Project Factsheet
Tools for » Democratic economic governance in the Water and Sanitation sector in the RAAN and RAAS
Project ID:00067192Description:MDGF-1832-A-NIC EcoGov
Fund:
MDG Achievement Fund
Start Date *: 31 Oct 2007
Theme:
MDGF Economic Governance
End Date*: 12 Nov 2012
Country: Nicaragua Project Status: Financially Closed
  Participating Organization:   Multiple
About

Overview:

The goal of the JP was to strengthen economic and democratic governance of the water and sanitation sector in the Autonomous Regions of the Nicaraguan Caribbean Coast, through greater involvement and coordination between institutional and social actors, the strengthening of the institutional framework and infrastructure in order to increase sustainable access to water and sanitation for indigenous and Afro-descendent communities.

The 2 Regions have a Water and Sanitation Strategy and 6 municipalities have municipal development plans including water, sanitation and hygiene systems.

The JP established or strengthened 39 water/sanitation committees (CAPS), as well as management structures and systems in the communities. CAPS were organized into municipal networks to promote exchange and coordination among them, and to strengthen their ability to impact decision making. 

The JP supported active participation of the communities in decision-making and monitoring activities in the water and sanitation sector. In indigenous and Afro-descendant communities with communal ownership and territorial governments, the JP promoted addressing the issue of water, sanitation and hygiene, from their traditional structure and within their own customs and traditions. As a result of the JP the Communities have increased access to public sector information and participate in the development of information and awareness campaigns. In addition, an integrated approach to water, sanitation and hygiene incorporated into their community plans. 

As part of this result, different processes of formation and training for leaders and technicians are part of institutions and organizations involved in the management of the sector, including training for 67 regional, territorial and municipal officials on topics related to the field of water and sanitation, and the creation of sectorial tables for coordination and dialogue between actors involved in the sector, as well as the review of existing instruments and policies related to the sector.

To promote sustainability the JP promoted the creation of Regional and Municipal Water, Sanitation and Hygiene units within the existing structures, and at least 5 had been set up by the end of the programme.

As a result of the JP’s small infrastructure projects, nearly 22,000 people, 59% of which of indigenous and/or African descent, saw their access to water and sanitation services improved.

 

Outcome 1:

The poorest segments of the population (prioritizing indigenous and black communities) of the RAAN and RAAS empowered, participate in an informed decision-making processes and control investment in the Water and Sanitation sector.

 

Outcome Achievements:

  • Establishment or strengthening of 39 committees for Water and Sanitation (CAPS), including management structures and systems built in the communities. CAPS were organized into municipal networks, in order to promote exchange and coordination among them, and to impact on decision making in the sector.
  • Active participation of the community in decision-making and monitoring activities in the sector of water and sanitation.
  • As a result of the JP, communities have increased access to public sector information and participate in the development of information and awareness campaigns on water, sanitation and hygiene in their communities.

 

Outcome 2:

Regional, municipal and community management of water and sanitation sector, including more efficient, equitable, culturally appropriate information systems and/or statistics which benefit the poor and marginalized, prioritizing indigenous and Afro-descendent communities.

 

Outcome Achievements:

  • 67 regional, territorial and municipal officials on topics related to the field of water and sanitation.
  • Creation of sectorial round tables for coordination and dialogue between actors involved in the sector, as well as other mechanisms for citizen participation.
  • To promote sustainability the JP promoted the creation of Regional Water, Sanitation and Hygiene units (URASH), as part of the internal structure of the Regional Government and Municipal Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Units (UMASH) in municipal governments. By the end of the JP at least 5 municipalities had mandated the creation of UMASH.
  • JP promoted training and organizational support to small contractors.
  • At the community level, an agreement with the Technological National Institute (INATEC) for the implementation of a training program in the area of construction for of water and sanitation systems. Over 100 people  from the Caribbean coast were trained, of which 81 received certification.

 

Outcome 3:

Improved access and quality of drinking water and sanitation through the creation and implementation of the Seed Fund.

 

Outcome Achievements:

  • Nearly 22,000 people, 59% of which of indigenous and/or African descent, directly benefited with improved access to services through the JP’s 40 small infrastructure projects.
  • Investment Fund for Water and Sanitation (FIAS) created and running in both Autonomous Regions.
  • Supported the improvement of health and hygiene conditions in three priority urban areas (Bluefields, Bonanza and Bilwi).

 

Outcome 4:

More appropriate institutional, legal and regulatory framework in the context of national policies of decentralization and regionalization law facilitates the efficient and equitable access to water and sanitation in the RAAN and RAAS regions.

 

Outcome Achievements:

  • The JP supported a review and adjustment of instruments and national policies related to the sector.
  • Capacity building and support to decentralization of responsibilities to regional and municipal governments.
  • 2 Regions have a Water and Sanitation Strategy and 6 and municipalities have elaborated municipal development plans, including water, sanitation and hygiene components, which were developed through a  participatory process with women’s l participation.

 

Best Practices:

  • The high level of involvement of all partners and stakeholders at national, regional and municipal level.
  • Adaptation of management tools to the socio-cultural and political-administrative reality of the Caribbean Coast allowed  for greater ownership and empowerment by the Community institutions.
  • The application of technologies with low environmental impact and economically feasible (hydraulic ram, rainwater harvesting) allowed access to services like safe water and basic sanitation to remote populations traditionally excluded.
  • The building local capacity for construction, operation and maintenance of water and sanitation systems, is one of the highest impact actions to ensure sustainability of the systems built. Also, offering income generating opportunities.
  • Training of municipal and regional level technicians with results based management (RBM) methodology in addition to strengthening the technical capabilities of the participants, has generated important products to improve management of the sector in the municipalities.
  • The Sustainability Plan development served to ensure a degree of commitment from the Regional and Local Authorities for the continuity of certain actions.

 

Lessons Learned:

  • The positioning of the social component (organization, training and community outreach) as fundamental to the sustainability of projects, improved ownership and hence sustainability of interventions.
  • The complexity of the JP demanded a strong preparatory stage to establish institutional arrangements and necessary management tools (including monitoring, tracking and communication) to be able to fulfill the products and results on schedule.
  • The Planning stages for achieving common products must involve a process of defining responsibilities and time needed to achieve them.
  • Coordination and synergy among partners, in addition to delivering specific products, entails a process of knowledge management and capacity development which should be document and analyzed.
  • It is important to assess the role of non-resident agencies so that they do not negatively affect coordination and decision making process.
  • It is advisable to assess the relevance and feasibility of the different agencies’ participation in a joint effort, so that only those who provide added value -according to their mandate or expertise- are involved. This would facilitate coordination and streamline the responsibilities of implementing partners.
  • It is necessary that in the preparatory phase the monitoring and tracking system to be used is defined, so that it is used from the beginning and continuously, and able to provide information necessary for decision making.
  • It is important to assess the coordination structure of the JP and the mechanisms for communication, coordination and decision-making. In this sense, the coordination unit should have enough resources to ensure permanent monitoring and coordination, including inter-agency coordination.
  • It is important to develop a knowledge management component that enables communication and to systematically document good practices and lessons learned, as well as advocacy and awareness actions from the beginning of the JP.
  • Need to standardize the rules and administrative processes of the various agencies involved to facilitate and streamline the management of funds and accountability of the implementing partners.
  • It is necessary to adjust methodologies on water and sanitation to  the conditions and particularities (multiethnic region) of the  Caribbean Coast.

 

More details can be found in the documents below.

Recent Documents
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