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The District-Wide Approach : progress review from its application in five districts in Rwanda

This report presents the findings of an assessment of the process and results of piloting the District-Wide Approach (DWA) in Rwanda between 2017 and 2020. Rwanda adopted an approach to decentralised planning and delivery of WASH services by districts, called the District-Wide Approach. In this approach, district governments are responsible for planning for universal access to sustainable WASH services in their district, using the district as the unit of analysis and planning. This approach sought to overcome a number of limitations: 1) limited coordination between different actors working in the WASH sector at district level, 2) a bias towards planning for infrastructure development and less so for its maintenance, and 3) a limited vision on getting towards universal access.

The DWA has been articulated in a set of guidelines, which indicate that the DWA is both a process and an output. The process consists of a number of steps: from visioning and target setting, through assessments and planning and eventually matching the financial resources with the costs. During that process, a number of outputs are created, but ultimately culminating in a district WASH plan, that bring these elements together. This is also complemented by a stakeholder engagement and political decision-making process.

As a systematic approach to planning, DWA suits the Rwandan context and has helped to mobilise funds, but has proven is less effective in emphasising the sustainability of investments. It is reliant on external technical support and facilitation, which is reflected in the implementation costs: over US$ 100,000 per district.

TitleThe District-Wide Approach : progress review from its application in five districts in Rwanda
Publication TypeResearch Report
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsSmits, S., Verhoeven, J., Bakker, E., Kamuyumbu, P., Uwonkunda, B., Burn, N., Kwizera, M., Greggio, E.
Pagination28 p. : 5 fig. 4 tab.
Date Published09/2020
PublisherIRC
Place PublishedThe Hague, the Netherlands
Publication LanguageEnglish
Keywordsdistrict-wide approach
Abstract

This report presents the findings of an assessment of the process and results of piloting the District-Wide Approach (DWA) in Rwanda between 2017 and 2020. Rwanda adopted an approach to decentralised planning and delivery of WASH services by districts, called the District-Wide Approach. In this approach, district governments are responsible for planning for universal access to sustainable WASH services in their district, using the district as the unit of analysis and planning. This approach sought to overcome a number of limitations: 1) limited coordination between different actors working in the WASH sector at district level, 2) a bias towards planning for infrastructure development and less so for its maintenance, and 3) a limited vision on getting towards universal access.

The DWA has been articulated in a set of guidelines, which indicate that the DWA is both a process and an output. The process consists of a number of steps: from visioning and target setting, through assessments and planning and eventually matching the financial resources with the costs. During that process, a number of outputs are created, but ultimately culminating in a district WASH plan, that bring these elements together. This is also complemented by a stakeholder engagement and political decision-making process.

As a systematic approach to planning, DWA suits the Rwandan context and has helped to mobilise funds, but has proven is less effective in emphasising the sustainability of investments. It is reliant on external technical support and facilitation, which is reflected in the implementation costs: over US$ 100,000 per district.

Notes

Includes 7 ref.

Citation Key87198

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