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The WASH Systems Academy

The WASH Systems Academy

The learning platform for water and sanitation systems strengthening

District planning for sustainable water and sanitation services

Course objectives: This course is for anyone wanting to know how to (facilitate stakeholders to) develop and implement district-level long-term strategic plans for ensuring sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene services for all. This is also called a district water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) master plan.

Course content: This course includes podcasts, animations, graphics, videos, documentation and multiple-choice tests. There is also the opportunity to connect with other WASH sector professionals through online forum discussions. The majority of this course is also available offline. You can download the complete session texts, including all the exercises, via the course resources tab. This allows you to follow part of the course offline. However, you will need to connect to the online platform to participate in the forum discussions, upload the materials you create and complete the multiple-choice tests and quizzes.

Session overview: This course consists of 10 sessions and needs to be completed in consecutive order (from session 1 to 10).

  • Session 1 gives an introduction to district-level planning, what a district WASH master plan is and what it can look like.
  • Session 2 introduces a roadmap for developing and implementing a district-level long-term strategic plan for ensuring sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene service provision to all: a district WASH master plan.
  • Session 3 introduces some of the concepts which are important in district WASH master planning: service levels, service delivery models (SDMs) and local WASH systems strengthening.
  • Multiple choice test on sessions 1-3

Each step for the development and implementation of a district WASH master plan, set out in the roadmap (see image below), is discussed in sessions 4 to 10.

  • Session 4 focusses on situational analysis. It describes what could and should be included in such an analysis and provides an overview of tools and methods which can be used to undertake a situational analysis.
  • Session5 focusses on visioning. It sets out what a vision is, what should be included and how a clear joint vision and targets can be developed.
  • Session 6 focusses on strategy development. It sets out how scenarios can support development of realistic strategies and how strategy development can be done.
  • Session 7 focusses on costing of the provision of sustainable WASH services in line with the strategic plan. This block introduces the life-cycle costs. It also sets out how a costed plan can be developed, taking into account these life-cycle costs.
  • Session 8 focusses on matching the costs to sources of funding and financing. It introduces tariffs, transfers and taxes, the "three Ts", as the main sources of funding. It furthermore sets out how costs can be matched to these sources of funding, how this can be visualised through sankey diagrams, and how a funding and financing strategy can be developed.
  • Session 9 focusses on the implementation of the master plan. It sets out the medium and annual cycles of planning and target setting, implementation and monitoring.
  • Session 10 focusses on the need to bring district WASH master plan development and implementation to scale, and introduces strategies for doing so.

Length: On average, the course takes a minimum of 8 hours to complete.

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