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WASH service delivery monitoring is a broad topic, often understood in different ways by different people involved in it, depending on their purpose, the methods and approaches they follow or the institutional level at which they operate.

The background paper for the Monitoring Sustainable WASH Service Delivery Symposium seeks to provide a common background for symposium participants. WASH service delivery monitoring is a broad topic, often understood in different ways by different people involved in it, depending on their purpose, the methods and approaches they follow or the institutional level at which they operate. It therefore tries to introduce key concepts and definitions around the most common forms of monitoring WASH service delivery, thereby focusing on those aspects of monitoring that relate to the vision outlined above. It does not seek to provide an exhaustive framework that captures all possible forms of monitoring. It also purposely focuses on the conceptual: we expect the specific examples and experiences to be captured in the key note documents and papers presented. This background paper should serve as a frame for placing and analysing those examples and experiences.

The paper starts by providing the scope and topics of the symposium. This is followed by a review of definitions and key concepts related to monitoring of WASH services, thereby focusing on the why, what, who, how and what it costs questions related to the vision. The paper ends by highlighting a number of points for discussion, which we feel are the key opportunities and challenges in reaching the vision, and may help structure the discussion.

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