Selection of Beneficiaries for the MuniWASH Project Underway in Côte d'Ivoire

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WEST AFRICA MUNICIPAL WATER, SANITATION AND HYGIENE ACTIVITY (MUNIWASH)




WEST AFRICA MUNICIPAL WATER, SANITATION, AND HYGIENE ACTIVITY

Providing support to city governments in West Africa to improve and expand water and sanitation services to meet critical needs

Urbanization in West Africa is challenging municipalities’ ability to deliver consistent and quality water and sanitation services as well as make improvements toward the water and sanitation Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In both Benin and Cote d’Ivoire, millions of people lack access to basic or safely managed drinking water and sanitation services. Furthermore, cities in these countries struggle to accelerate their service delivery to meet SDG targets for universal quality, accessibility, and availability. The West Africa Municipal Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (MuniWASH) Activity focuses on improving financial viability and sustainability, technical and operational performance, and governance and management oversight to bridge the gap between country national priorities and the SDG goals.

OBJECTIVE AND APPROACH

The objective of MuniWASH is to support city governments, national directorates and agencies, utilities, and service providers in Benin and Cote d’Ivoire and to sustain and expand city-wide WASH services to fill critical needs that reach poor and underserved community members in priority municipalities. The activity also identifies opportunities to provide technical assistance to other African countries to improve and expand urban WASH services. MuniWASH is collaborating with the African Water Association (AfWA) as a learning partner to capture lessons and help guide urban WASH programming. Advancing urban WASH service delivery in West Africa requires institutional strengthening, planning, data, evidence-based decision-making, and financing at national, regional, and municipal levels. MuniWASH works with government ministries and agencies from national to decentralized levels and with multiple service providers (public and private) in Benin and Cote d’Ivoire to improve coordination, create an enabling environment, and help municipalities become more effective coordinators to achieve shared goals and build mutual accountability. The approach emphasizes the need for improved enabling environment and service provider performance (technical, operational, and financial) to expand customer access and increase opportunities for investment.

SERVICE AREAS AND RESULTS
MuniWASH uses interventions that invest in systems strengthening, promote good governance, and achieve sustainable performance improvements through the following service areas:

SERVICE AREA 1. FINANCIAL SUSTAINABILITY AND PRIVATE SECTOR INVESTMENT
 
Increase financial sustainability of and private sector investment in water and sanitation utilities and service providers through: Improving net revenues through higher bill collection rates and cost optimization; formulating performance improvement plans; developing business models and capital investment plans; expanding sanitation service providers’ access to loans and lines of credit; facilitating transactions for large-scale investments in water supply and decentralized fecal sludge treatment systems.

SERVICE AREA 2. OPERATIONAL RELIABILITY
 
Improve operational reliability of water and sanitation utilities/service providers through: Assisting utilities and service providers to adopt techniques for continuous performance improvement; facilitating peer-to-peer and customer-client interaction; helping service providers make better use of data and information technology to monitor key performance indicators (KPIs), improve customer service, and test and scale new products and services; and improving the enabling environment.

SERVICE AREA 3. MUNICIPAL GOVERNANCE AND MANAGEMENT
 
Enhance municipal water and sanitation sector governance and management capacity through: Building municipal and government capacity in WASH planning and budgeting as well as in managing, regulating, and monitoring WASH service delivery; supporting use of financial and technical resources from ministries and donors to improve services for the poor and underserved; improving transparency and accountability between municipalities, utilities and service providers; and facilitating collaboration with national and municipal associations to improve ability to offer trainings, advisory services, and advocacy skills.

SERVICE AREA 4. REGIONAL LEARNING AND KNOWLEDGE SHARING
 
Increase regional learning and knowledge sharing to replicate successful approaches through: Establishing a comprehensive knowledge management and learning agenda in collaboration with AfWA to capture lessons and guide urban WASH programming; developing and publishing learning products; and hosting regular stakeholder events focused on financial, technical, human resource, institutional capacity, and governance challenges to expanding quality WASH services to poor and underserved citizens in urban and peri-urban areas.


