August 2018

Are national WASH M&E system important for accountability and transparency?

When policy and the roles and responsibilities of service providers and government are unclear, it is difficult for users
and their representatives in civil society to advocate and tackle issues of accountability. Who is ultimately responsible for ensuring basic and safely managed WASH services? When these are clear with clear contractual arrangements, are there also agreed ways to measure and evaluate service performance? Who is measuring and communicating results? It is crucial to hold parties accountable for their actions and promises for this life sustaining services.

Sometimes civil society may fill the evidence gap with their own metrics. But government and service providers may choose to ignore the results on the basis that they are not ‘official’, ‘approved’ or even deemed to be ‘wrong’.

Establishing an information system is complex  and it requires clarifying a matrix of roles and responsibilities so that it is clear who is reporting what and why. Using and communicating results is an important step in holding sector stakeholders accountable .

Establishing a national WASH M&E system in a participatory approach is one way to develop consensus and ensure parties are all working towards the same goals to sustain services. Indeed, for change and improvement at all levels, there is a need to engage in dialogue around sector performance in WASH service delivery.

Partnership with Wattopia

In 2015 WASHNote initiated a partnership with Wattopia (before: Sustainability Services).  Wattopia aims to effectuate the energy transition in the Dutch built environment by building transition tools. The company works on a sustainable, affordable and attractive living environment and is driven by the challenges formed by the energy transition: moving from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, aiming to fulfill our commitments to the Paris Agreement.

Wattopia works together with local and regional governments, building companies, housing corporations, knowledge institutes, and suppliers. Wattopia operates at the level of neighborhoods, houses, and components within the houses. Products that were developed by Wattopia recently include the design and development of a quality mark for sustainable housing, an API design for standardization of monitoring energy performance in houses, and an in-depth process design that describes how a district can move away from the use of natural gas.

Since 2015, WASHNote and Wattopia have been innovating research and data infrastructure for market development, research and transition management towards more sustainable futures in WASH and energy. We share staff time, research infrastructure and develop joint concepts around data and sustainable services.