Decentralised WASH service delivery built on the foundations of a coherent policy framework

Guy pointing on screen

On this year’s World Water Day, we put a spotlight on the Government of Mozambique’s partnership with SNV and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) of the Government of the United Kingdom in transforming WASH services access and coverage, against the backdrop of decentralisation.

As part of its commitment to equitable development and the Global Goals, FCDO is supporting the transition from centralised to decentralised WASH services delivery by, among others, combining disbursement-linked indicators with a capacity building programme. Part of this support is FCDO’s funding of SNV’s Capacity Enhancement for Decentralised Services in the WASH sector (CEDeS): a five-year programme that began in December 2015. The programme is being implemented in the provinces of Nampula and Zambezia in Mozambique.

With 200 communities now declared open defecation free at the start of 2018, joint efforts are boosting the capacity of districts to improve their sanitation and hygiene practices.

Within the partnership, SNV in Mozambique assists government roll out of PRONASAR – the government’s National Rural Water and Sanitation Programme – to government agencies at national, provincial, and district levels. SNV’s capacity strengthening strategy in the country is informed by IRC’s WASH systems approach and building blocks.

Drilling a community borehole

Drilling a community borehole

On institutional arrangements: through the decentralisation of WASH services delivery implementation, by strengthening sub-national capacity to contract, supervise and review service quality and infrastructure construction.

On monitoring: by enabling decentralised capacity to collect, monitor, and analyse WASH data using the WASH national information system (SINAS) that provides realistic information to improve planning, monitoring, and reporting processes.

On planning: by providing tools and the know-how to launch regular multi-sector planning processes, involving representatives from public works, education and health.

On procurement and finance: by improving government capacity to lead transparent tender processes, and provide the evidence for why it’s necessary to increase percentage of funds allocated at district and provincial levels.

On service delivery infrastructure: by strengthening and supporting the development of national strategies and guidelines for sanitation and hygiene to promote sustainability, and strengthening implementation in sanitation and hygiene through government-led review processes.

Checking the quality of water supplied by service providers

Checking the quality of water supplied by service providers

Building a community water supply tower

Building a community water supply tower

With a team of eight advisers working full time, and several consultants to provide day-to-day support, SNV supports the government at national, provincial, and district levels. Together, they provide WASH finance, procurement, contract management, monitoring and evaluation expertise, as well as policy support (at national level). Capacity building activities mainly take the form of on-the-job coaching, training events, joint field visits, and peer-to-peer exchange and learning. SNV has also commissioned a number of studies, and contracted specialists to inform key agendas for change – e.g., gender, contract management, or analysis of sustainability factors in water services – providing the evidence needed for systems change.

Led by government, and in partnership with various sector partners, SNV supported in the:

  • creation (and mentorship) of multi-sectoral WASH coordination groups at district and provincial levels.

  • development and roll out of an output-based funding mechanism that incentivises districts’ performance to deliver WASH services.

  • decentralised procurement and contract management in 12 districts… and counting.

  • procurement process of 26 water supply systems, benefitting 200,000 people… and counting.

  • development of national standards and criteria for Open Defecation Free (ODF) declaration, by communities.

  • development and improvement of SINAS data collection.

Written by: David Afonso (Project Manager) and Alex Grumbley (WASH Sector Leader), SNV in Mozambique
Photos: All images by PRONASAR/SNV