Strengthening the WASH enabling environment: lessons from the Fund
Bronwyn Powell on 21/06/2017 17:18 EST
Over the course of the Civil Society WASH Fund, CSOs have been implementing four year programs across a large diversity of contexts and geographies. A community of practice across the Fund has prioritised the following three themes for exploration and reflection:
- Strengthening the enabling environment
- Gender and social inclusion
- Hygiene behaviour change
At this juncture, as projects come towards the end or final year of implementation, the Fund is hosting an online learning platform to capture and share project achievements and lessons and CSO approaches across these three topics. These discussions will contribute to the face-to-face Fund Learning and Reflection Event (FLARE) to be held in August 2017. These topics will be explored over three weeks of e-discussion along with a webinar on hygiene behaviour change.
Strengthening the WASH Enabling Environment
Week 1 e-Discussion (26 June – 2 July, 2017)
Throughout implementation, the CS WASH Fund has worked with CSOs and sector actors to better understand WASH enabling environments, explored ways of strengthening local government and the private sector in particular, and developed a tool to enable CSOs to map their enabling environment, or contexts, and the approaches they use in WASH programming. A guiding theory of the Fund has been to encourage CSOs to work with and strengthen change agents, or WASH duty bearers, with the view that this will help to sustain WASH services beyond project timeframes. The extent to which this is possible depends on the extent to which legal, organisational, fiscal, regulatory, informational, political and private sector systems support WASH services, something which varies significantly from location to location and across national and sub-national levels. In the lead-up to the next Fund Learning and Reflection Event (FLARE), we are seeking inputs from CSOs and others on the challenges and successes in their work on strengthening the enabling environment to ensure WASH services for all.
Successful CSO engagement in the strengthening of the enabling environment is often based on a combination of: demonstration and replication of successful approaches; evidence of service delivery shortfalls; analysis of systematic bottlenecks; CSO legitimacy within the sector; political support (often underpinned by opportunity or crisis); collective action; pre-existing momentum or under-utilised capacities.
This e-Discussion is seeking to learn from your CSOs experience of supporting the delivery of WASH services and the strengthening the enabling environment. In this respect:
- How have you assessed strengths and weaknesses of your project context/enabling environment? Did you find any tools or analytical frameworks particularly useful for this type of analysis?
- What have you found to be the most powerful ways to influence change agents and the WASH enabling environment (be they public, private or community actors)? How has this translated to improved service delivery and beneficiary access to WASH?
- What have been the most significant factors contributing to the success (or failure!) of your efforts to strengthen the WASH enabling environment?
Facilitation: Week 1 e-discussion is facilitated by Mark Ellery and Bronwyn Powell.
Mark is an independent water, sanitation and local governance consultant with more than 20 years of experience in the water sector.
Bronwyn is the Knowledge and Learning Manager of the CS WASH Fund.