Tag Archives: Systems Approach

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.