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5 Stories of Change / 5 Historias de Cambio / 5 Histoires de Changement WASH Agenda for Change

Achieving national level systems change is usually the result of years of collaborative engagement and advocacy by like-minded people and organizations, using a variety of tactics and soft skills and putting in time and effort to bring it about. This paper documents five stories of change from Cambodia, Ethiopia, Honduras, Malawi, and Uganda based on interviews with a change maker from each country. Each story provides a personal account of what happened, challenges encountered along the way, and the tactics, soft skills and resourcing that helped to achieve it.

Lograr el cambio de los sistemas a nivel nacional suele ser el resultado de años de compromiso y defensa colaborativos por parte de personas y organizaciones con ideas afines, que utilizan diversas tácticas y habilidades blandas y dedican tiempo y esfuerzo para conseguirlo. Este documento documenta cinco historias de cambio de Camboya, Etiopía, Honduras, Malawi y Uganda basadas en entrevistas con un agente de cambio de cada país. Cada historia ofrece un relato personal de lo sucedido, los retos encontrados en el camino y las tácticas, las aptitudes interpersonales y los recursos que ayudaron a lograrlo.

Le changement des systèmes au niveau national est généralement le résultat d'années d'engagement collaboratif et de plaidoyer de la part de personnes et d'organisations partageant les mêmes idées, utilisant une variété de tactiques et de compétences non techniques et consacrant du temps et des efforts pour y parvenir. Ce document présente cinq histoires de changement au Cambodge, en Éthiopie, au Honduras, au Malawi et en Ouganda, sur la base d'entretiens avec un artisan du changement de chaque pays. Chaque histoire fournit un compte-rendu personnel de ce qui s'est passé, des défis rencontrés en cours de route, et des tactiques, des compétences non techniques et des ressources qui ont permis d'y parvenir.


My book, I Tried to Save the World and Failed, reflects on a time and effort to find rural water solutions in Mexico, Malawi and Cambodia that could be used everywhere. 

The book closes with a set of lessons aimed at sustainability.  The lessons are not meant to be the final word.  It is hoped they will provoke discussion on how to go about achieving project sustainability.

Permission granted by author to distribute

Guidelines for community-driven water resource management

As initiated by the Integrated Water Resource Management Demonstration Projects in Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland and Zambia

SADC/Danida Regional Water Sector Programme. 2009. Guidelines for Community-driven Water Resource Management. Pretoria: Southern African Development Community/Danish
International Development Agency, in collaboration with the International Water Management Institute.

Stop the rot: handpump functionality, corrosion, component quality and supply chains Action research in sub-Saharan Africa

The 'Stop the Rot' initiative documents the scale and extent of rapid handpump corrosion and the use of poor-quality handpump components in sub-Saharan Africa and tries to bring about actions to address these problems. These two interlinked issues contribute to poor handpump performance, rapid handpump failure and poor water quality, all of which can ultimately lead to abandonment of the handpump sources, thus forcing users to return to contaminated or distant water supplies.

The first report estimates the reliance on handpumps in sub-Saharan Africa, reviews the literature on handpump functionality and performance, and synthesises information on handpump technical quality from various studies and assessments.

The second report examines handpump corrosion in detail, with an overview of what is known and what has been done to address the issue in specific SSA countries and by select organisations.

The third report reflects on the existing guidance on handpump quality assurance, collates examples of poor-quality components, and examines handpump supply chains through a case study of Zambia.

Global prospects to deliver safe drinking water services for 100 million rural people by 2030 REACH working paper 12

The climate crisis and global pandemic have accelerated the urgency of providing safe
drinking water services around the world. Global progress to safe drinking water is
off-track with uncertain and limited data on the extent and performance of rural water
service providers to inform policy and investment decisions. This report documents
a global diagnostic survey to evaluate the status and prospects of rural water service
providers from 68 countries. The service providers describe providing drinking water
services to a population of around 15 million people through over 3 million waterpoints.

The data provides information on the scale and sustainability of rural water services to
• The extent and type of professional water service provision in rural areas globally;
• Self-reported metrics of operational and financial performance; and,
• The size and scope of current rural service providers that could transition to resultsbased

Five major findings emerge. First, most service providers aim to repair broken
infrastructure in three days or less. Second, almost all service providers reported at least
one type of water safety activity. Third, most service providers collect payments for water
services. Fourth, about one third of service providers reported major negative shocks to
their operations from the COVID-19 pandemic. Fifth, non-governmental service providers
in low income countries less often report receiving subsidies for operations, and more
often report paying part of user fees to government, including through taxes.
Most rural water service providers are working towards provision of affordable, safe and
reliable drinking water services. Key barriers to progress include sustainable funding
and delivery of services at scale. We propose four conditions to promote scale and
sustainability based on policy alignment, public finance, professional service delivery,
and verifiable data. To illustrate these conditions, we consider the differing context and
service delivery approaches in the Central African Republic and Bangladesh. We conclude
by identifying a group of 77 service providers delivering water services for about 5 million
people in 28 countries. These 77 service providers report operational metrics consistent
with a results-based contracting approach. Technical assistance might support many
more to progress. We argue that government support and investment is needed to
rapidly progress to the scale of 100 million people to provide evidence of pathways to
universal drinking water services for billions more.

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