Tracking Network Analysis: Debre Birhan, Ethiopia

In Debre Birhan, Ethiopia, the local government struggles to provide reliable, long-term sanitation services to its 113,000 residents. This rapidly growing town has no centralized sewer network, meaning most sanitation facilities contain waste onsite. The large number of dispersed government agencies and entities mandated to manage the town’s sanitation make it difficult for all actors to fully coordinate or agree on each’s precise roles, responsibilities, or workflows.

Sustainable WASH Systems Learning Partnership (SWS) partners IRC and Tetra Tech are working to improve WASH systems in Ethiopia through a local learning alliance committee.

SWS partner, LINC, used organizational network analysis (ONA) to better understand the relationships and dynamics among the Debre Birhan Learning Alliance members – a group of 20 public authorities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), private sector, donors, and academics – key actors working to remediate this sanitation scenario. ONA was chosen as an appropriate method because it helps identify opportunities to improve network cooperation, information sharing, and to develop capacity and leadership among participants in long-term and complex projects such as developing a Debre Birhan sanitation system.