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  • Delia Sanchez Trancon

Aguaconsult Newsletter Autumn 2018

As part of our rotating newsletter host arrangements, I have been in charge of summarising our activities since we last posted one in the middle of this year. And believe me, it has not been a piece of cake, because we have been working on a range of interesting projects and with committed and equally engaging clients. We are also happy to have Bill Twyman on board, who has just finished a masters in governance and public policy. He will be working on a new assignment in Ghana to assess the long-term sustainability of WASH programming finalised in 2012.


To be honest, the more I work in the WASH sector, the more questions I have to ask myself. Since I joined the team, I am really wondering: how to make a contribution to sustainable access to water and sanitation services for all, while at the same time supporting economic development and food security, and without jeopardizing environmental resources and human rights. These are all big issues and of course, I only have partial answers to this question (for the moment).


Fortunately, at Aguaconsult we have been trying to provide meaningful answers to some of these questions. So, if you are interested in what we have been doing, you should continue reading this newsletter or just look around our website.


During our team retreat last week we have an interesting discussion about the relevance of systems-based approaches. Specially, for people living and working in the WASH system in countries in the global south. How can this help them to be better informed and work more effectively towards outcomes? We invite all of you to reflect on these important questions. It seems to be the next trending topic of 2019 with the upcoming All Systems Go! Symposium in the Netherlands next March.


With warm wishes from Delia and the rest of the team - Nic, Melissa, Will, Julia, Georges, Goufrane, and Harold.


Project news

Supporting financing strategies for WASH


What ministries of finance expect from the WASH sector? In June, Aguaconsult supported the Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative (CABRI) by designing and facilitating a workshop on funding strategies to improve WASH services with representatives from budget ministries and WASH line ministries from seven Francophone countries. The workshop was an eye-opener on (i) the need of the WASH sector to build a stronger case for WASH investments and (ii) present convincing investment plans for finance ministries. An account of the workshop can be accessed here. We also supported CABRI in preparing a WASH financing policy brief which was based on the learnings from events they have carried out as part of their “Value for Money in WASH” work stream.



How to stimulate discussion on finance mobilisation? As part of  the Agenda For Change (A4C) initiative, we are working with Water For People (W4P) on strengthening district capacity in Rwanda to achieve universal access to sustainable services. Aguaconsult was in Kigali last July supporting the development of a district investment plan to stimulate a discussion on revenue mobilisation with WAP, IRC and WaterAid. The investment plan is supported by tools, such as the CapManEx tool, that we have co-created with partners in Rwanda. If you want to learn  more, don’t miss Julia’s blog.


How to strength public finance for urban sanitation services through regulator entities?Currently, Aguaconsult is strengthening public finance for urban sanitation services in Mozambique by supporting the Mozambican regulator, Conselho de Regulação de Águas or CRA in regulating the urban sanitation sector. We are leading this effort in collaboration with the Economics Consulting Associates  and a group of independent consultants (Ana Rita Ramôa, Ian Ross and Tiago Matos Fernandes). To learn more on strengthening existing regulatory instruments, Key Performance Indicators and the financial model for financing urban sanitation keep update.


If you can´t measure WASH, you can´t improve it!


Can microfinance accelerate the achievement of SDG 6? What are the key elements of success for scaling up microfinance services water and sanitation through local financial institutions in a country? We sought to answer these questions and others relating to microfinance for water and sanitation services in an end-line impact evaluation report, commissioned by If you want to discuss issues about sanitation and microfinance, join us at SanCoP meeting this November in Oxford in the UK.


Can we track country-level outcomes? During the first half of 2018, we collaborated with IOD Parc in supporting the World Bank’s Water Global Practice setting-up baselines for tracking country-level results in nine countries. With the setting-up of the Global Water Security and Sanitation Partnership (GWSP) - focussing on strengthening country systems around five main priority themes (institutions, sustainability, financing, inclusion and resilience) - the WGP is tracking how its projects are shifting the needle at country level in line with the ambitious SDG 6 targets. Aguaconsult supported the preparation of baseline assessments in Benin, Egypt, Haiti and Vietnam.


How GLAAS is useful to countries? Aguaconsult is currently supporting WHO to implement the Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-water (GLAAS) in 15 African francophone countries. GLAAS aims to provide a reliable, easily accessible, comprehensive and global analysis of the investments and enabling environment to make informed decisions for sanitation, drinking-water and hygiene. To discover more about, please check Julia’s blog.

How Payment by Results can be improved? Aguaconsult is teaming up with colleagues in ECORYS and IWEL to undertake the independent verification of an innovative Payment by Results programme in Tanzania. This DFID-funded initiative aims to incentivize national and local government monitoring and support systems to enhance sustainability in the rural water supply sector. We are supporting  communications and lesson learning activities by strengthening the quality and effectiveness of reporting and verification processes in Tanzania.

What can be learnt about institutional frameworks for urban sanitation from decentralised countries such as Kenya? Aguaconsult recently carried out policy research with the Overseas Development Institute  and the International Development Institute Africa precisely to answer this question. To learn more about analysing the transitional nature of institutional frameworks for providing urban sanitation in Kenya and what lessons this may have for experiences more broadly, don´t miss the two policy briefs.


 Technical assistance


How can innovative services grow and drive change in urban sanitation markets? In addition to the pro-bono support we provide to SOIL in Haiti, Aguaconsult and a team of consultants (Andy Narracott, Milton Lore and Lars Schoebitz) have been working with Grand Challenges Canada to support sanitation service enterprises in Kenya (Sanivation), Ghana (Clean Team), Bangladesh (Eau et Vie) and Peru (X-Runner) in making tough strategic and operational decisions to help grow and sustain their businesses. We do so not because these specific enterprises will reach all 4.5 billion people without safely managed sanitation by 2030. We do so because by ‘getting down in the trenches’ with service providers, we are able to support the development of pioneering service models, financing arrangements, policies, regulation and public-private partnerships in a service-based urban sanitation market.


How can we meet SDGs N.6 targets without compromising water resources? Our Integrated Water Resource Management portfolio is growing. In September, Aguaconsult carried out a rapid risk assessment of water resources in Amhara region in Ethiopia for IRC, under the Millennium Water Alliance programme which aims to achieve full WASH coverage in three woredas (equivalent to a district). Delia's blog talks about the importance of water resources sustainability while meeting the SDGs.


What is the most appropriate management model for piped water supply schemes? As we move toward meeting the SDG targets for rural water supply, piped supply networks will play an increasingly important role in both increasing coverage and levels of service. But more complex schemes also need to be well-managed and although it will remain an important option, community management has not always yielded the anticipated results. Aguaconsult has led research for WaterAid to develop a resource designed to help in the selection of the most appropriate management models for piped water supply systems in a given rural or small-town contexts. You can download and look through the resource guide here.


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