The community development team would like to see the RWSSP projects as a means to an end; not just improved water supply, sanitation and hygiene, but creating a process and momentum that develops capacity in communities to take a far more active role in future development activities. This not only helps in the sustainability of RWSSP project outputs, but also in identifying and successfully completing future projects. This has already happened in a number of communities involved in RWSSP during phase 1, where beneficiary communities have been motivated by their achievements and organization.
To help guide us in this endeavor the Community Development Team has developed a Strategic Plan. This details a number of objectives we would like to see achieved for each project, and suggested activities in order to achieve these objectives.
The objectives we would like to see achieved in each project are:
1. Equitable community based planning and management committees established and functional (WATSAN Committee )
2. Community members knowledgeable about issues relating to improved water supply, hygiene and sanitation and the systems and process in place to manage them.
3. Active participation by the community in all stages of the project cycle
4. Improved levels of accountability and transparency between all stakeholders in RWSSP
5. Sustainable systems and process' developed for maintenance of improved hygiene sanitation and water supply
Associated with these are a number of activities aimed at achieving each output. However, since the Community Development Team at the PMU does not work directly with the communities concerned these outputs can only be achieved by the contracted NSAs, and the action they take during project planning and implementation. Therefore, the role of the community development team , and the PMU as a whole, is to prompt, motivate and develop the capacity of NSAs to achieve these outputs.
It is tempting to think of RWSSP as an engineering project with hygiene and sanitation training and some operation and maintenance training thrown in. It is assumed that once the project has finished the water will continue to flow (maintained by the community) and everyone will keep using latrines, washing their hands and implementing other improved hygiene initiatives. This is like pushing a ball and expecting it to roll forever, and is why many projects, not only water supply and sanitation, grind to a halt after a while. We all need to think that what we are doing is about starting up a service in a community. Through these projects we make a commitment to start up a service of water supply and improved sanitation and hygiene that will deliver over the next...5,10,15 years.
Installing the hardware - the taps stands, laying pipes, building latrines etc is the first step, we then need to ensure that the service delivery to the communities is established and functional. We need to ensure that the structures and processes are in place to manage the service delivery, to ensure that the service is delivered constantly.
1) identifying the organizations that will be involved in maintaining service delivery, and involving them in the project (a community based WATSAN committee, Ward council, Local Level Government, the contracted NSA, other NSAs, churches, etc)
2) identifying and agreeing the systems by which the service will operate - who is responsible for what ? Who makes, keeps records and reports, how will costs be met?
3) ensuring that all stakeholders have the necessary capacity (skills, resources and motivation) to maintain service delivery.
Community Development tips for successful implementation of RWSSP
This document explains the checklist below.
RWSSP flight checklist
A checklist for field use. Print off and laminate.