Agenda for Change members working on systems approaches
CARE had worked in Mali for the past 10 years on two projects: WASHplus and Nutrition and Hygiene, working across the regions of Mopti, Ségou, and Koulikoro.
In the region of Sikasso, Helvetas helps municipalities to acquire the necessary expertise and generate additional funds to improve their own long-term water supply and hygiene throughout municipalities.
In 2019, IRC selected Mali as a focus country and has committed to work there for the next five years, with the aim of close collaboration until 2030 if the security situation allows. The highlights of the work in Mali include partnership with World Vision in several districts.
WaterAid focuses on strengthening the national systems, promoting multi sector partnerships, and using action research and innovation while building on lessons learnt from previous strategies.
Systems strengthening activities
CARE’s WASHplus program revolved around community-led total sanitation (CLTS), and also emphasized improving nutrition and hygiene practices through a range of behavior change approaches. The Nutrition and Hygiene focused on services for children under 2, with specific strategies to increase the number of families using water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services, helping families access and eat diverse and quality foods, improving nutrition and hygiene, reinforcing and scaling up CLTS, and strengthening skills with the National Department of Sanitation and Pollution Control.
In Mali’s Sikasso region, Helvetas helps municipalities most in need of water supply systems and hygiene improvement measures. The Jikura project involves communal authorities, village councils, small local businesses, and water committees in the construction of distribution points. The municipal authorities receive an annual amount intended to initiate major projects related to drinking water and basic sanitation. Each municipality is accompanied intensively by local specialists for four years, in order to be able to assume its responsibilities in this field. The users elect a water committee responsible in particular for maintaining the structures. The construction of the water distribution point thus becomes a center of administrative and technical knowledge, the origin of a network of relationships, and the basis for raising awareness of the importance of health and hygiene (which has been especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic).
IRC is working in Mali through the end of 2021, with support from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, to strengthen governance systems of district-based programs and play the role of a change hub to achieve safe, affordable, and reliable water. IRC focuses on building the capacity of local authorities and partners to develop and implement district WASH master plans for their sectoral development and improve the impact and sustainability of the WASH infrastructure. IRC’s role includes bringing partners in a district together, supporting multi-stakeholder change processes on policy, financing and monitoring, convening and facilitation, knowledge management, communications, and capacity building. The work in districts is based on collective action led by government, bringing together the private sector, civil society, civil servants, political leaders, and traditional leaders.
Alongside the World Health Organization (WHO), US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), One Drop Foundation, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the Ministry of Health, and the District Health and Municipal Offices, WaterAid focused on improving WASH in 23 health care facilities in Bla and Koro districts as part of a three year project. Based on this work, good hygiene guidelines were developed alongside the Ministry of Health, and other partners are now using this to improve 450 additional facilities across the country. Generally, WaterAid employs a District Wide Approach to stay focused, improve use of funds, create a better multi stakeholder framework, develop designs and technologies, and work with other sectors towards bringing about the total transformation of the selected district.
Entities of the Central Government
Federal government, Ministry of Health, National Department of Sanitation and Pollution Control, members of the National Assembly
Regional, district, commune, and village level authorities and directors of technical services
WHO, CDC, One Drop, USAID, Family Health International 360, International Rescue Committee, Yam‐Giribolo‐Tumo, Conrad N Hilton Foundation, World Vision
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.