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TitleStrengthening transparency and accountability in community-based management in Honduras
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsSmits, S, Suazo, D
PaginationP. 76-77
Date Published2010-06-01
Keywordsadministration, honduras, sanitation, sdilac, sdiman, sustainability, WASHCost, water supply

IRC and RASHON (Water and Sanitation Network of Honduras) are engaged in a 4-year collaborative programme to strengthen capacity for local WASH governance in Honduras. Within this programme, one of the areas of work has been “transparency and accountability”. This paper presents an overview of the approach taken to address the topic. The Honduran water sector has a programme dedicated to addressing sustainability of rural water supply services. In this programme, so-called Operation and Maintenance Technicians (TOMs) provide continuous support to water committees, who are ultimately responsible for managing rural water supply schemes. To this end, TOMs have a broad curriculum of issues they address in their interactions with water committees, including, amongst others, issues such as operation and maintenance, accounting and book keeping and catchment protection. One of the issues that hadn’t been explicitly addressed in this programme, was transparency and accountability. Surely, the module of accounting and book keeping dealt with some of these, but not in a structured way. In view of the above, RASHON, through its resource centre, decided to undertake work on the issue. This started in 2008 with a study to assess the policy framework, problems and good practices in transparency and accountability in community management of rural water supply systems. This study consisted of a review of the policy framework and field assessments in 7 communities in rural Honduras. Based on these findings, a module on transparency and accountability was then developed, geared towards TOMs, as well as to field staff of other sector players. This module is to be used by TOMs and others in their engagement with communities, to help set-up mechanisms for transparency and accountability in community management. Municipal staff from the USCL are also an important target group for this, so as to strengthen collaboration between municipalities and rural operators. Currently, TOMs are being trained in the use of this module, so they can replicate it in their areas of jurisdiction. In addition, a module is developed, specifically targeted at water committees themselves. Also other information products, such as a series of field notes, has been developed to support water committees in this theme. [authors abstract]

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