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Capacity development

Published on: 05/03/2013

Developing the capacities of the staff (governmental and non-government) as well as the private sector is important part of governance. The full range of capacities needs to cover the full cycle of sanitation services.

Developing the capacities of the staff (governmental and non-government) as well as the private sector is important part of governance. The full range of capacities needs to cover the full cycle of sanitation services.

IRC and partners have been mainly involved with documenting, analysing and sharing information on approaches and with the further development of capacities of government staff.

Many recent papers emphasize the change in government roles. Both government and the private sector must move down the ladder and recognize and improve the existing sanitation practices of the poor. A case study from Peru demonstrates that government and private sector can indeed build poor-inclusive sanitation markets through practical partnerships.

Partnerships between government, the private sector (large but especially small/local), communities and NGOs, play increasingly important roles. An IRC TOP (Thematic Overview Paper) goes into a number of questions and reports on cases. What different kinds of partnerships there are? How do they work? How can we build partnerships for sustainable development and how can we assess them?  The sector should, however, be cautious in extrapolating water partnership models to sanitation. Together, small-scale independent providers (SSIPs) and households provide sometimes up to 95 % of the sanitation solutions in cities in developing countries. However, on-site sanitation is highly segmented across toilet construction, human waste collection and waste disposal, each supported by different micro service providers, and linking the three segments through strong working partnerships is very difficult. Partnerships are not a substitute for action by government, nor absolve government of responsibility for investing in service provision, but they hold the potential to harness fresh approaches. 

Several papers present or compare different approaches. The first paper compares the great stink in London in the UK from the massive increase in privately installed water closets with the situation of today with 40% of the world population without even basic sanitation. A new combination of public action and investments along with sanitation marketing and a low-cost sanitation economy can bring a new sanitation revolution today. The second paper compares two different approaches to urban sanitation in India: a large scale supply driven approach which was largely unsuccessful and a much more modest approach, but more effective model that had genuine participation of the women and men in the slums in planning and implementing the programme. The third paper presents the approaches and lessons five case studies on non-sewered sanitation in poor urban(-like) areas in Pakistan, India, Kenya and Yemen, based on earlier research by IRC.       

The SSH4A (Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All) Programme with SNV under the Civil Society Fund of AusAid also addressed capacity development of the local private sector.

Some country experiences

In Bangladesh IRC trained 20 senior and middle management staff of BRAC, the largest NGO strengthening the sanitation component of its programme in 248 sub-districts.

In Ethiopia, the RiPPLE project developed and implemented a Guided Distance Learning programme for district government staff on how to assist local communities to develop and implement their own rural water and sanitation service.

The ZimWASH project covered six districts in Zimbabwe and aimed to build capacity of civil society organisations and local governments for the integrated planning and provision of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services. The project provided WASH services to around 500,000 Zimbabweans in six districts.

LeaPPS (Learning for Policy and Practice in Sanitation & Hygiene) was a joint initiative of IRC and Uganda partners SNV and NETWAS Uganda to build local capacities for district-wide sanitation.

More country experiences were shared during the 2006 symposium on 'Sustainable water supply and sanitation: Strengthening capacity for local governance' organised by IRC.

Background information and materials referred to in the article:
  • Both government and the private sector must move down the ladder and recognize and improve the existing sanitation practices of the poor
  • A case study from Peru demonstrates that government and private sector can indeed build poor-inclusive sanitation markets through practical partnerships
  • An IRC TOP (Thematic Overview Paper) goes into a number of questions and reports on partnership cases
  • Together, small-scale independent providers (SSIPs) and households provide sometimes up to 95% of the sanitation solutions in cities in developing countries
  • Partnerships are not a substitute for action by government, nor absolve government of responsibility for investing in service provision, but they hold the potential to harness fresh approaches
  • The first paper compares the great stink in London in the UK from the massive increase in privately installed water closets with the situation of today
  • The second paper compares two different approaches to urban sanitation in India
  • The third paper presents the approaches and lessons five case studies on non-sewered sanitation in poor urban(-like) areas in Pakistan, India, Kenya and Yemen
  • The SSH4A (Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All) Programme with SNV under the Civil Society Fund of AusAid also addressed capacity development of the local private sector (download below).
  • In Ethiopia, the RiPPLE project developed and implemented a Guided Distance Learning programme for district government staff (download below).
  • The ZimWASH project covered six districts in Zimbabwe and aimed to build capacity of civil society organisations and local governments.
  • LeaPPS (Learning for Policy and Practice in Sanitation & Hygiene) was a joint initiative of IRC and Uganda partners SNV and NETWAS Uganda to build local capacities for district-wide sanitation (download below).
  • More country experiences were shared during the 2006 symposium on 'Sustainable water supply and sanitation: Strengthening capacity for local governance' organised by IRC.

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