Design of a sustainability framework to monitor WASH in two pilot countries Uganda and Ghana. A brief progress update.


The Dutch WASH Alliance and its partners aim in their interventions to systematically adhere to five key sustainability principles, referred to as the FIETS (Financial, Institutional, Environmental, Technical and Socio-cultural) principles. Sustainable WASH services and the increase in degree of sustainability of water services and sanitation facilities are included in the Alliance Monitoring Protocol and the Logical Framework.

To allow the WASH Alliance to measure and improve the extent to which they contribute to more sustainable WASH service delivery in their projects, the WASH Alliance is developing a framework to monitor these key sustainability aspects in a consistent manner. Important for the WASH Alliance is also to support the WASH sector in the partner countries in improving the monitoring on WASH sustainability. The IRC is contracted to develop this sustainability framework and the first phase of the development has started.

Community members erect a fence around their water source, Kabarole District, Uganda. This is one of the ways in which community members participate in the operation and maintenance of sources.
Photo credit: Martin Watsisi/Triple-S Uganda

During the assessment phase two assessments are being implemented: (i) Interests of the DWA partners in Uganda and Ghana, (ii) national/local monitoring system: what is happening already and to what extend is the sector interested in (DWA) in sustainable monitoring. In Uganda the focus will be more on sector monitoring while in Ghana the focus will be more on project monitoring.

At the end of July most different DWA partners organizations in Uganda were interviewed and also interviews with the government and sanitation monitoring working group took place. These interviews are all part of the first assessment in which the DWA partners assess the desire and capacity to develop a sustainability framework in which they can assess how sustainable the results will be of the DWA related work. The interviews proved successful for more than just a data collection process, it started a reflection on what sustainability within WASH means.

A man fetches water from one of the tap stand on the Mugusu Gravity Flow Scheme in Kabarole District, Uganda
Photo credit: Lydia Mirembe/Triple-S Uganda

In Ghana, IRC is trying to catch-up to the strides of progress made in Uganda and the set-up in Ghana should be on par by the end of the month of August. In Ghana, the discussion on sustainability is also well received. It is key to have the DWA local partners involved as early as possible in the development if the monitoring framework. Partners need to really understand and own the framework it as they are the ones who will be using it.

The report with the main insights from phase 1 will be ready in September.

Annemieke Beekmans is working as senior consultant for RAIN Foundation.
For more information please contact Annemieke via