Assessment of Shifts in Stakeholder Understanding of WASH Systems

Photo credit: Wilbrord Turimaso, IRC WASH

This study sought to build evidence on the impact systems approaches can have on local stakeholders’ ability to conceptualize the complex factors and interactions that influence water and sanitation service delivery sustainability in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda. Specifically, it looks at how professionalized maintenance and facilitated collective action approaches — the two predominant systems approaches applied within the Sustainable WASH Systems Learning Partnership (SWS) — influence stakeholder understanding of larger WASH systems.

SWS determined whether stakeholder understanding of factor interactions improved over time by looking at: (1) the number of system factors and interactions mentioned by stakeholders; (2) shifts in understanding of factor interactions that align with the core tenants of service delivery approaches, and (3) stakeholder alignment to improving their WASH context.

Findings showed that stakeholders increasingly conceptualized more factors, actors, and their relationships necessary for systemic service delivery, demonstrating a greater understanding of the complexities and nuances of their local water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) contexts.