Tag Archives: Systems Approach

@WASHStrong takeover: How do human rights strengthen systems?

A4C Twitter takeover

Tuesday, 28 July, marks the 10th anniversary of the recognition of the human rights to water and sanitation!

@WASHStrong takeover: How do human rights strengthen systems?

On this day, @RealiseHRWS and @sanwatforall will take over the @WASHStrong twitter account to discuss how human rights contribute to strengthening WASH systems. We will share local and global approaches from Making Rights Real and Sanitation and Water for All.

The takeover will take place from 8am to 8pm Central European Time / 11.30am to 11.30pm India Standard Time / 2am to 2pm US Eastern Time.

Join us! https://twitter.com/WASHstrong

10 years after the human rights to water and sanitation were first recognised and with 10 years to go until the promise of SDG 6 should be fulfilled, we want to use this day as an opportunity for everyone to share their experiences of applying human rights to their own work.

Joins us if you…

–          Have used human rights and it has helped to improve WASH systems

–          Have questions on how human rights are relevant to WASH systems change

–          Want to see what experiences other have made

We hope for a lively exchange among practitioners in this space!

See you there

Hannah (WASH United/Making Rights Real), Manishka (SWA), Alec (Agenda for Change)

Decolonising the WASH sector

Being true to #BlackLivesMatter. Report of an IRC Global Talk

BlackLivesMatter-Montreal-Martin-Reisch-Unsplash

Gay Village, Montreal. Credit: Martin Reisch/Unsplash

“The problem isn’t men, it’s patriarchy.
The problem isn’t white people, it’s white supremacy.
The problem isn’t straight people, it’s homophobia.
Recognize systems of oppression before letting individual defensiveness paralyze you from dismantling them”. (Ruchika Tulshyan, founder of inclusion strategy firm Candour)

This is not a quote you would expect to hear from an opening speaker in your usual WASH sector webinar, but the title of the IRC Global Talk on 16 July was anything but usual: “Decolonising WASH sector knowledge and decolonising systems thinking”.

On 18 June 2020, IRC posted a message from our CEO on Black Lives Matter with a commitment to the global struggle against racism. For this Global Talk, we found two, young undaunted voices to help IRC kickstart discussions on our commitments to #BlackLivesMatter. We asked them to elaborate on their recent provocative think pieces on decolonisation. First up was Euphresia Luseka, a WASH Governance Consultant from Kenya who wrote “Initiating De-colonization of WASH Sector Knowledge”, followed by the UK-based writer/facilitator and historian, Alara Adali who believes in “Decolonising systems thinking” for social change.

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WASH Debates – Sustainable WASH service delivery in fragile states: how far can you get?

What can actors in the WASH sector do to provide long-lasting and sustainable drinking water and sanitation services in the most fragile contexts? Should focus be on basic infrastructure delivery outside the state structures, knowing that conditions for ongoing service delivery would be weak? Should focus be on WASH systems strengthening, knowing that these systems are likely to remain weak? Should support go to the state, or rather to civil society organisations?

This edition of WASH Debates on “Sustainable WASH service delivery in fragile states” seeks to explore and discuss these questions on 20 November 2019 in The Hague, the Netherlands, from 17:00-18:30 CET.

Those unable to attend the WASH Debate in The Hague can follow the live stream on IRC’s Twitter page

Speakers include:

  • David De Armey, Director of International Partnerships at Water for Good, who supervises the organisation’s water sector partnerships in the Central African Republic
  • Dr. Afou Chantal Bengaly, Programme Manager at Wetlands International and lead of the Watershed empowering citizens programme in Mali
  • Ele Jan Saaf, founder and managing director of the Dutch consultancy company SaafConsult B.V and working for Wetlands International at the Watershed empowering citizens programme
  • Annette Rozendaal-Morón, policy officer at World Waternet, where she manages a team responsible for the Blue Deal Dji Don project in Mali, focusing on improving urban wastewater treatment.

For more information on the WASH Debate go to the IRC WASH website.

Enabling environments for inclusive citywide sanitation: a conceptual framework

Enabling environments for inclusive citywide sanitation: a conceptual framework. WSUP Blog, September 2018.

A necessary shift is taking place: away from a narrow focus on building taps and toilets, and towards an understanding of water and sanitation as a service, whose effectiveness depends on the wider enabling environment. In simple terms, universal coverage requires services which are 1) sustainable and 2) delivered at scale – and neither is possible without strong systems. wsup.png

In Stockholm the increasing momentum towards systems change was evident – my week began with an excellent “morning of systems” convened by Agenda for Change highlighting a number of ongoing initiatives in this area  –  and served to build on July’s UN High-Level Political Forum and the associated SDG 6 synthesis report, underlining the imperative to strengthen governance, finance and capacity development if we are to achieve universal access.

So how does WSUP work to strengthen systems? From the outset, system-strengthening has been embedded in our Theory of Change: we partner with institutions and the private sector to develop effective service delivery models, and work in parallel to create the conditions for these services to be provided at the city level, including within low-income areas.

