Accountability for Sustainability

The “Accountability for Sustainability” programme was established primarily to improve the sustainability of water and sanitation services through the inclusion of WASH governance and accountability aspects in UNICEF and UNDP country level programming.

The collaboration has been successful in developing and providing knowledge, capacity and technical support to the UNICEF and UNDP Headquarter, regional offices and country offices.

The collaboration has two specific objectives:
• Generate and share knowledge on Enabling Environment, accountability and sustainability in WASH service delivery
• Support to improve Enabling Environment, sustainability and accountability within UNICEF supported programmes.

The partnership

The partnership between UNICEF and UNDP-SIWI Water Governance Facility aims to provide UNICEF and UNDP WASH staff with the accountability tools and guidance they need to achieve improved governance and thereby help shape programmes to deliver increased sustainability.

The “Accountability for Sustainability” collaboration has proven successful particularly in developing and providing knowledge, capacity and technical support to the UNICEF Headquarter, regional offices and country offices within the Accountability and Sustainability topics. It also aims to raise awareness of how important it is to invest in sustainability from the outset of programming. This partnership between UNICEF and the UNDP-SIWI Water Governance Facility aims to give staff the accountability tools and guidance they need to improve governance and deliver increased sustainability.

• In 2014, UNICEF and the UNDP-SIWI Water Governance Facility partnered to implement a program – “Accountability for Sustainability” – to increase the sustainability of UNICEF-supported WASH interventions through enhancing accountability and Enabling Environment in the service delivery framework.
• In 2018, UNICEF signed up to a new phase of this partnership including global outreach.
• In 2018, UNICEF signed up to a partnership agreement with the MENA region.
• In 2019, UNICEF Latin America and Caribbean Regional Office and SIWI signed a new partnership agreement to continue enhancing accountability and enabling environment, in UNICEF WASH programmes in LAC. More integrated and structured technical assistance by SIWI will systematically improve the sustainability of the water and sanitation services delivered by the sector to those who need it the most.

Accountability for Sustainability

The collaboration aims to support UNICEF WASH practitioners and partners in programming for Enabling Environment, accountability and improved sustainability. This includes guidance and technical briefs, as well as sharing of evidence and lessons learned from implemented activities.

Enabling Environment

Enabling Environment of the water sector is a set of interrelated sector functions that enable governments, public and private partners to engage in sustained and effective WASH services. Using sustainability principles and practices from the very outset of programme development can reduce failure and provide lasting and reliable WASH services. Stakeholders need to address sustainability and efficiency of services as more than a technical challenge. Further information please visit the Enabling Environment page on WGF website.

Accountability

Ensuring the sustainability of investments in the WASH sector remains a major challenge in many parts of the world. An unacceptable number of WASH projects still fail within a few years of completion, putting access to safe and sustainable drinking water and sanitation at risk. The solution is not installing new infrastructure, but building systems that can deliver long-term, reliable services. Governments, service providers, civil society and communities must all play their role and cooperate to better protect the right to safe water and sanitation. Accountability is an effective entry point to work with water governance. It works on improving the quality of relationships between the different stakeholders in service delivery arrangements. For further information visit the Accountability page on WGF website.

Sustainability

Ensuring lasting impacts of WASH programme investments is a strategic, ambitious and complex task. Investing more in service delivery is not enough; we must consider how these services are delivered. The importance of sustainable, safely managed water and sanitation is embedded in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) six. Success means changing the mind-set of stakeholders – including development partners and donors. We need to move beyond measuring the functionality of infrastructure investments, to embedding sustainability into programming from the design phase through to follow-up. Urbanization, mitigating climate change impacts, and rising populations, need to be taken into account, as well as political, social and financial aspects. For further information visit the Sustainability page on WGF website.

How is SIWI supporting UNICEF?

The overall thematic scope of the programme is linked to Enabling Environment, accountability and sustainability and includes support for:

• Improving Accountability and Anti-corruption activities in programming, and the link with Enabling Environment and Human Rights.
• Generating evidence and technical support for implementing Sustainability Checks and the Sustainability Framework.
• Conducting and documenting WASH BAT process (water, sanitation and hygiene bottleneck analysis)
• Rolling out the Enabling Environment training package in different regions.
• Programming activities in Enabling Environment aspects such as Accountability & Regulation, policies and strategies, coordination, budget and financing.
• Providing desk support to UNICEF Country Offices and Headquarters to develop and review relevant tools and processes.
• Technical Assistance to countries about governance issues.
• Developing guidance and technical briefs.
• Regional and national trainings/workshops and global learning webinars.
• Development of knowledge/evidence papers.

For further information
Please visit the Enabling Environment page on UNDP-SIWI Water Governance Facility website.

Our resources

SIWI generated evidence and guidance
based on team expertis.

Alejandro Jiménez, PhD
Director, Water and Sanitation

Antoine Delepiere
Senior Programme Manager,
Water and Sanitation

Pilar Avello
Programme Manager, Water and Sanitation

Virginia Mariezcurrena
Programme Manager, Water and Sanitation

Ricard Giné
Programme Manager, Water and Sanitation

Robin Ward
Programme Manager, Water and Sanitation

Panchali Saikia
Programme Officer, Water and Sanitation

Henning Göransson Sandberg
Programme Officer, Water and Sanitation

Isabel Alvarez Murillo
Programme Officer, Water and Sanitation

Ivan Draganic
Consultant, Water and Sanitation

José Gesti
Consultant, Water and Sanitation

 

 

 

Expertise of the team

• WASH and water governance
• Enabling environment
• Accountability and Regulation in WASH
• The human rights to water and sanitation
• Water economics and financing
• Water Integrity
• Public-private-civil society partnerships
• Urban poverty
• Financing models
• Fragile and post-conflict countries
• Nexus Development and emergency
• Climate change and water resources management
• Policy research
• Education, awareness raising and capacity building
• Knowledge management

Languages

Dutch, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish

Regional expertise

Africa, Eastern Mediterranean, Middle East, Europe, South-East Asia, The Americas

Latest news

System Strengthening for Sustainable WASH

The aim of the partnership is to increase the sustainability of water and sanitation services, through the inclusion of WASH governance and accountability aspects in UNICEF country-level programming.

