Published on: 17/09/2012
Yesterday I read an excellent report on how the water sector in Uganda has managed to build a truly national monitoring system. The report is written by the Rural Water Supply Network
It naturally focuses on the rural sector as it looks back at the detailed steps in the development of a framework which has allowed the sector in Uganda to be able to learn about its own performance and take steps to improve how it functions. It really ‘tells the story’ of what it takes to build such a monitoring system and gives insight into one of the most comprehensive monitoring systems that I know of in sub-Saharan Africa.
This report is important because it sheds light on the path away from the chronic lack of data plaguing so many sectors when it comes to the provision of rural water services – in many countries, even the most basic data is either lacking or fragmented meaning that good decision making about what and where the problems are and how to allocate resources to solve them is almost impossible. Reliable data and comprehensive monitoring, is one of the most important building blocks that we know of for ensuring that we deliver permanent water services, rather than simply building one-off civil works.
It is also a very timely resource for other countries to learn from as the whole debate about monitoring hots up around the JMP post-2015 process for water. The report contains a lot of detail on the monitoring system itself and how it works, but most of all I think it is important for development partners – bi-lateral donors, NGOs and the lending banks and philanthropic foundations – because of the broader lessons it highlights:
For other countries that are in the process of establishing or improving such a national system – Malawi being a case in point - this report is essential reading and a great resource.
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