Project Factsheet
Tools for » Capacity-Building amongst the MAM People in Economic Water and Sanitation Governance
Project ID:00067203Description:MDGF-1917-A-GTM Capacity-Build
MDG Achievement Fund
Start Date *: 31 Dec 2008
MDGF Economic Governance
End Date*: 30 Jun 2013
Country: Guatemala Project Status: Financially Closed
  Participating Organization:   Multiple


The JP sought to strengthen governance and management of water and sanitation in the eight Municipalities of El Naranjo Basin (MANCUERNA).

It sought to achieve this affecting policies and regulation on water use and sanitation through a parallel strategy working both at national and local level.  The JP initially identified three outcomes, which were later revised in response to the  mid-term evaluation to focus on four themes, mainly 1) water and sanitation for improved welfare; 2) water governance; 3) water as a means for productivity and; 4) Water as a natural resource in watershed.  As a result of this restructuring the JP was fully aligned with the national policy for water as well as the UNDAF.

The key achievement for theme one was the establishment of technical offices for the sustainable management of water services in each of the eight municipalities. This required municipal agreements and the support of the MANCUERNAs, which is viewed as a significant political achievement.

Under theme two, water governance, the JP contributed to the design and first steps in the implementation of the National Agenda for Water. In addition, the programme proposed a management model for generating solidarity rates for the administration and payment of public water and sanitation, applicable in the eight municipalities, which would allow for continuing alternative resources. It also supported intersectoral to develop consensus on a water management.

On the theme of water as a means for productivity the JP supported the drafting process of The Irrigation Promotion Policy, which was approved by the Government in April of 2013. In addition, the JP supported the articulation of the local and national policies through consensus by promoting negotiation and dialogue between key stakeholders.

The fourth theme focused on the protection and conservation of water from an environmental perspective, and sought to promote instruments and incentives to regulate the hydrological cycle linked to conservation, protection and improved water sources through the promotion of good agricultural practices such as structures as barriers, infiltration ditches, terraces, tillage, minimum tillage among others, together with the creation of incentives for conservation and the creation of buffers.



Outcome 1:

Water and sanitation for  improved welfare.



Outcome Achievements:

  • Establishment of technical offices for management of water and sanitation at the municipal level in each of the eight municipalities.
  • Diagnosis was made in the river basin of the Naranjo River to define an intervention model suitable for water management specific to the municipalities of the MANCUERNA.


Outcome 2:

Water governance.


Outcome Achievements:

  • The JP supported the design and implementation of the National Policy for Water.
  • The JP supported the national advocacy strategy to increase awareness on water issues, and addressing initiatives to promote a culture sensitive to water.
  • Capacity building for better management, conceptualization and coordination of interventions for the National Policy for Water. A model was developed for management and payment of fees for sanitation services in the municipalities.
  • The JP supported the intersectoral dialogue strategy for managing water policy framework and taking on water conflict using Guatemala’s experience in dialogue, negotiations and consensus.
  • Exchange of experiences and systematization on water management and sanitation, both nationally and internationally through with participation of local authorities, government representatives, technicians.


Outcome 3:

Water as a means for  productivity.


Outcome Achievements:

  • Development and advocacy for the Territorial Water Policy Water for Irrigation.
  • The JP supported the identification of irrigation groups, development and management models, which led to consolidation through consensus between local stakeholders.
  • Strengthening of the information system for water irrigation at national and local level to assist in decision making, optimizing opportunities and overcoming challenges.
  • The JP supported the drafting process of The Irrigation Promotion Policy, which was approved by the Government of Guatemala by Governmental Agreement 185-2013 of April 15, 2013.


Outcome 4:

Water as a natural resource in watershed.


Outcome Achievements:

  • Incentives provided for soil conservation in the upper basin of Naranjo.
  • Introduction of stoves to reduce fuelwood consumption.
  • Biodigesters were built in the upper basin Naranjo watersheds: Chol, High Naranjo, Palatza, Low Naranjo and Turbalá.
  • Introduction of established practices for soil conservation such as structures as barriers, infiltration ditches, terraces, green manuring, tillage, minimum tillage among others.
  • Municipal greenhouses were built to recharge areas and buffer zones in the city of San Cristobal shipyards Cucho, San Marcos and San Juan Ostuncalco Quetzaltenango.


Best Practice

  • The JP responded in a comprehensive manner to the recommendations of the mid-term evaluation. The redesign of the JP by consensus formed the basis for all players around an agreed intervention logic, and ensured alignment with the National Agenda on water.
  • The formation of the Interagency Network for Integrated Water Resources Management- which includes governmental organizations Aguate, MAGA, MARN, MOH, SEGEPLAN, Ministry of Interior, Governorship Ministry  nongovernmental organizations (Solar Foundation, Agua del Pueblo, CARE, IUCN), municipal authorities, associations (MANCUERNA, Metropolis of Los Altos, ADIMAM) and civil society (CADISNA).
  • The JP had a strong focus on knowledge management from the design, with one of 3 dedicated to knowledge management and sharing.
  • Synergetic effects of JP products for the country’s emergency response to the earthquake of November 2012.
  • Sustainability strategy designed and being implemented (design of JP impact products).
  • The existence of a baseline state of natural resources in the 6 micro watersheds of the focal area of the program, as this guided the actions executed.
  • The JP developed a strategy to mainstream this multisectorial approach.


Lesson Learn

  • It is crucial to take into account the integration period and avoid parallel/divided approaches. A good programme coordinator needs to emphasize and plan for this.
  • High coordination with local level is crucial for the smooth implementation of JP (high turnover due to electoral context, for instance).
  • Flexibility of JP design and strong ownership of local partners allow a response to emergencies within the initially intended results (earthquake). 
  • Design of irrigation projects should be constructed taking into account existing organizations to ensure sustainability. Designs should be based on the specific biophysical conditions of place. 
  • political and technical support are key to mainstream a gender sensitive multiculturalism approach for progress in to increase visibility vulnerable groups to expand and improve the quality of water, sanitation and irrigation services.

More details can be found in the documents below.

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

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