Improved governance and targeting the poor and vulnerable. Both parameters are crucial for poverty reduction as according to the PRSP, without governance reforms, the enormous task of reviving growth and reducing poverty cannot be addressed. Rising poverty has in part been linked to failure of governance institutions in Pakistan. This project was launched in January 2011 and during its 3 years duration it will support CSO capacity building which will in turn lead to broader civil participation in governance and decision making, ensure equity in the distribution of resources and ultimately bridge the existing gap between citizens and the State. To achieve this, the project interventions will strengthen CSOs organizational effectiveness and those of other actors like LG and communities by investing in planning, capacity building, institutional development, change management and learning.
WASH, Participation of CSOs, Capacity of LGs, Advocacy
Improved governance and targeting the poor and vulnerable. Both parameters are crucial for poverty reduction as according to the PRSP, without governance reforms, the enormous task of reviving growth and reducing poverty cannot be addressed. Rising poverty has in part been linked to failure of governance institutions in Pakistan.
It must be recognized that for the poor across the world, ‘poverty reduction’ means water, food and livelihood security. The crisis in water and sanitation is, therefore, a crisis for the poor, who have diminishing entitlement and access to common resources on the one hand, and barely survival-level incomes. Citizen’s participation in governance systems has diminished to an extent that they often remain passive bystanders in a system that is supposed to serve their needs. Poor access to water and sanitation are often associated with poor health outcomes. At present, only 63% of the country’s population has access to safe drinking water (83% in urban areas and 53% in rural areas). Proper sanitation facilities are available to only 39 of the total population (59% in urban and 27% in rural areas). Poverty redressal is therefore only possible when economic, political and social dimensions of governance are addressed by forging partnerships between the government, the private sector and civil society. This will further result to improved accountability and transparency and efficient delivery of services. For this to happen, CSO must have the needed capacity to adequately engage with government for instance through monitoring budget allocation to the sector, contributing to the national MDG process, raising consciousness about rights and responsibilities and participatory development. This crucial role of CSO has over the years been neglected due mainly to lack of capacity and inadequate awareness.
This project was launched in January 2011 and during its 3 years duration it will support CSO capacity building which will in turn lead to broader civil participation in governance and decision making, ensure equity in the distribution of resources and ultimately bridge the existing gap between citizens and the State. To achieve this, the project interventions will strengthen CSOs organizational effectiveness and those of other actors like LG and communities by investing in planning, capacity building, institutional development, change management and learning.
The project was implemented in Mardan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pakistan which is targeting 30 communities of 2 TMAs (Tehsil Municipal Administration) in the district.
This project is a joined venture of WaterAid Pakistan and IRSP while the project is funded by European Union. The project focuses on capacity of TMAs, PHED, CSOs and communities with special focuses on women, children and excluded groups. WaterAid’s (WA) experience shows that these groups are highly vulnerable and marginalized but with unique water and sanitation needs. Women and children for instance bear the most burden of lack of water and sanitation. In addition to IRSP, in Mardan an estimated 14 other CSOs will be targeted for training and advocacy, these CSOs will be selected through pre-defined criteria. IRSP Mardan will be the implementing partner of project activities. IRSP is a national NGO based in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and will be responsible for coordinating capacity building efforts under the action for the 14 NGOs which will also be from within Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. This has potential for a multiplier effect. 2 TMAs in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Mardan and Takht Bhai) will be targeted. The target TMAs has an estimated population of 1.2 million and 0.5 million respectively. Of this population, 51% are women, 49% men, 15% children and 5% are children under the age of 5. In the 2 TMAs, average household number is put at 9. With the involvement of the LG, WaterAid will promote the replication and scaling up of the best practices in other parts of the TMA resulting in wider indirect beneficiaries. Other beneficiaries will include related departments, such as Public Health and Engineering Department (PHED), and health and education departments
The Project has completed it one year successfully and following are the main achievements:
Establishment of a CSOs Network: A network of 14 CSOs at district level has been established. All the CSOs have signed MOUs with IRSP and developed their five years organizational plans for striving efforts regarding improvement of WASH conditions in district Mardan. Two network CSOs have obtained independent projects on WASH. The CSOs role has been acknowledged by district government as they have been nominated as members of the District WASH Forum.
Formation of District WASH Forum: The establishment of District WASH Forum will provide opportunity to all stakeholders for regular discussions on WASH specific issues and solutions at the district level. Commissioner Mardan has notified the District WASH Forum comprising members from government departments, CSOs and communities.
Service Delivery: On the basis of social and technical assessment 10 new boreholes, rehabilitated of 2 dysfunctional water schemes, 40 demo latrines, 3 communal latrines and 10 school latrines have been constructed. CLTS has also been triggered in all 10 communities to stop the open defecation in the area.
Policy Advocacy: IRSP has performed active role as member of provincial Policy Working Group as well as the co-opted member in drafting the provincial drinking water and sanitation strategies. IRSP has also been selected to host FAN-SA secretariat in Pakistan, which will further help in promoting the CSOs role as a watch dog.
