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Published on: 30/09/2011

The Process Documentation for WASH Workshop in Kampala, Uganda, in September 2011 made participants enthusiastic about doing process documentation and its benefits. Process Documentation provides a systematic way to capture what happens in a process of change, and how it happens. It can help to understand why change is taking place or not, and thus allows adjustments of approaches along the process path.

 On request of seven different partner organisations in Uganda, IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre facilitated a 5-day Process Documentation Workshop. The overall objective of the workshop was to enable the 26 participants to successfully plan and facilitate Process Documentation in learning and applied research. Participating organisations were Triple-S Uganda, SNV Uganda, NETWAS Uganda, Caritas Gulu, the Uganda Rain Water Harvesting Association and representatives of the District Water Department and the Technical Support Unit of the Ministry of Water and Environment.

The purpose of the workshop was for participants to:

  • Understand what Process Documentation is all about;
  • Know how and when and for what purpose to use Process Documentation;
  • Have an overview of different documentation methods and tools and understand the advantages and disadvantages of different options;
  • Practice with selection of Process Documentation tools;
  • Practice with planning for Process Documentation;
  • Share relevant experiences with Process Documentation.

 Participant; ‘I want to make Process Documentation an integral part of my programme. I have now more faith that I have the capacity to do Process Documentation.’

In the workshop participants practiced with Process Documentation in small groups in which they produced documentation of their own learning curve throughout the workshop. Participants who work together in a WASH programme also produced a draft Process Documentation Plan to help integrate Process Documentation in their own programme. Each plan focuses on the objective and purpose of why you want to do Process Documentation and defines what progress and which process to document. For each objective a detailed activity planning is made. The last step in each Process Documentation plan is to analyse the information that is collected, reflect and adjust where necessary activities on it. 



Participants at the Process Documentation Workshop, Uganda

Most participants had some experience of doing (process) documentation but never applied it in a systematic way or structurally planned for it. The power of Process Documentation lies in systematically documenting processes which occur in and outside of your programme over a period of time.

Participant; ‘The workshop has demystified Process Documentation for me. I realised that I have been doing some Process Documentation in the past but never systematically. To do Process Documentation I need to plan and budget for it from the onset.’

One of the main outcomes of the workshop is that it made participants enthusiastic to try to structurally and systematically integrate it within their work. Participants noted that before the workshop they never really planned for Process Documentation nor allocated explicit resources to such activities. The workshop increased the understanding of participants of how you can do Process Documentation within your own context, objectives and available resources as budget, time and existing capacities. The workshop increased the capacity to realistically plan and implement Process Documentation.

One of the outcomes is that participating organisations want to nominate a specific focal person for Process Documentation in their own organisation to so stimulate documentation. Interest was also expressed to try to start exchanging experiences with documentation between the Process Documentation focal persons. A suggestion was also to examine if it would be possible to share resources on Process Documentation in the WASH sector in Uganda. The effectiveness of the workshop will only become evident in the future as participants start to systematically document and understand the processes which affect the change that they are aiming for in their project.  

For a visual documentation of the 5 day workshop visit

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