Project Factsheet
Tools for » Enhancing Access to and Provision of Water Services with the Active Participation of the Poor
Project ID:00067204Description:MDGF-1919-A-PHL Enhance Access
MDG Achievement Fund
Start Date *: 31 Dec 2008
MDGF Economic Governance
End Date*: 30 Jun 2013
Country: Philippines Project Status: Financially Closed
  Participating Organization:   Multiple


The JP sought to enhance the sustainability of water systems by developing local plans, ensuring that local authorities and communities are better equipped to operate and maintain water systems, and by raising awareness on the need for water service providers, as well as their accountabilities and responsibilities. The most significant accomplishment of the programme was in raising awareness that water is a basic human right and governance issue.

Overall the JP has contributed to bringing to the fore the need for a lead agency for water resources management and the need to articulate a pro-poor policy framework. It supported this by engaging government and non-government organizations in policy discussions, at both national and local levels, while at the same time strengthening local capacities and helping them access additional funds.

The programme developed policy studies that informed and supported the collective advocacy for scaling up pro-poor water service delivery which will inform decision-makers on the investment requirements needed to meet the targets, so that appropriate and adequate interventions may be implemented. A paper on incentives and partnership modalities was approved and incorporated into the WATSAN Toolbox for LGUs (local government unit). Recommendations for improvements were also approved, and some had already been adopted by the time the Programme ended. In addition, 36 municipalities were allotted an estimated US$8 million for water supply systems under Salintubig, and have allocated about US$800,000 counterpart funds for sanitation.

36 WATSAN Councils were established/revived and 65 water users' associations were organized with their staff trained under Outcome 2 to ensure sustainability and the ability to replicate the pilot initiatives in other communities. Capacity building initiatives were based on an initial assessment and built into the WATSAN Toolbox which incorporated capacity building modules with existing modules on municipal water and sanitation plan formulation. These modules were used to train 43 municipalities and all 36 LGUs were able to develop their Municipal Water Supply, Sanitation and Sewerage Sector Plans (MW4SPs) which laid down the strategies and targets within their jurisdiction.

Another important outcome of the JP is that the majority (28 out of 36) of the Joint Programme LGUs were able to  replicate the pilot initiatives in their areas on their own, as well as the fact that Involvement of local stakeholders, including women and indigenous people, in water services provision has increased as a result of JP activities.


Outcome 1:

Established investment support mechanisms for poor communities/municipalities.


Outcome Achievements:

  • Under Salintubig, the 36 LGUs  were allocated about US$8 million for the construction/development of water supply systems. In Basud, Camarines Norte, an additional US$21,000 was invested by the LGU based on the planned water supply system. The LGU of Kalawit, Zamboanga del Norte, invested about US$190,000, 44% of which comes from the LGU funds and 56% from a non-government organization. In Claveria, Misamis Oriental, the LGU augmented in Salintubig funds with about US$45,000 from its Municipal Development Fund to install 800 household meters to upgrade users from Level II to Level III, and to expand the water supply system to four additional barangays.
  • A paper on what incentives mechanisms and partnership modalities may be adopted by waterless LGUs has been approved  and incorporated into the WATSAN Toolbox for LGUs.
  • An NG-LGU cost-sharing arrangement for water supply projects in waterless municipalities was approved. Government has suspended the NG-LGU cost sharing scheme until further review, the JP’s report will serve as a reference material for said review.
  • Recommended improvements on the programming policies were approved, and some have been adopted by Salintubig.
  • 36 WATSAN Councils have been established/revived and 65 water users' associations were organized. These WATSAN Councils, capacitated under Outcome 2, are expected to sustain and replicate the pilot initiatives in other communities. The 65 water users' associations have also been capacitated so they may be able to sustain the operation and management of local water systems.
  • Recommended simplified procedures and requirements for regulating water service providers in waterless areas were approved. The same have been used in the capacity building of partners for rollout in Salintubig areas.


Outcome 2:

Increased local capacities to plan, develop, implement, opérate and manage water supply systems.