PROJECT DETAILS
The five-year, $18 million MuniWASH project is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and began in September 2019. Implementation is led by Tetra Tech with support from Population Services International (PSI) and SEGURA Consulting LLC. Initial focus countries include Cote d’Ivoire and Benin. Contact details: Maggie McMorrow, Contracting Officer’s Representative, mmcmorrow@usaid.gov or Safaa Fakorede, Chief of Party, safaa.fakorede@muniwash.com .
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  • WACSA
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Re: WEST AFRICA MUNICIPAL WATER, SANITATION AND HYGIENE ACTIVITY (MUNIWASH)

Interesting project which fits perfectly with the objectives of our organization WACSA (Water Cleaning and Sanitations), a private company based in Benin which offers sanitation services (cleaning / disinfection and control) of drinking water storage facilities in benin's households. How can we intervene in achieving the objectives of MUNIWASH?
Contact person: GBEGBE Patrick - Water and Sanitation Division Manager - WACSA. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Re: Selection of Beneficiaries for the MuniWASH Project Underway in Côte d'Ivoire




Côte d'Ivoire, May 2020: MuniWASH is a five-year project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by Tetra Tech in collaboration with the African Water Association (AfWA). Set to benefit eight municipalities each in Côte d'Ivoire and Benin, the project aims to help municipal governments, national directorates and agencies, and service providers maintain and expand water, sanitation, and hygiene services to meet basic needs of populations, including underserved groups, living in urban and peri-urban areas.

As part of the process to select beneficiary municipalities in Côte d'Ivoire, USAID engaged with ten pre-qualified municipalities to introduce the project to them and discuss requirements for the final qualification phase. The selection of the ten pre-qualified municipalities from a total of 200 municipalities was a transparent and participatory process that involved all key actors in the sector, namely: the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralization, the Ministry of Hydraulics, the Ministry of Sanitation and Hygiene, the National Office for Sanitation and Drainage (ONAD), the National Office for Drinking Water (ONEP), the Water Distribution Company of Côte d'Ivoire (SODECI), and the Union of Cities and Municipalities of Côte d'Ivoire (UVICOCI).
 
Representatives of the pre-qualified municipalities expressed great interest in the project as it will provide strategic solutions to help them improve the provision of potable water supply and the availability of sanitation services to the most vulnerable and underserved households in Côte d’Ivoire.
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  • Elisabeth
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  • I'm passionate about SuSanA's role in the WASH sector since about 2005. I'm a freelance consultant since 2012 (former roles: program manager, lecturer, process engineer for wastewater treatment plants)
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Re: Selection of Beneficiaries for the MuniWASH Project Underway in Côte d'Ivoire

Hello MuniWash team!

It's great to see that you have chosen the SuSanA Discussion Forum as a place where you can post regular updates about your large 5-year project. It will be really interesting to follow your progress over the years, so please do keep making these posts!

I have just two small questions: Do you know why Benin and Cote d'Ivoire were chosen in particular? Why these two countries exactly?

Also you said:

The selection of the ten pre-qualified municipalities from a total of 200 municipalities was a transparent and participatory process

Could you explain to us what this process involved and what the selection criteria were? It must have been disappointing for the other 190 municipalities who didn't get chosen. Can they still get any benefits from the project or do they miss out completely? Were only those municipalities selected that had the best running local governments and mayors?

And is this the website of Tetra Tech, the private company that is implementing this project?:  www.tetratech.com/

Regards,
Elisabeth
Head moderator of this Discussion Forum
(under consultancy contract with Skat Foundation funded by WSSCC)

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant located in Brisbane, Australia
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Re: Water and Sanitation Governance: USAID MuniWASH wants to empower municipalities



Equipping municipalities with a strategic toolto assess their institutional capacity building needs is one of the activities of the West Africa Municipal Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (MuniWASH) project - a five-year project funded by the United States Agency for International Development.  Among the anticipated outcomes of the project is the improvement of municipal governance and management capacities of municipal actors in the water and sanitation sector. By their strengthening institutional capacities, municipalities will have the skills and autonomy to advocate for their WASH priorities to high-level decision-makers in charge of planning, budgeting, management, regulation, and monitoring of water and sanitation services. This new dynamic will foster successful collaboration between municipalities and the central government. 

At the conclusion of a transparent, participatoryselection process, eight municipalities in Benin and eight municipalities in Côte d’Ivoire were selected as beneficiary partners of MuniWASH. The project is aiding municipal administrations, national departments and agencies, and service providers to improve water and sanitation services while including poor and vulnerable populations. To help achieve these goals, MuniWASH will equip the 16 target municipalities with a tool called the Institutional Strengthening Index. 

