Posts byNick Dickinson

WASHNote is led by Nicolas Dickinson. He is an associate at IRC and has been supporting country-led monitoring and evaluation of water and sanitation services at national and district/municipal levels where government, civil society and private sector set the monitoring agenda and the questions to be answered. In addition, he has worked on providing training for decentralized data collection, data processing, and life-cycle costing. He evaluated mobile-enabled water, sanitation and energy services for the Mobiles for Development Utilities Innovation Fund as a Grant Panel member and supports the commissioning and procurement of technology for governments and the WASH sector. Along with his passion for the use of evidence, he worked on developing data exchange and technology standards (WPDx) and tools for service providers, governments, NGOs and financiers.

A wish list for national monitoring

Government, donors, and implementers must come together and invest in national and sub-national systems.

This blog was written and published on 21 August 2017 in the IRC WASH Amplify newsletter. It is co-authored by Joseph Pearce and Nicolas Dickinson.

Collecting data in South Ari district, Ethiopia.
Collecting data in South Ari district, Ethiopia. Photo: Tereza Nega/IRC Ethiopia

Imagining a national WASH monitoring and evaluation system

In a recent discussion, a National Rural WASH Coordinator outlined his country’s data requirements. They needed to know about the distribution and quality of services, functionality, water quality, who provides the services and how they are managed. They wanted maps showing individual water points that could be clicked on to reveal all the technical details an engineer could hope for. They also needed information to share with Parliament that showed the progress they have made towards achieving the national targets and the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This was quite a wish list. There was barely any reliable data on WASH services in rural areas, and it was easy to be ambitious about additions. But what would it look like and what will it cost?

National water point monitoring: actionable guidance

This blog is based on the fact sheet on Actionable Guidance for National Governments: Harnessing Water Point Data for Improved Water Services

National governments have a crucial role in providing guidance and support for the collection and use of water point data. Beyond the need for coverage statistics at the national level, districts and partners require water point data to plan and act to improve services. Good quality national water point monitoring data are also a catalyst for faster private and public investments. More investments are needed since the Sustainable Development Goals are not going to be met by 2030 at the current rate of investment.

We wrote previously about three universal lessons for improving water point monitoring, however, there are also recommendations from our research on the use of water point monitoring to improve water services that are specific to national governments.

Recommendation 1: Incorporate service level metrics that are useful to local governments

Help local governments and service authorities achieve results by incorporating service level and sustainability metrics that go beyond functionality into the national indicator framework. Provide monitoring results on paper where connectivity, power, and digital competency are limited.

1. Include service level and sustainability metrics into the national indicator framework

Service level monitoring in Ghana

The Community Water and Sanitation Agency of Ghana developed the “Framework for Assessing and Monitoring Rural and Small Town Water Supply Services in Ghana” to measure the performance of service providers and the support they receive from districts.