Two researchers in the water and sanitation field, Stephen Jones and Nicola Greene, explore whether the recent interest in admitting to failure in WASH projects is a refreshing way to open up debate and improve practice, or a way to garner good publicity without really achieving systematic change.
In this Webwatch, we look at the issue of evidence in the WASH sector, catch up with debates about sector monitoring, and highlight new online courses and tools of interest to sector professionals.
Sharing the recurrent costs of rural water services in four municipalities supported by WaterAid in Mali
This paper presents the recurrent costs of rural water services in four local government areas in Mali supported by WaterAid, based on an analysis of data from 2008 to 2011, and examines how these costs are shared between different actors. The actual expenditures observed are also compared with the costs suggested as necessary by national policy and international benchmarks to provide basic sustainable rural water services. Three key lessons are identified. Firstly, operational and minor maintenance and capital maintenance contributions from users are lower than national policy and international benchmarks recommend and should be more closely monitored to understand if users are able and willing to contribute more. Secondly, the definition and responsibility for paying capital maintenance expenditure requires greater clarity. Thirdly, WaterAid and other actors could explore whether the use of municipal WASH Technical Units to support community management could be scaled-up at a lower unit cost by sharing staff and costs across multiple local government areas.
This issue we look at recent reviews of sustainability assessment tools for WASH programmes, discussions on technology development and introduction into new contexts, and ongoing debates about the links between WASH and nutrition and what this means for our programmes.
In this Webwatch, we look at more free online WASH courses (and try them out!), updates on discussions on the post-2015 WASH targets, and a series of good blogposts reflecting on how to influence sector change.