Going to scale: An introduction to this discussion and an invitation to engage


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  • warmin
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Re: Going to scale: An introduction to this discussion and an invitation to engage

Dear Suvojits, Dear Tracey, I find you contribution very interesting.

Let me start with my contribution with the bigger picture which is the sector development for water and sanitation. I particularly refer to urban water and sanitation as this has started to be the real challenge not only because of the rampant urbanisation but also because of population density in settlements. Density is the key factor for prioritisation of areas for sanitation interventions. Therefore, we need to acknowledge the different realities and therefore make a difference between urban and rural water and sanitation with our actions.

The overall sector development goal is access and that means foremost physical access to infrastructure, including the sanitation chain. Up-scaling access needs therefore up-scaling of infrastructure and with it the sanitation chain. Hygiene sensitisation / behaviour change is important but it does not lead to access! It can be therefore considered an (important) accompanying measure. How useful is up-scaling of hygiene sensitisation without being part of up-scaling facilities and the sanitation chain? Up-scaling infrastructure includes also the up-scaling of sustainable operation of the chain. Therefore, the driver for up-scaling infrastructure should ideally be the same which is responsible for sustainable operation of the sanitation chain.

Up-scaling of access need an enabling framework (policy, legal, institution) and funds channelled through a professional financing mechanism to put infrastructure in place and to ensure professional operation of the sanitation chain (all of it with national ownership). It also needs national standard setting and pro-poor orientation, as well as, must be a comprehensive concept (oriented on household demand, acceptability, etc.) to avoid a narrow focus on hardware which is as little helpful as a narrow focus on software. This are the basics!

Now to your questions: Successful models are to be found in Burkina Faso (ONEA) and now coming up in Kenya (WSTF) which you should visit if you are based in Kenya. Both offer subsidies and serve exclusively the dwellers in the low-income areas (equity).

Kenya combines now the promotion of household facilities with investments in the sanitation chain. Implementation is done by professionals from the water sector (utilities receiving funds through calls / competition from the autonomous WSTF run by professionals and not civil servant, NGOs or project structure established by donors) in cooperation with NGOs supporting the utilities. Thus, there is national ownership from top to the bottom and national standards are established and country wide applied. With the fund disbursement a capacity development program for the utilities, NGOs and small scale private actors is provided. The same is the case in Burkina Faso. For the construction of facilities and involved in the sanitation chain local private small scale actors are involved and trained. Channelling fuds through a national, professional and autonomous national financing mechanism also offers the opportunity to practice good governance.

Other basics: 1) We have learned that Ministries should not be involved in implementation because there is a limit civil servants can do. Does this not also apply to municipality employees? What should be their role in water and sanitation development and service provision? Don?t we need (like for water supply) more involvement of professionals instead of civil servant from national and local level? In the urban setting these are the utilities! They should be in the driving seat coordinating with local authorities, civil societies, community representatives, small scale private sector, donors, etc. None of these latter should be in the lead!

2) There is no doubt that sanitation is very much linked to health but also to non-health factors. Water and sanitation (considering the sanitation chain) is foremost a matter of infrastructure development and operation by professionals. What arguments are there to convince me that the health sector must be in the lead for sanitation? In Burkina Faso the Government Cabinet adopted the sanitation policy describing the roles of all the many players. It was not one of the line ministries. This seems to be the key to success. Who has to report on access to sanitation? In Kenya it is the MWI and not the MoH! With the public utilities on hand the water sector (responsibility of counties and overseen by the MWI and the national regulator) has a professional water and sanitation structure in place. This is not the case in the health sector! And can one ministry coordinate other ministries? Especially, if it is not the key player in creating access?

Sorry that I replied so late but I was out of the country on a mission. With best regards

Roland GIZ from Kenya
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  • Nivedita
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Re: Going to scale: An introduction to this discussion and an invitation to engage

I am working Urban Management centre where we surveyed slums and schools for improving the infrastructural conditions. During the visit of slums we observe that the value of this sanitation facility is very less. Even the government construct the toilet,they hardly use it.On other hand some of them are using it for storage facility.Due to cultural habits, they prefer defecating in open which is one time job with use of little amount of water.they prefer electricity and water and other services over toilet.As there no demand from them, government also work causal, in some slums they just provide superstructure. their mindsets are like government to provide everything, they don't know it is their necessity to have a healthy life.
it is very sad to see even government is constructing toilet, with water facility,still open defecation is not stopping because users are not willing to use the service.
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  • suvojitc
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  • I am a development professional with over ten years' experience in Kenya, India, UK and Ghana. I have provided technical and M&E support to the implementation of development projects. My interests are in policy analysis and studying implementation (partic
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Re: Going to scale: An introduction to this discussion and an invitation to engage

Thanks a lot, Roland for the comments. I got a bit lost on the ministry/department ownership bit - are you suggesting that MoH should be in charge? If not, will another inter-departmental coordinating body be able to play an effective role? I am not sure I would blindly recommend that the MoH take the lead, since it depends on mandate, capacity constraints, etc - but I would caution against leaving water and sanitation in the hands of engineers (again, not sure that is what you have in mind!)

Great to see also, the focus on financing for equity. The danger of advocating a zero-subsidy approach is that equity might be sacrificed when people are satisfied with incremental coverage (that may be stalled indefinitely, at times).

Also, I am based in Nairobi - would be great to catch up any time!
Suvojit Chattopadhyay,
Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor
Adam Smith International
Nairobi, Kenya
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