Understanding What Institutional Change Needs to Happen to Reach Scale: Day 2: Wednesday June 27, 2012

‘What institutional changes and capacity building has taken place through the ACF program?  Why had these happened? And what was driving the changes?’

These were the questions that a case study from Maputo explored on Day Two of the ‘Urban Poor or Low Income Consumers’ ACF workshop.  The case-study highlighted the need to build relationships at all levels from the community to national policy levels – and the value of political visibility and show-casing the communal toilet models; the need to test out and revise processes , building capacity as required, these iterations taking time but being critical to success; the role of WSUP in brokering links between different types of organizations and community groups, negotiating  Municipal licenses and finding ways to address policy bottlenecks in the fecal sludge management area and ensuring that ongoing monitoring happens in a way that it is able to address problems as they arise and learn from them.

Group work also explored the barriers and necessary institutional changes from Uganda, Zambia, Bangladesh, Madagascar and Kenya and at how to influence others to continue the urban WASH reform process, including consumers, LSPS and utilities, municipalities, government and IFIs/the banking system.

Key insights for the day included:

  • The importance of understanding what the drivers are for different stakeholders and responding to them:
    • In the short term to identify ways to kick-start the process, get quick wins, build interest, trust, (e.g. NRW for utilities, cheap finance for businesses, etc);
    • Longer term to identify the most effective strategies – based on stakeholders’ own specific interests – to effect the required institutional change to reach scale;
  • Need for implementers to understand and help overcome the barriers of different stakeholders, best done through an iterative approach as understanding of the context grows;
  • The importance of all stakeholders to have clear mandates and roles & responsibilities within the institutional set-up;
  • Identify explicit influencing strategies of key individuals and stakeholders to adopt and replicate the models at scale;
  • Include in the programming guidance, ways that can simulate how models can be expanded city-wide including quantifying the benefits derived from doing so;
  • The need to create ‘buy-in’ within utilities and therefore the value of the model of a pro-poor unit which can create internal advocacy.  The business case should be made to mainstream the pro-poor unit into the core business, whilst advocating government to adopt indicators for service provision to low income communities.

Guest post by Helen Pankhurst, Senior Advisor to the ACF Program

About Andy Narracott

Urban water and sanitation professional. Programme Coordinator for the USAID African Cities for the Future Programme.
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