IRC – International Water and Sanitation Centre has since 2012 advocated for the adoption of a system approach, which addresses all the dimensions of WASH service delivery. The systems approach should be applied to a district-wide model, whereby actors ensure universal access to WASH services for a population within a defined geographical location (district or municipality). Once all districts in a country are covered, it is expected that the population will be fully served – leaving no one behind.
In Kabarole District, IRC has implemented several interventions to ensure universal access to WASH in the district. IRC has applied the systems approach, first by supporting the district to develop a WASH masterplan, alongside other interventions in political engagement, WASH service monitoring, Water Resources Management, institutional capacity building, water source management models...among others.
This short video depicts the different ways in which IRC Uganda has applied the systems approach, resulting in reliable community water supply in Kabarole District.
IWA published an article Carolina Latorre and Mohamed Tawfik on their website on 19 April 2018, which contained the "hidden part of the Iceberg" image of major maintenance and indirect costs, taken from a presentation by IRC's Catarina Fionseca.
The Ghana News Agency (GNA) published a 2nd press release related to the launch of Asutifi North Ahonidie Mpontuo (ANAM) or District WASH Full Coverage Start-up Initiative in Asutifi North, which was republished on 19 March 2018 by News Ghana and on 22 March 2018 by Modern Ghana. The release quoted IRC Ghana Country Director Vida Duti who "expressed discomfort that the country was making slow progress in achieving target for the goal six of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – ensuring water and sanitation for all by 2030. She called on stakeholders from government, civil society and non-governmental organisations, private sector, service providers and users as well as traditional authorities and the media to support the initiative to achieve useful outcomes".
On 19 March 2018 Citi FM Online published a report on the launch of Asutifi North Ahonidie Mpontuo (ANAM) or District WASH Full Coverage Start-up Initiative in Asutifi North. The article quoted IRC Ghana Country Director Vida Duti, who said "the development of ANAM WASH Initiative is to accelerate the rate of progress and demonstrate how to attain full WASH coverage in a district, considering the slow progress made with the implementation of the Ghana Water Sector Strategic Development Plan (2014), according to the Joint Monitoring Programme 2017 report". She explained that "the Asutifi North District was selected through rigorous and diligent process, and therefore appealed to stakeholders to support the initiative aimed at improving access to basic water services by 2030",
The press release included several quotes from IRC Ghana County Director Vida Duti who said "the country was making slow progress in achieving set targets for goal six of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)". Speaking about ANAM, "Ms Duti said it required collective efforts and cooperation to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all". "Ms Duti noted that water and sanitation coverage in the Asutifi North were worsened as only three percent of the District population had access to safely managed drinking water and 23 percent access to basic sanitation, hence the implementation of the initiative". Vida "appealed to stakeholders from government, civil society and non-governmental organizations, private sector, service providers and users as well as traditional authorities and the media to support the initiative to achieve useful outcomes".
On World Water Day, 22 March 2018, Devex published a video and article written by Catherine Cheney about the importance of applying a systems approach in order to reach SDG 6:
"When you go to the toilet in the morning, you probably don't think that is a system," said Patrick Moriarty, chief executive officer of IRC, a WASH organization based in the Netherlands that is also an Agenda for Change founding partner, during a TED talk. "When you turn on the tap, water comes out. When you flush the toilet, everything goes away and is made safe. And that's because there is a system."
"Supporting systems change is necessary to achieve sustainable development outcomes, but it requires more patience and tolerance for ambiguity and risk than conventional philanthropy," said Louis Boorstin, managing director of the Osprey Foundation, which funds IRC, WaterAid, and Water for People as part of its Systems Change portfolio for WASH, and is also part of the Agenda for Change. "In short, it's about teaching someone to fish instead of giving them a fish ... while also recognizing that the fishing line could snap, the lake could dry up, or the local government could interfere in the fish market. But it's still better than handing out fish."
Read the full article and watch Devex's video here.
There are plenty of other examples of innovation that aren't "sexy," but are changing the game, Davis said.
Just a few years ago, "nobody knew how much it cost to keep a water point functioning," she said, until international think tank IRC WASH conducted a life cycle cost analysis in several districts in Ghana.
"If you think about how long people have been working in this field, it's shocking that we just didn't know," she said, adding that it's just one example of an under-recognized piece of the puzzle.
An interview with IRC's Head International Programme Catarina Fonseca on increasing water sector financing by improving governance, published on the Water Integrity Network's website on 30 January 2018.
A study by knowledge-focused non-profit organisation IRC Wash and Ghana's Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) shows that piped water supply systems in Ghana can be improved by a better management of the maintenance, rather than by a different finance of the maintenance.
The Country Director of IRC Ghana, Vida Duti has called on government and development partners to invest more in the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) subsector to propel the needed change and development in communities.
She made the call in Aburi at a three-day engagement workshop with representatives of the Asutifi North District Assembly in the Brong Ahafo Region, National Development Planning Commission, World Vision International, Aquaya Institute and other partners in WASH-related subsector to finalise the district’s 15-year WASH masterplan. Read the full story on citifmonline.