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Working closely with leadership and government in Ethiopia on system strengthening in Negelle Arsi and Shashamane woredas

Fecha publicación: 06/08/2021

Speaker in front of room facing two rows of people with back to camera

The 5-year (2018-2022) WASH SDG programme is under implementation in Ethiopia's Shashamane and Negelle Arsi woredas. The programme is financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of the Netherlands (DGIS) and implemented by Amref, Wetlands International (WI), Bole Baptist Biblical Church (BBBC), Akvo, and IRC WASH. It aims to increase access and sustainability of WASH services.

IRC WASH supports the two woredas and the programme on system strengthening activities like the development of master plans, facilitating woreda and national learning alliance platforms, budget tracking, advocacy, and knowledge management.

As part of this initiative, the WASH SDG programme supported the development of comprehensive WASH master plans for Negelle Arsi and Shashamane woredas as the WASH sector in Ethiopia does not have a comprehensive strategic plan to meet Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6) focusing on WASH.  

The master plans  aim for universal access to safe and sustainable WASH services for the entire population of the woredas by 2030. They are framed within the targets of SDG 6 and provide a strategy towards achieving the set visions and goals. The plans aim to strengthen the planning building block of the WASH system through the development of life-cycle costed woreda plans with the leadership of the government.  

This learning paper discusses previous planning in Ethiopia, the process of developing the two woreda WASH master plans, the tools used, and the learning and reflection from the process. Overall, despite the challenges, the planning process was a success. The woredas greatly improved their planning, collaborated across sectors to create comprehensive plans, and gained skills to continue the planning process in the future. Going forward it is recommended to work closely with leadership and other government bodies to gain buy-in and help increase understanding outside of the directly involved sectors and offices. Capacity building also needs to focus on broader capacity outside of the planning tools such as Excel skills and a deeper understanding of planning concepts. Finally, moving beyond planning to implementation, reporting and accountability will be essential to ensure that these plans are useful and further pursued.