Change in government attitude: Government has recognised that involvement of key stakeholders in the WASH projects is most important for the success implementation of WASH. The local government has demonstrated this notifying the District WASH Forum and nominate EDO Finance as coordinator. TMAs and PHED staff are also participating in the joint monitoring of project interventions.
CSOs Alliance: Formation of CSOs Network has created platform at the district level for CSOs to synergies on their efforts on WASH issues. The project interventions have influenced CSOs positively as two CSOs has successfully started projects on WASH.
Involvement of Women and Communities: In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa mostly people are conservative in terms of participation of women in community solutions. The project has successfully involved females in various project interventions such as formation of WATSAN committees, women groups and hygiene promotion.
The issue of local governance and its political implications remained mired as there was no consensus on conducting elections at the provincial level and the LG system is being run through bureaucracy. The LG system is almost dysfunctional at district and TMAs levels. With all these realities, during the last eleven months project progress against the objectives remained on track and most of the targets were achieved. The district government has notified the District Wash Forum and nominated EDO Finance as focal point for coordination. 14 CSOs network is now functional which have developed their five years organisation development plans. Two CSOs have obtained independent funds and have started WASH specific projects. At the community level, about 11,019 users have got access to safe drinking water after construction of 10 new boreholes, rehabilitation of two dysfunctional schemes and disinfection of contaminated water sources. Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) has been triggered in all target communities to stop the open defecation practices. Construction of 40 demo latrines and 3 communal and 10 school latrines has been completed. To ensure the sustainability of the interventions 20 WATSAN and 10 Women committees have been formed in the targeted communities. 110 Hygiene volunteers have been trained, 10 school clubs have been established and various IEC materials have been developed to promote hygiene education in the targeted communities. Project newsletters have been published on quarterly basis. During the reported period three research studies were also completed. IRSP is also an active member of the committee which is drafting the provincial water and sanitation strategies.
WaterAid programme and financial teams have been visiting the project on monthly and quarterly basis. In July 2011 six month review meeting was held between IRSP and WaterAid. At community level WATSAN committees have been trained for regular monitoring the constructed WASH infrastructure. WATSAN committees’ members and women groups’ regularly report their activities. Six monthly meeting with 14 CSOs was also conducted. A steering committee comprised of TMA Mardan, TMA Takht Bhai and IRSP officials are also visiting the project areas to monitor the project activities.
This project is designed to improve the capacity of CSOs to engage with government leading to more involvement of citizens in wider development processes, to improve the capacity of local government (LG) to respond to citizen’s demand through a Right Based Approach (RBA) and deliver appropriate services, to increased access to appropriate water, environmental sanitation and hygiene promotion services in 30 communities in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa of Pakistan including refugee camps and to improve the institutional systems and processes for promoting equitable and inclusive governance in the Water and Sanitation sector. Keeping in mind the desired objectives this solution is for CSOs working on Water & Sanitation lobbying and advocacy, Government agencies looking for to improve their capacity for better services delivery and communities to ensure sustainability of the water & sanitation projects at community level for improved access to all stakeholders.
This solution can work better if you closely work with CSOs working on water & sanitation, assess their capacity needs and make a comprehensive plan for their capacity building. Late on capacity building you can join them as network for lobbying and advocacy for different governance and policy issues of water and sanitation. Another aspect of the solution is to work closely with the government agencies responsible for water and sanitation services. If you find their capacity need and extend your cooperation in their capacity building and designing project together then it is very easy to win their confidence. The community part of the solution can never be neglected and involving them in project design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation is must. Their capacity building on the subject can pave a way to achieve the success.
Alliance building with CSOs is the main lesson learnt of the project. By working with CSOs for Water and Sanitation as a network has great impact on the project. Their capacities were built on Integrated Water Resource Management, Hygiene Promotion, Water Sources Protection, Disinfection and other aspect of Designing and implementation of the Water & Sanitation related project and by doing so 2 of the 15 CSOs have got projects on Health and Hygiene from different donors.
District WASH forum was established by the district government which has provided a platform at district level for all relevant stakeholders including Service Providers, beneficiaries and other funding agencies of the water & sanitation sector. The WASH Forum is providing an opportunity to all stakeholders to focus on the deprived areas of the district related water and sanitation and avoid duplication.
The formation of Water & Sanitation Management Committees and their capacity building on project planning, monitoring & evaluation, hygiene promotion, water resource management and operation and maintenance of the WATSAN schemes is another lesson learnt of the project. The community bases committees are playing important role in the sustainability of the project and disseminating hygiene promotion messages in the community.
The young journalist fellowship program is another lesson learnt of the project which can be replicated in other projects. The young journalists are trained on WASH related issues and they are continuously highlighting the key issues of the Water and Sanitation in different newspapers to influences the policies and service providers
The 15 CSOs network formed under this project has now been organized as Consortium and submitted proposal to an USAID project for Water Rights and Water Resource Management.
Director, Technical & Developmental
Integrated Regional Support Program
I-21, street No.1 Sheikh Maltoon Town Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pakistan
Phone: 0333-985298, 0300-57052798