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Published on: 31/08/2011

The Mozambique team is at crossroads. While research results are a description of reality, they need to be available in a practical way to be easily used by stakeholders: take the research and its results to the next level. This involves the practical use of research results for decision making at all levels in planning, monitoring and budgeting.

At a time when the WASH sector turns its attention to the sustainability of services, WASHCost fills a gap by providing answers to some long standing questions. Our analysis of capital expenditure (CapEx) for wells/boreholes with hand pumps (2009 - 2011) greatly contributed to the understanding of variance in different parts of the country. As a result, the central and provincial government started to use this information to inform their planning and budgeting processes.

Furthermore, we are stimulating a debate on how to better quantify costs trends so that improved budgeting and planning could take place. A series of research publications on Inflation, Purchasing Power Parity and Exchange Rates helping the sector to understand the background and history of costs and strengthen the idea that to the sector always needs to take into account all cost drivers and inflation factors into multi-annual budgeting.

The next step will be more decisive: to provide evidence of the practicality of the WASHCost approach on the ground, helping districts officials to better plan and budget WASH services using the life-cycle cost approach. Four districts have been selected where the approach will be tested and information used in practical reality. This will be done in the realm of the National Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Program (PRONASAR).

And this happens at a good time, where the working relationship between WASHCost and other partners is at its best. WASHCost is preparing to sign a  Memorandum of Understanding with UNICEF aimed at strengthening collaboration on research and publication. WASHCost is also working with WSUP and other actors in the peri-urban sector to tackle the costing of sanitation.With PRONASAR, we are documenting the programme with a focus on the main sustainability issues being faced by the rural water supply sub-sector in Mozambique.

With all these joint activities, we hope that 2011 will be the year that finally put the life-cycle costs approach definitively on the agenda of the water and sanitation sector.

Egidio Vaz Raposo, Documentation and Communication Officer, WASHCost Mozambique, 31 August 2011.



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