This Institutional Strengthening Index tool proposesa method for assessing the capacity of organizations based on a shared analysis of essential and non-exhaustive functions such as: human resources/staff skills, policies and procedures, facilities/equipment and technologies, citizen engagement, and systems and processes. This approach facilitates a diagnosis of institutional weaknesses through a self-assessment process that examines the functions of the communal contracting authority relating to the water, sanitation and hygiene sector. The tool will enable municipalities to have a reliable benchmark of their present capacity in order to identify deficiencies, and consequently, define a capacity building plan based on the gaps they observed.

Prior to deployment, the MuniWASH team trainedtechnical ministries, as well as representatives of communal organizations of Benin and Côte d'Ivoire, namely the National Association of Communes of Benin and the Union of Cities and Communes of Côte d'Ivoire on this tool. These commune umbrella organizations will play an important role in mobilizing communes to leverage the information generated by the tool in the 16  municipalities/communes targeted by the project. “TheInstitutional Strengthening Index is neither an audit nor an evaluation of the quality of the services provided by the mayor's office, but rather evaluates the internal capacity to deliver them," explained MuniWASH consultantSarah Leddy, who led the online training. 

Preliminary training will be followed by a pilot phase where the toolwill be applied in one municipality before being extended to all 16 target municipalities in Benin and Côte d'Ivoire. Data will be collected for input to the tool through interviews with mayors and their deputies, members of municipal councils, mayor's office staff, and civil society organizations advocating for water and sanitation issues in each of the two countries
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Re: USAID MuniWASH: Enhancing knowledge sharing in WASH


The West Africa Municipal Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (MuniWASH) Activity is a five-year regional project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) covering 16 municipalities in Benin and Côte d'Ivoire. USAID's objective through MuniWASH is to assist municipal governments, national directorates and agencies, and service providers to maintain and expand water and sanitation services and improve coverage for vulnerable populations.  

One of the project’s four components is to "strengthen regional learning and knowledge sharing to replicate successful approaches" said Safaa Fakorede, Chief of Party of the MuniWASH project, during a recent presentation to stakeholders. Through its implementation, the project will supply knowledge products including best practices and lessons learned to the WASH sector. MuniWASH activities in both countries will be carried out in close collaboration with the African Water Association (AfWA), a pan-African capacity building organization that includes members from water and sanitation utilities throughout Africa. AfWA organizes quarterly Scientific and Technical Council meetings to reflect on WASH sector issues and challenges, which support knowledge exchange among sector professionals. MuniWASH will collaborate with AfWA as a learning partner to draw lessons from project implementation and help guide urban WASH programs. 
 
Permanent exchanges 
The production and exploitation of knowledge within a company or organization is a key human resources issue for capacity building. By developing communities of practice, professionals can share and learn from each other, face-to-face or virtually, about common problems and best practices for solutions. To support this, AfWA’s Scientific and Technical Council has set up a working group on Knowledge Management and Sharing composed of communication specialists from water and sanitation utilities and AfWA members. "Sharing knowledge leads us to quality," explains Konan Yaoura, Deputy Mayor of Yamoussoukro commune, one of the municipalities pre-qualified under the MuniWASH project.  

In order to promote peer learning, MuniWASH will set up a community of practice mainly composed of Mayors and municipal staff from the 16 selected communes in Benin and Côte d'Ivoire. The objective will be to share good practices within the country communities on the one hand, and to facilitate the exchange of experiences between the two countries on the other hand. Eventually MuniWASH will connect the Mayors of the selected communes of Benin and Côte d'Ivoire with the Network of Francophone Mayors of Africa, a network created by the African Water Association.

Sharing lessons learned
To guide its approach on knowledge management and sharing, MuniWASH has developed a learning agenda whose objective is "to identify target areas for knowledge products from the implementation of project activities," says Mamadou Ouattara, the project's knowledge sharing and learning advisor. Sharing experiences helps foster peer learning and a culture of collective performance through multilateral exchanges within communities of practice. Sharing a good practice from a past project can help guide implementation approaches in planning activities for a similar or related project.  