Outcome Achievements:

  • Involvement of local stakeholders, including women and indigenous people, in water services provision have increased as a result of JP activities.
  • An assessment of LGU capacities was undertaken and based on the results, modules were developed and the mentoring scheme was piloted in Sibagat, Agusan del Sur, which has shown positive results since, including improved tariffs, increased collection efficiency and better maintenance of facilities. Capacity building of 142 LGUs, 285 Bottom-Up Planning and Budgeting (BUPB) recipient-LGUs, and 82 LGUs under the Transition Investment Support Program (TISP)-ARMM led to better services.
  • The WATSAN Toolbox was developed integrating the capacity building modules, together with other modules on municipal water and sanitation plan formulation, LCSC formulation and community-organizing using the human rights-based approach (HRBA). The modules were used to train 43 municipalities.
  • The 36 Joint Programme LGUs were able to develop their Municipal Water Supply, Sanitation and Sewerage Sector Plans (MW4SPs) which laid down the strategies and targets within their jurisdiction. The plans were supported by a Local Investment Plan.
  • 36 LCSCs were formulated, adopted and implemented and are expected to have a positive impact on the sustainability of water facilities as a result of increased efficiency and increased participation of consumers in the management of the system.
  • The Joint Programme has renewed discussions at national and regional levels on the issues facing the sector, increasing awareness and participation of marginalized groups (such as women and indigenous peoples), as well as increased media attention.
  • A partnership with the private sector in an advocacy activity resulted in assistance for typhoon relief operations.


Best Practices:

  • The majority of the good practices are connected to localized and/or community-based initiatives and strategies of the LGU beneficiaries in developing and replicating earlier project outputs. This emphasizes the importance of buy-in from communities. 
  • Local partners to the program have reported they continue to conduct related activities through trained personnel and even through their own budget. They were able to be creative and resourceful in integrating Joint Programme activities in their own work program and regular activities. 
  • The WATSAN regional hubs constituted an innovative initiative with a potential to upscale and replicate the programme's good practices to reach a broader coverage of waterless municipalities.


Lessons Learned:

  • Beneficiaries agreed there is still a need to deepen and sustain cooperation among communities to ensure the successful implementation of programs and projects on water and sanitation.
  • Commitment is viewed as the key factor for sustainability, and this can be encouraged by tapping on to local capacities (such as the WATSAN Councils) in the design, management and execution of project interventions.
  • It is important that LCEs (local chief executives) fully understand the program and its requirements.
  • The availability and timely submission of technical reports and other documentation by consultants would have facilitated the implementation process, specifically, keeping project activities and deliverables on track.
  • Monitoring and reporting procedures were not strictly followed and implemented. Issues and concerns would have been addressed earlier if these were periodically reported to program implementers.
  • The programme provided demonstrable evidence that the poor were willing and able to pay for water supply services, as long as there is sufficient transparency and accountability in the governance system and effective community mobilization.
  • Communities also demonstrated they are capable of mentoring and transferring knowledge to other waterless communities through mentoring.
  • More efforts towards developing capacity of LGUs on innovative resource mobilization such as private- public partnerships, and developing proposals could have enhanced the Joint Programme's contribution to the overall programme objective. This is because policies take time to translate into results, and putting more focus on activities while working within the existing policy or, in this case, institutional environment would have yielded more direct results given the limited period of implementation (3 years).
  • Identified the required investments, thus making them useful tools for resource mobilization while the LCSCs provided a binding social contract between the water service providers and consumers. However, to ensure sustained implementation, a monitoring system would need to be established and institutionalized in DILG.
  • Since the Joint Programme funds were channeled through UN agencies, the accountability and reporting mechanisms for fund management should reside within the UN systems and structures. However, all other programme implementing and coordinating mechanisms should reside in national systems, so that these processes and results can be continued after the end of the joint programme.
  • LGUs should have capacity to explore alternative funding sources including public private partnerships and debt financing.


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 Philippines or the lead agency for the programme. The MPTF Office Portfolio Manager (or Country Director with Delegation of Authority) for this programme:

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