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IRCs support to Ethiopia's One WASH National Programme recognised

Published on: 22/04/2016

Recognising the importance of the UK's support to Ethiopia - where DFIDs largest WASH programme is assisting one of the largest African nations to extend water and sanitation services - IRCs specific role in helping to improve monitoring systems is flagged in this new briefing prepared for the UK Houses of Parliament. 

Since March 2015, IRC has been supporting Ethiopia's National WASH Coordination Office (NWCO, which leads the countries One WaSH National Programme) to strengthen national WASH monitoring and evaluation systems.  A Coffey International Development/ IRC team was contracted by DFID to provide technical and managerial support where IRC has led on strengthening and coordinating M&E systems across the WaSH sectors (task 1) and promoting dissemination and use of WaSH data (task 3), and Coffey has led on undertaking an impact evaluation (task 2).

As the note highlights, country monitoring systems are expected to play a critical role towards achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Without good evidence from monitoring to drive learning and improved implementation, there is little chance that ambitious new plans like the One WASH National Programme can be successfully realised. Our work in Ethiopia is highlighted in the note for also trying to drive improved coordination through better cross-sector monitoring. In most countries, WASH is a new construct and actually four or more sectors involving water, education, health and finance. Monitoring and the use of data if well designed and facilitated is one of the best entry points and tools to strengthen collaboration across these sectors.

The design of implementation phase activities for our on-going support was completed in November 2015 at the end of an inception phase. IRCs critical support was recognised in the approval of plans by the NWCO and peer review by leading international sector experts.

Key elements of the implementation phase include supporting the NWCO to strengthen existing and introduce new Information and Communications Technologies for data collection and use nationwide, supporting the National WASH Inventory to revisit every water system in the country and update previous datasets that are now 5 years old, and producing a flagship annual report across water, sanitation and hygiene sectors. Crucially the design also includes putting in place the capacities to sustain these systems and ensure ongoing reporting and accountability to citizens, the Ethiopian parliament and donors.