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This is the final report from the Action Research for Learning programme (2013–2015).

TitleLessons learnt from WASH action research with practitioners in four countries : Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana and Uganda
Publication TypeProgress Report
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsSnel, M, Verhoeven, J
Pagination25 p. : 3 boxes, 4 fig., 1 tab.
Date Published01/2016
PublisherIRC and WASH Alliance International
Place PublishedThe Hague, The Netherlands
Publication LanguageEnglish

The Action Research for Learning programme was a three-year initiative (2013–2015), led by IRC, to improve the effectiveness of existing hygiene promotion and community empowerment programmes of selected local Dutch WASH Alliance partners in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana and Uganda. In Ethiopia and Bangladesh, the focus was on hygiene promotion, while in Ghana and Uganda the focus was on community empowerment interventions.

The objective of Action Research for Learning was to strengthen the capacities of the selected partners for action research, analysis, reporting and learning; to enhance community-based monitoring of WASH services; and to promote understanding, harmonisation and coordination among district and local governments and local NGOs for effective community empowerment in WASH. All of these objectives have been met, in terms of both the action research process and the development of interventions.

The programme took a decentralised approach that empowered communities which in itself was an important positive development. The role of local government in implementing the WASH interventions could be the focus of a possible second phase of the programme. This would entail embedding the interventions within the local government structures, a move that would allow for scaling up the interventions and ensuring their sustainability, although the level and degree to which local government stakeholders would be involved would inevitably depend on the country context. A second phase would also provide an opportunity to integrate lessons learnt from this phase, in both administration and content. The action research process could be made more effective and aligned with existing planning and reviewing processes of local government institutions, improving resource allocation and delivering WASH services that last.


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