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WASH Governance training course

IRC has developed a training programme to support professionals involved in capacity strengthening of local governments that implement water, sanitation and hygiene services at district level. It comprises of a series of modules with practical content and selected tools

What is good WASH governance?

Good governance is about improving people's livelihoods, alleviating poverty and increasing the chances of sustainable development. One of the biggest challenges in the water and sanitation sector in developing countries is the significant gap between policymaking and implementation. There is no blueprint for good governance but there are certain elements that need to be addressed towards improving governance. This training programme is about improving WASH governance with a focus on water and sanitation sector policy, institutions and systems that are better able to respond to sector challenges and ensure good governance and sustainable services.

Water governance is much more than government and its policies and programmes. It is about the exercise of power in policy-making and whether or not to implement particular policies. Which actors were involved in influencing the policy in question? Was the policy developed in a participatory and transparent fashion? Can revenues and public and bureaucratic support be raised to implement the policy? These are just some of the important questions involved, but they indicate that governance is about the process of decision-making, its content and the likelihood of policies and decisions to be implemented. To be able to understand why water is allocated in different ways, it is necessary to look into the dynamics of policy and decision making, informal and formal legislation, collective action, negotiation and consensus-building and how these interact with other institutions.

Purpose of the training programme

The WASH Governance Training Programme has been developed to provide a resource to strengthen governance and sustainability in the WASH sector. The approach is based on the recognition that 'concepts' are not sufficient to translate theories into practice and therefore the programme includes tools and methodologies to promote good governance and sustainable services.

The purpose of the WASH governance training programme is to equip water and sanitation sector practitioners (trainers, capacity builders, NGOs, facilitators) in developing training programmes on water and sanitation governance and how to advocate good governance and best practices in practice. It is also to develop WASH institutional capacity through increased knowledge, understanding and action in terms of strengthening and improving WASH policy, planning, financing, institutional arrangements, and regulation with a focus on the local level.

Objectives of the training programme

  • To provide an overall grounding in the area of WASH governance, what it means, the different components of WASH governance and its relevance to poverty reduction and sustainable services;
  • To provide tools and methodologies to promote good WASH governance within different contexts.

Content areas of WASH governance training

The programme comprises a set of modules and relevant WASH governance content which will enable capacity builders, facilitators and trainers to meaningfully support the WASH sector in African countries. The emphasis is on supporting local government to fulfil its WASH governance role particularly in terms of:

  • Understanding the WASH sector
  • Contextualising WASH challenges within a locality (district / municipal area)
  • Understanding what is meant by WASH governance
  • WASH Policy
  • Institutional arrangements
  • Financing
  • Infrastructure
  • Planning
  • Monitoring and regulation

Methodology of the WASH Governance Training

The manual consists of two parts:

Ten training modules each comprising supporting power point presentations and handouts related to WASH governance.
A Facilitator's Guide that gives practical information on the learning objectives and the methodologies used in the modules and how they can be implemented.
The programme format allows WASH trainers, facilitators and capacity builders to design their own training programme appropriate to their:

  • Target audience
  • Country context
  • Sector challenges, and
  • Specific content areas required

Each module comprises the following:

  • Purpose of the module
  • Learning objectives
  • Programme outline
  • Presentation
  • Participants' handouts
  • Targeting

Depending upon the needs and requirements of the target participants and their specific context, the modules can be put together to develop a tailor made programme. The methodology includes action research and examination of examples that are relevant to the participants' own context. 

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