Ex-Post Evaluations > Ex-Post Evaluation: Millennium Water Alliance - Ethiopia Program (MWA-EP)
What We Did
The evaluation team looked at the Millennium Water Alliance-Ethiopia Program (MWA-EP), implemented between 2004–2009. MWA-EP aimed to increase water and sanitation access, decrease water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH)–related illnesses, promote integrated water resource management, and develop a partnership model for service delivery.
How We Did It
The evaluation team sought to understand whether the increased access to water and sanitation attributed to the MWA-EP intervention proved to be sustainable almost a decade later, and why. They used a mixed-methods approach to data collection, conducting 64 interviews, observations of 13 water points and 15 latrines, water quality tests at 10 water points, and collection of secondary data from government entities and NGOs.
What We Learned
MWA-EP improved water access, at least in the short term. However, only five of the 13 visited water points were functioning fully at the time of their visit.
Most households that had built a latrine during the project continued to rebuild their latrines as necessary (when they become full or are damaged) after the end of the activity.
These and other findings underscore the difficulty in maintaining community water points, as well as the limitations of earlier, simpler behavior change approaches like those used in the MWA-EP activity.
Increasing rural access to safe water sources and the adoption of healthy sanitation and hygiene habits remain critical issues throughout the developing world. Yet the sustainability of donor activities designed to improve access is not always a given. Community water point management is difficult to sustain effectively, and new approaches may be necessary to increase access to water services in rural areas over the long term.
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About the Ex-Post Evaluation Series
The USAID Water Office is conducting a series of independent ex-post evaluations of the Agency’s water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) activities to inform future USAID investments in the sector and to better understand the long-term impact and sustainability of its interventions several years after projects close.
This evaluation series will help USAID understand whether and how its activity results have been sustained. All activities included in the series must have been closed for a minimum of three years and could not be recipients of Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance or Food for Peace funding. Preference is given to USAID missions that are at a point in their design cycle to incorporate learnings into upcoming WASH programs.
This evaluation series builds upon USAID and Rotary International’s WASH Sustainability Index Tool, a framework to assess a WASH activity’s likelihood to be sustainable according to the following factors: availability of finance for sanitation; local capacity for construction and maintenance of latrines; the influence of social norms; and governance.