CHALLENGES

• SDG six sets the bar high for the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sector. Working towards universal access for all requires systematic and rigorous work to strengthen systems to make sure services and systems we put in place are sustainable.
•Recent research shows that technical aspects are often not the problem, but rather the lack of good governance of public-service delivery.
•System building and strengthening are vital to achieve sustainability of services that benefit children, enabling them to survive and thrive and to live in a safe and clean environment.

opportunity

The joint program and multi-level engagement build a solid basis for expansion. Through its technical support, vast knowledge and range of training products. SIWI has shown itself to be a valuable partner to support UNICEF country and district-level WASH operations. The partnership between UNICEF and UNDP-SIWI Water Governance Facility should continue to enhance accountability and enabling environment, systematically within UNICEF WASH programming.

For further information or questions regarding Global please contact Ricard Giné.

Adapted WASH Enabling Environment Framework. Source: Jiménez et al, 2016

Middle East and North Africa

The partnership aims to enhance accountability and strengthen the WASH enabling environment at country level in the MENA region (supporting WASH BAT, accountability mapping, regulations, service delivery arrangements…) as well as boosting cooperation between Water Resources Management (WRM) and WASH actors to tackle water scarcity.

The Middle East and North Africa is the most water-scarce region in the world. Over 60% of the population lives in areas with high surface water stress, compared with the global average of 35%. Many countries in the region are eroding their water resource base. Accelerating economic and population growth, coupled with poor governance result in unsustainable volumes of water being withdrawn.

Despite water scarcity, the region’s water service fees are very low, and its effective water subsidies are the highest in the world. Governments’ failure to deliver basic water services and to mitigate the impact of water-related hazards and risks for ensuring water security increases vulnerability, erodes legitimacy and compounds social and political fragility. Sustainable pathways toward water security should anticipate and manage the inevitable increases in water scarcity and water-related risks—against a backdrop of climate change, urbanization, growing fiscal constraints, and conflict.

Addressing water scarcity for and building the resilience of WASH services amount to bridge WASH and WRM. In accordance, this partnership works to enhance accountability and strengthen the WASH enabling environment at country level (supporting WASH BAT, accountability mapping, regulations, service delivery arrangements…) with an additional focus on strengthening cooperation between Water Resources Management (WRM) and WASH actors in order to tackle water scarcity.

For further information or questions regarding MENA please contact Robin Ward.

 

Support

This partnership aims to provide UNICEF staff with the necessary understanding, knowledge, examples and tools, so they can secure and sustain WASH service delivery. To achieve this UNDP-SIWI Water Governance Facility provide the following support:

Evidence generation and guidance
• Literature review of the “WRM-Climate Change-Water Scarcity-WASH” nexus and sustainable access to services.
• Compilation of good practices and lessons-learned about links between WRM and service delivery in the context of water scarcity and water resilience building.
• Development of new tools or adaptation of existing tools to map/understand possible bottlenecks, causes and impacts of water scarcity in local contexts (supporting WASH BAT, accountability mapping, regulations, …).

Help Desk function
• Development and review of policies, strategies, studies, project proposals etc.
• Review or design and implementation of WASH governance, Enabling Environment and accountability plans.

Latin America and Caribbean

During World Water Week SIWI and the UNICEF Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean signed a partnership agreement to collaborate on system strengthening for sustainable WASH service delivery in 11 countries.

Why work in system strengthening?
WASH System Governance is key for Sustainability of Services. As many as 30-50% of WASH projects fail after two to five years. This lack of sustainability has devastating consequences and poses a major obstacle to universal access to services. Recent research shows that technical aspects are often not the problem, but rather the lack of good governance of public-service delivery systems.

the Regional and 11 Country Offices

Services delivered to the Regional Office and country offices are packaged in five areas.

Support to Countries Offices
Three levels of support exist for countries:

  • The basic support package includes a workshop focused on multi-stakeholder sectoral assessment; an action plan based on WASH BAT methodology; limited remote assistance for design, implementation and monitoring of the action plan; evaluation and adjustment in documenting lessons learnt.
  • The intermediate support package includes additional follow up missions providing medium term perspective.

  • The full support includes more follow up missions; additional time and resources for remote technical assistance in order to provide long term perspective. 

Knowledge products and case studies
Along with implementation, SIWI supports UNICEF to reflect on implementation and learning by supporting the adjustment of WASH BAT methodology to the regional context, or through specific researches or case studies.

Capacity Building and Learning
SIWI organizes a series of webinars and face-to-face trainings at UNICEF regional meetings, and a networking mechanism to share lessons learnt and peer learning across country office WASH advisors and practitioners in the region.

Dissemination of results and lessons learnt
Presentations of the case studies and research at several relevant conferences, an updated website and other dissemination material, such as Video Conferences.

A helpdesk function
SIWI will provide remote technical assistance to the Regional Office to develop and review Enabling Environment aspects. SIWI will also train three local think tanks or centers of excellence on WASH governance aspects.

For further information or questions regarding LACRO please contact Virginia Mariezcurrena.

Programme Contact