WASH Ambassadors

This presentation defines and provides examples of Collective Impact, an approach presented by Samantha King from FSG.

This presentation explains Sustainable Services at Scale (Triple-S) and the service delivery approach. Harold Lockwood presented this information as the “what” of service delivery.

This presentation talks about IRC’s approach to changing the whole (rural water supply) system and how to do it.
Getting to boiling point: Turning up the heat on water and sanitation (PDF)

On September 26, 2014, 24 invited representatives from 19 organizations attended a one-day meeting hosted by Aguaconsult, IRC, and WASH Advocates. Click here to view the full report.

The meeting engaged a select group of professionals to become Ambassadors for more widespread application of a Service Delivery Approach to overcome the unacceptably high levels of failure of water supply, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) systems in developing countries. Click here to view the meeting agenda.

The meeting had three objectives:

  1. Develop a shared understanding of service delivery approaches and whole system change
  2. Identify targets and partners in and outside the WASH sector who need to be influenced to adopt a Service Delivery Approach
  3. Brainstorm ways the Ambassadors can support sustainable service delivery going forward

Developing a shared understanding

The first half of the day was dedicated to presentations and discussion of the core concepts and practices of a Service Delivery Approach. Harold Lockwood from Aguaconsult defined the “sustainability gap” in rural drinking water supply between what has been invested and what remains in regular operation and mapped out sustainability pathways and tools to fill the gap. Samantha King from FSG and Patrick Moriarty from IRC discussed the benefits of a whole-of-system approach to addressing the sustainability gap. The presenters stressed the critical need for public financing and capacity to close the gap and identified local government operations as the critical prerequisite to achieving scale and sustainability.

A Service Delivery Approach was defined as:

the provision of an agreed level of water service in a manner that addresses the entire life-cycle of different elements required to provide the services: both hardware and software

and the 10 components of the approach were presented as first introduced in Supporting Rural Water Supply: moving toward a Service Delivery Approach.[1]

Identifying targets and partners

Attendees identified eight US-based organizations that are necessary to influence and further mainstream a Service Delivery Approach as standard practice in WASH programs. It was also agreed that each has the potential to be influenced by the Ambassadors. The group brainstormed methods and tools to influence each target.

Going forward

IRC, together with like-minded specialists and organizations, is positioning itself to act as a “backbone” for supporting change in the WASH sector: from a “projectized” approach focused primarily on hardware, to a more comprehensive service delivery approach. To support this shift, potential ambassadors taking part in the meeting requested that communications materials be developed to support them in lobbying for and helping other organizations to start applying the approach.

[1] H. Lockwood and S. Smits, Practical Action Publishing, 2011 (http://www.waterservicesthatlast.org/media/publications/supporting_rural_water_supply)

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