strengthening and strategic exit strategies: WaterSHED’s experience in Cambodia
Presented by Sovattha Neou and Geoff Revell, WaterSHED
In strengthening a local system, who should do what and with what resources? For WaterSHED, a local NGO in Cambodia, seeking answers to this question led to the development of a unique government leadership program called Civic Champions. The resulting success over the last 8 years is allowing WaterSHED to implement a strategic exit from its work and to hand over key elements of the program to the Cambodian national government for nationwide replication.
Working with government on WASH systems strengthening post COVID-19 in Kolkata, India
Presented by Dora Chaudhuri, Splash
The pandemic makes Project WISE (“WASH in Schools for Everyone”) interventions even more relevant than before; however, Splash’s intervention faces challenges. In the current environment, there are conflicting priorities for the government, and Splash and it’s partners face renewed infrastructure and supply challenges as they prepare to embrace the new normal of social distancing in schools.
Achieving improvements in WASH in health care facilities in DRC and Madagascar
Presented by Francois Kangela and Bezout Ratsimbazafy, CRS
CRS recognizes that the efforts of governments and others managing health facilities often focus on clinical aspects, and that maintenance of WASH systems often do not receive adequate attention or ownership by staff. The speakers will be demonstrating how they are stimulating the will power and motivation of actors to take ownership of the WASH system to sustainably support the quality of care and safety in the healthcare settings by implementing the Clean Clinic Method (CCM).