Project Factsheet
Tools for » Governance in the water and sanitation sector in Ecuador within the framework of the Millennium Development Goals
Project ID:00067202Description:MDGF-1913-A-ECU Governance in
MDG Achievement Fund
Start Date *: 31 Dec 2008
MDGF Economic Governance
End Date*: 27 Jun 2013
Country: Ecuador Project Status: Financially Closed
  Participating Organization:   Multiple


The Programme aims to contribute to the implementation of the Government’s National Water Plan and the construction of democratic and sustainable governance for water and sanitation, with a focus on integrated water management, while promoting social, territorial and gender equity.

The programme strengthened national and local capacities for implementing public policies with a human rights-based approach. These new installed capacities are reflected in 18 new policy instruments, including the formulation of the National Policy of Water with Human Rights Based Approach, and the increased the skills of more than 100 technicians from the National and Municipal Governments, which contribute to increased quality and sustainability of the drinking water and sanitation infrastructure. The programme has also helped to strengthen state capacity to monitor water quality through the provision of new instruments.

The Programme has strengthened civil society with new opportunities for citizen participation ensuring accountability at local and national levels, such as the Citizen Council for Water Sector--a new space for the participation of civil society in the democratic reform of the sector, particularly in the formulation of the National Policy for Water. The sustainability of services has been achieved through comprehensive training and strengthening of civil society supported by 10 ecological youth clubs and the women's empowerment in the promotion of a new culture for water, which contributed to increased gender equality and strengthened women's leadership in the provision of water and sanitation at municipal, parish and community levels.

It has helped to improve access to sustainable safe water and sanitation for over 20,000 users in 39 rural communities in 14 counties. It also implemented potable water systems infrastructure projects in communities, with prospects of affecting 61 communities and more than 28,000 users (communities and schools / colleges) by the end of 2013, when all the work is scheduled to be completed.


Outcome 1:

Strengthened national and local capacities for the effective implementation of a new policy and institutional framework of the water sector and subsector which will contribute to an integrated and sustainable water resources management, with social, regional and gender equity.


Outcome Achievements:

  • The program has contributed to the formulation of the National Policy for Water with Human Rights Based Approach.
  • Creation of the Water City Council as a new space for the participation of civil society in the democratic reform of the sector, particularly for the formulation of the National Policy on Water.
  • Comprehensive training on water and sanitation. Training topics included operation, maintenance, management, accounting, participation, gender equity, accountability, water quality monitoring and protection of sources, among others.
  • A guide was developed for the joint provision of water and sanitation, from which derived three associations in three different cantons Echeandía, Montalvo and Junín, two of which are linked to the Municipality.


Outcome 2:

Indicators of economic, technical, social, environmental and institutional sustainability improved in water and sanitation providers in the 4 provinces covered by the program.


Outcome Achievements:

  • Creation of spaces to promote accountability in the drinking water and sanitation sector, which contributed to the economic and social sustainability of services.
  • Design and implementation of the pilot National Water Quality Monitoring Plan. As part of this work analysis of water sources and household community intervention programs allowed to adjust water quality systems in order to comply with Regulations.


Outcome 3:

Social organizations empowered and able to affect the development of regulatory frameworks governing water and sanitation services, the surveillance of the water quality and the sustainable management.


Outcome Achievements:

  • Creation of the Citizen Council for the Water Sector as a new space for the participation of civil society in the democratic reform of the sector, particularly in the formulation of the National Policy for Water.
  • Mainstreaming of gender practices recognized by UN Women SIWI, and as good practice by the Gender and Water Alliance practice, a specialized international organization based in the Netherlands.
  • Environmental clubs were formed in 10 schools to implement health campaigns and environmental education in their villages and provinces these were supported by national government campaigns through printed materials and community radio.


Outcome 4:

Improved access of urban and rural population of the provinces of Esmeraldas, Bolivar, Los Rios and Manabi to sustainable and quality water and sanitation.


Outcome Achievements:

  • Implemented potable water systems infrastructure projects in 61 communities. It is anticipated that due to the program, 28,655 people (communities and schools/colleges) will have sustainable drinking water and sanitation.
  • The program has funded and built 145 Basic Health Units (BHU) and 11 Ecological Health Units (EHU or composting toilets).
  • The Programme has facilitated the construction of 66 BHU through agreements with partners (NGOs MIDUVI and Protos).
  • Rehabilitation or construction of new restrooms in 13 schools/colleges, 4 of which in the same communities where the programme rehabilitated the water systems.


Best practices:

Public policies formulated with the human rights-based approach have medium and long term impact that exceeds all other outcomes of the programme put together.

The guidelines for prevention, management and resolution of water conflicts were successfully developed through with external technical support. The document will be edited and published by the National Water Secretariat (SENAGUA), and is used daily by management of the Secretariat in the territories.

The intervention strategy at local level was based on ongoing training of local partners and proved key for all results at local level. This was made possible by the continued presence of a local level delegation.

The Eco Clubs have a high impact/cost ratio. They were implemented through a simple strategy of hiring a  promoter/Community (UNV ) to train environmental clubs in schools

The strategy of gender mainstreaming, described as good practice by the Gender & Water Alliance, focused on the promotion and visibility of female leadership in the provision of water and sanitation.


Lessons learned:

  • Alignment with the central and local government structures is essential to contribute effectively to the process of decentralization without overloading it. In this regard, it is recommended that all activities are executed through the Municipal structure, and its administrative and technical capacities strengthened, while promoting social control to ensure good results.
  • Need for inclusion in the programme document of a specialist and resources to implement a gender strategy


More details can be found in the documents below.

Recent Documents
Key Figures
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If you have questions about this programme you may wish to contact the RC office in Ecuador or the lead agency for the programme.

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