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Supporting the SIASAR monitoring system in Honduras

Published on: 13/11/2014

Honduras, just like other Central American countries has adopted SIASAR (the Rural Water and Sanitation Information System) to monitor water and sanitation services in rural areas. IRC supports the development and roll-out of SIASAR in different ways. 

The objective of SIASAR is to consolidate data on the status of water and sanitation services in rural areas in such a way that it allows for planning new investments as well as targeting post-construction support activities to rural service providers. Specifically, SIASAR contains information about:

  • The status of communities in terms of coverage with water and sanitation services at households, schools and clinics
  • The status of the water systems, in terms of the service levels these provide and the physical condition of the infrastructure
  • The performance of the service providers, in their activities of operation and maintenance and administration
  • The performance of the technical assistance providers who support the service providers

Based on the data of a large number of indicators, SIASAR provides a score on each of these four items, on a scale from A (best) to D (worst). Based on these scores, it is expected that the relevant authorities (typically the municipalities) can then define which post-construction activities need to be carried out to improve the score, or where to prioritize future investments. 

SIASAR is a monitoring system that should benefit all sector organisations, as there is open access to the data. But also all sector organisations are expected to contribute to it, adding data from the areas where they work. This implies that the roll-out of SIASAR requires an inter-institutional effort. This is coordinated by SANAA. But there is also a national committee in Honduras to promote the further development and roll-out of SIASAR in the country. IRC is member of this committee, as since 2012, we have been supporting SIASAR in different ways: 1) the development of the institutional framework around it; 2) documenting some of the first pilot applications, and 3) more recently the piloting of sanitation indicators.

Institutional framework for SIASAR in Honduras

Through a consultancy assignment to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), IRC supported the development of an institutional framework for the monitoring process, using SIASAR. The framework was developed through a series of meetings, workshops and consultations in an inter-institutional working group. The document, available in the links at the bottom of this page, contains a short conceptual framework and the principles for monitoring, using SIASAR. This is followed by the institutional framework itself, defining the responsibilities for monitoring, differentiating between the first "sweep", in which all communities are mapped and a baseline of service delivery established, and the recurrent monitoring to update the information. Concretely, the framework proposes that the sweep is done by hired technicians or government agencies, just to speed up that baseline. After that, the responsibility for monitoring for subsequent round would need to be transferred to municipalities and water committees. The latter need to monitor their own performance against the indicators established in SIASAR. All water committees in a municipality would meet, for example once per year, to jointly analyse the data obtained and identify corrective actions. 

Documentation of the pilot experience in the municipality of Florida, Copán

The second area in which IRC has provided support to SIASAR, was in one of the pilot applications in the municipality of Florida, Copán. Through this documentation, various bugs and errors in the information system and the underlying algorithms were identified. Besides, the documentation of that experience allowed obtained some first insights into the costs of applying SIASAR. These were around 0.24 US$/person during the sweep. Based on this also an estimate was made of the costs of future routine monitoring, indicating it would be around 0.23 US$/person. These values are a bit higher than those of similar monitoring efforts in other countries, but the scope of SIASAR is also bigger, putting more emphasis on analysis and of a more comprehensive set of indicators. 

Sanitation indicators

The current set of sanitation indicators is rather limited. It only assesses the coverage in terms of sanitation of a community and the general sanitary status of the community. Therefore, a pilot is underway to capture some more detailed information, on for example the physical status and age of sanitation infrastructure. IRC is supporting the documentation of this pilot as well.