The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic – and the increased importance of good hygienic practices – highlights the critical importance of safe WASH services and the WASH systems that support them. The Sustainable Services Initiative (SSI) – an undertaking of Welthungerhilfe, in partnership with Aguaconsult, the German Toilet Organization (GTO) and Viva con Agua – has recently published Tools for Practitioners to strengthen WASH systems (or simply the SSI-Toolbox).
As the COVID-19 situation gets more critical and all our personal and working lives become ever more restricted, at Aguaconsult, we are also adjusting to how we operate as a company. By taking measures in line with UK government’s advice, we aim to help reduce the spread of the virus, maintain business operations and continue to deliver services to our clients. COVID-19 has created significant challenges for all companies. However, we want to reassure you that we are in a strong position to carry on operating effectively with established working practices that make us well placed to ensure continuity, while supporting efforts to reduce the spread of the virus.
Aguaconsult’s Harold Lockwood has been providing technical support to the USAID Sustainable WASH systems programme and has recently published the following report – Sustaining Rural Water: A Comparative Study of Maintenance Models for Community-Managed Schemes. As rural water supply coverage rates rise across many countries, attention is increasingly being paid to finding and implementing cost-effective mechanisms to ensure this improved initial access is sustained over time. Conventional approaches to maintenance have largely been based on voluntary community-based management with communities taking on the burden of maintenance themselves, with limited, if any, support from external agencies or local government. Recently, there have been attempts to professionalize maintenance services and make these services affordable at the point of delivery. This study considers different variations of maintenance approaches. It provides a typology for characterizing maintenance service provision models, a framework for analyzing them, and an in-depth study of seven maintenance models that represent different cases from the typology of approaches. Based on this comparative analysis, the study outlines emerging trends and recommendations for broader consideration.
Following on from the engaging session entitled Beyond collaboration: learning from national and district-level collective action efforts in WASH held during the All Systems Go Symposium, in March this year, Jonathan Annis of TetraTech and Harold Lockwood of Aguaconsult have developed this reflection on the session and key takeaway messages about how collective action works in practice.
Maybe you’ve heard about ‘systems thinking’ or taking a ‘systems-based approach’, but don’t really know what to make of it? March is almost here and the IRC 50th anniversary symposium is almost upon us, putting systems thinking front and centre of the conversation for WASH practitioners and policy makers, but what does it all really mean?
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