Read the complete article.

WASH and the Systems Approach – Water Currents, July 10, 2018

Water Currents: WASH and the Systems Approach – Water Currents, July 10, 2018.

The USAID Sustainable WASH Systems Learning Partnership (SWS) prepared this special issue of Water Currents focusing on systems approaches, which seek to understand the complexity, interactions, and interdependencies between actors and factors involved in water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). systems

Actions are implemented based on this understanding and have the flexibility to adapt to feedback and changing conditions.

The purpose of SWS is to test new ideas, approaches, and tools to overcome barriers for improving WASH service sustainability via systems approaches. Additional information about SWS activities can be found on the SWS website.

Reports and webinars featured in this issue are from SWS and its consortium members, as well as the World Bank, USAID, and others.

2018 and 2017 Publications and Webinars 
Using Network Analysis to Understand and Strengthen WASH SystemsSWS, February 2018.

This webinar provides an introduction to network analysis and early lessons learned from analyses conducted in Ethiopia, Uganda, and Cambodia. SWS is using such analyses to better understand the complex interactions of actors in a local WASH system, with the ultimate goal of increasing the sustainability of WASH services.

Read the complete issue.

Taps and toilets aren’t enough: designing WASH programmes that strengthen the system – WaterAid

Taps and toilets aren’t enough: designing WASH programmes that strengthen the system – WaterAid, June 19, 2018.

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes that focus solely on providing taps, toilets and one-off trainings are unlikely to deliver lasting outcomes. An overwhelming body of evidence highlights that services underperform and improved behaviours regress because there is insufficient ongoing support from permanent, in-country institutions and the local private sector. wateraid

Even in cases where development agencies successfully push for inclusion of WASH access in national policies, this does not necessarily bring about lasting, sustainable outcomes, unless there is also a robust supporting environment and strong government leadership at all levels.

Lasting services for the poorest and most marginalised will therefore only be achieved through efforts that focus on strengthening all aspects of the environment (or system) into which WASH services and behaviours are introduced.

Read the complete article.

A systems approach to sanitation – iDE Bangladesh

Bangladesh is a global success story in sanitation, reducing open defecation from 34% in 1990 to less than 1% today. But despite this initial progress, nearly 40% of the country still lacks access to improved sanitation.

To tackle Bangladesh’s sanitation problem iDE takes a comprehensive systems approach to increase improved sanitation coverage.

iDE’s interventions facilitate different actors in the market system, leveraging existing skills and resources, building connections from the local to the national level, and coordinating across public, private, and development sectors to create a complete ecosystem that enables the sustainable, inclusive delivery of improved sanitation products and services.

 

WASH and the Systems Approach

Increasing Interest in the Agenda for Change and Investments in the Systems ApproachIRC WASH, December 2016. IRC’s CEO Patrick Moriarty discusses key takeaways from the 2016 UNC Water and Health Conference and the growing number of individuals and organizations becoming aware of the necessity of strengthening national WASH systems—and of adopting a systems-based approach. It represents an important step forward that so many in the WASH sector are moving toward strengthening systems rather than just providing hardware.

Systems Thinking: Unlocking the Sustainable Development GoalsEco-Business, October 2016. The world has made some good progress toward advancing the SDGs, but a key piece is missing from these efforts, says Forum for the Future Deputy Chief Executive Stephanie Draper. That is: systems thinking.

Systems Strengthening Thematic Keynote at the UNC Water and Health Conference 2016. (PowerPoint presentation). Heather Skilling, DAI, October 2016. In this presentation, Ms. Skilling discusses her WASH experiences and states that several characteristics of a systems-based approach are: a shift away from fixed, long-term planning to more iterative and adaptive planning based on learning and experimentation; a focus on multi-stakeholder approaches and co-creation with local stakeholders; and a movement away from piecemeal project-by-project progress and toward sector change.

Can Agent-Based Simulation Models Help Us to Improve Services in Complex WASH Systems? IRC WASH, December 2016. In this blog the author discusses the use of a complementary modeling tool to understand and analyze complex social interactions in WASH: an agent-based modeling (ABM) tool. ABM can help practitioners to: diagnose the system; explore the effects of policy interventions; and discuss with partners and clients how the theory of complex systems affects them.

Towards ‘Sustainable’ Sanitation: Challenges and Opportunities in Urban Areas.Sustainability, December 2016. Sustainable sanitation is not a single technology or specific limited sanitation system design, but rather an approach where a broad set of criteria needs to be taken into consideration to achieve universal and equitable access to services over the long-term in a particular context.

Improving Health in Cities Through Systems Approaches for Urban Water ManagementEnvironmental Health, March 2016. This paper reviews links between water and health in cities and describes how the application of four main elements of systems approaches—analytic methods to deal with complexity, interdisciplinarity, transdisciplinarity, and multi-scale thinking—can yield benefits for health in the urban water management context.