Functionality of Rural Water Supply Services (FRWSS)


This project is completed

The Functionality of Rural Water Supply Services (FRWSS) project was implemented in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Nepal.

Around the world, an estimated 780 million people still lack access to an improved water source. While many organisations are working to address this gap, too often, longer-term sustainability is forgotten in the drive to provide access - meaning more than 30% of people registered as beneficiaries of water services in fact lack access to safe, sustainable water sources.

SNV works to ensure equitable, ongoing access to safe water sources. Through capacity building, we support the professionalisation of the water sector – enabling local agencies and user groups to maintain service levels, manage water assets and ensure quality standards. 

Our Functionality of Rural Water Supply Services (FRWSS) programmes focus on:

  •     National sector development, learning and harmonisation
  •     Local WASH governance
  •     Post-construction support
  •     Improved performance of implementers and operators

What's new?

Project in countries

SNV Cambodia will provide the support for the design of a pilot of decentralizing the Operation and Maintenance (O&M) function in rural water supply (RWS) to seven districts; four in the Kampot province and 3 in the Tboung Khmum province. This pilot transfer is part of the Royal Government of Cambodia’s National Program on Sub-National Democratic Development (NP-SNDD) that currently focuses on transferring service delivery functions from sector ministries to the district councils, a new level of sub-national administration which was established in 2008. The pilot transfer is expected to last for two years (FY 2015 and FY2016).

SNV Cambodia will be engaged in designing and delivering interrelated capacity development interventions aiming at (i) enabling the districts to take up the new function and (ii) at facilitating learning and knowledge sharing processes among the pilot districts, and between pilot districts and the provincial and national level.

The expected outcomes include:

  • Immediate, short-term capacity development needs of the pilot districts are met allowing them to take up the transferred responsibility for O&M in RWS;
  • A system of learning and knowledge sharing generates lessons learnt and policy inputs for the further improvement of the decentralized service arrangements in RWS, and
  • Basis is established for a durable and sustainable Capacity Development (CD) delivery system in the RWS sector that can provide much more extensive CD services once the decentralized O&M arrangement in RWS is being rolled-out nation-wide.

SNV's Functionality of Rural Water Supply Services (FRWS) programme in the Kampot province in Cambodia is working to address these issues by developing and connecting the capacities of government, water supply operators, and private/public implementers. We strive towards better management of water supply issues; informing decision-making and planning; and improving post-construction support mechanisms. 

Capacity Development for Decentralization of Rural Water Supply Operations and Maintenance

Although the FRWS programme ended in November 2015, SNV Cambodia was awarded a technical assistance project "Capacity Development for Decentralization of Rural Water Supply Operations and Maintenance", funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). This project kicked off on 8 February 2016.

As part of this new project, SNV Cambodia will provide the support for the design of a pilot of decentralizing the Operation and Maintenance (O&M) function in rural water supply (RWS) to seven districts; four in the Kampot province and 3 in the Tboung Khmum province. This pilot transfer is part of the Royal Government of Cambodia’s National Program on Sub-National Democratic Development (NP-SNDD) that currently focuses on transferring service delivery functions from sector ministries to the district councils, a new level of sub-national administration which was established in 2008. The pilot transfer is expected to last for two years (FY 2015 and FY2016).

SNV Cambodia will be engaged in designing and delivering interrelated capacity development interventions aiming at (i) enabling the districts to take up the new function and (ii) at facilitating learning and knowledge sharing processes among the pilot districts, and between pilot districts and the provincial and national level.

The expected outcomes include:

Immediate, short-term capacity development needs of the pilot districts are met allowing them to take up the transferred responsibility for O&M in RWS;

A system of learning and knowledge sharing generates lessons learnt and policy inputs for the further improvement of the decentralized service arrangements in RWS, and

Basis is established for a durable and sustainable Capacity Development (CD) delivery system in the RWS sector that can provide much more extensive CD services once the decentralized O&M arrangement in RWS is being rolled-out nation-wide.

In Lao PDR, as a result of systems breaking down, public resources are used to rehabilitate or re-construct water systems in the same locality instead of expanding services to new/remote areas. Therefore, improved functionality is the key to reach the poorest and most excluded groups in society. There is no value in rehabilitating a few non-functional schemes or professionalising a few isolated water users’ committees. The essence of the multi-country Functionality of Rural Water Supply Services (FRWS) programme is to support professionalisation of sector stakeholders in fulfilling their roles, through capacity development and benchmarking, and also to start building improved accountability mechanisms. 

he programme design has five components: national multi-stakeholder learning and harmonisation; WASH governance, planning, monitoring and targetting; institutional support mechanisms; benchmarking of implementers; strengthen and benchmark operators. There are five specific objectives to each component:

  1. National learning and harmonisation: Supporting national multi-stakeholder learning, sector development and harmonisation for improved functionality.
  2. WASH governance: Improving provincial or district multi-stakeholder sector planning, monitoring and targeting of investments in rural water supply for evidence based, rational and transparent investment of resources.
  3. Post-construction support: Setting-up, validating and strengthening institutional support mechanisms at district level to increase access of operators to post-construction support.
  4. Performance of implementers: Strengthen performance and benchmarking of constructors to improve quality and transparency of construction services.
  5. Performance of operators: Strengthen performance and benchmarking of service delivery by operators to improve services to water users.

The knowledge results are exchanged with other programmes in the region. The overall goal of the FRWS programme is improved health and quality of life of men and women by increasing the number of people that are using drinking water services at a basic service level.

The predominant water supply technology in the hill and mountain regions of Nepal is gravity fed water systems and 87 percent of the rural population are estimated to have access to improved water supplies. However, according to government figures 43 percent of these community managed schemes do not meet the national basic service level standards.

 

SNV encourages stakeholders to meet, discuss and resolve common WASH problems. Our advocacy activities aligns DWASHCC and VWASHCC (the respective District and Village Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Coordination Committees) goals with national objectives to reduce the risk of political or parochial interests undermining efforts to improve rural WASH conditions.

We advocate for shared prioritisation of functionality amongst local agencies as key to improved health and quality of life of local residents. This enables resources to be pooled and shared to undertake activities beyond the capacity of any individual agency – for example WASH mapping of districts and remote VDCs.

Participatory collection of up–to–date water supply functionality data has highlighted current tendencies for rebuilding defunct schemes rather than supporting communities to maintain the service levels of existing schemes, and thus the poor return on financial investment. SNV’s functionality team has been supporting districts to discuss and develop decision-making protocols based on this information and rationalising these systems for a harmonised regional approach for consistent and transparent scheme prioritisation and resource allocation.

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