During its implementation MuniWASH will produce learning notes developed from project experiences. These knowledge products will be disseminated through various channels and during WASH events to different audiences of professionals and public actors. MuniWASH will use the quarterly AfWA meetings to share the project's learning and knowledge to all participants in order to increase the circulation of the learning products. 
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Re: Selection of Beneficiaries for the MuniWASH Project Underway in Côte d'Ivoire

Hi Dr. Elisabeth von Muench. Thank you for your interest to USAID/MuniWASH project. The teams has gave a feedback to yours questions. Please find them below.

Dr.Elisabeth von Muench /// It's great to see that you have chosen the SuSanADiscussion Forum as a place where you can post regular updates about your large 5-year project. It will be really interesting to follow your progress over the years, so please do keep making these posts! I have just two small questions: Do you know why Benin and Cote d'Ivoire were chosen in particular? Why these two countries exactly?
 
During the design of the MuniWASH project, USAID carried out consultations with countries in the West Africa region. Benin and Côte d'Ivoire showed great interest in the implementation of this project. In addition, USAID is also funding a sanitation project, called the Sanitation Services Delivery (SSD) in Benin and Côte d'Ivoire, whose activities are closely linked to the MuniWASH project. MuniWASH can build on the successes of SSD to improve access to water and sanitation. Although the initial geographic focus for MuniWASH is Benin and Cote d’Ivoire, the project is identifying opportunities to provide similar technical assistance to other African countries. 

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench /// Theselection of the ten pre-qualified municipalities from a total of 200 municipalities was a transparent and participatory process. Could you explain to us what this process involved andwhat the selection criteria were?
 
Thestakeholders involved in the implementation of the project (namely, public and technical ministries, national government agencies, water supply company,  professional organizations of municipalities) refined and jointly agreed upon a set of 14 criteria. MuniWASH completed an initial evaluation that resulted in the pre-selection of 21 municipalities, including ten in Côte d'Ivoire and 11  in Benin. Following this, the MuniWASH team quantitatively evaluated the shortlisted municipalities by understanding their water and sanitation service provision needs. MuniWASH developed and implemented an automated scoring tool to provide a ranking of municipalities once the criteria data was entered into the tool. The final municipal selection was made using a scorecard approach, which facilitated the scoring of pre-selected municipalities to select the most appropriate candidate municipalities.
 
Dr.Elisabeth von Muench ///  It must have been disappointing for the other 190municipalities who didn't get chosen. Can they still get any benefits from the project or do they miss out completely?
 
Oneof the four components of the MuniWASH project is to strengthen learning and knowledge sharing at the regional level in order to replicate successful approaches. This important task of disseminating knowledge products from the implementation
of MuniWASH project activities is being carried out in close collaboration with the African Water Association (AfWA), a pan-African capacity building organization. Many water and sanitation utilities across Africa are members of AfWA. MuniWASH will collaborate with AfWA as a learning partner to draw lessons from project implementation and help guide urban WASH programs. Learning
materials developed through the project will be available these municipalities through AfWA to draw on the good practices developed by MuniWASH and other municipalities may be invited to these experience-sharing meetings.
 
 
Dr.Elisabeth von Muench ///  Were only those municipalities selected that had thebest running local governments and mayors?
 
Theperformance of local governments was not the most critical selection criterion for target municipalities. There was a series of 14 criteria that are : 

          1.Poor access to drinking water
          2.Poor access to basic sanitation
          3.Large proportion of the population belonging to the bottom wealth quintiles
          4.Mortality rate
          5.Alignment with investment plans of utilities and service providers
          6.Qualified staff in place to supervise WASH services
          7.Presence of faecal sludge management service providers
          8.Existing budget allocated to the WASH sector
          9.Geographical proximity
        10.Synergy with USAID to take advantage of the completion of the Sanitation Service Delivery project or other projects
        11.Synergies with technical and financial partners
        12.Expected increase in population
        13.Population size
        14.Speed to collect and transmit survey data to MuniWASH

MuniWASHassigned a weighting to each criteria, which made it possible to calculate  scores and rank the different municipalities. The whole process was developed in full transparency with all the players and stakeholders.
 
Dr.Elisabeth von Muench ///  And is this the website of Tetra Tech, the privatecompany that is implementing this project?:   www.tetratech.com/
 Yes, it is.
 
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