systems thinking

Blog

Facilitation Makes the Difference in Sanitation

Muhammed Ibrahim is a local facilitator in Ethiopia working on USAID’s Sustainable WASH Systems Learning Partnership (SWS). His job is to improve the sanitation systems in the small towns of Debre Birhan and Woliso using an unconventional approach. He isn’t building toilets or educating people on the need for safe sanitation. Instead, Muhammed and his team are supporting local government staff, residents, and private companies to work together to address complex systematic issues as a collective. This approach is called collective action.

Research/Study

A Local Systems Analysis for Rural Water Services Delivery in South Ari and Mile, Ethiopia

This report provides a synthesis of various rural water studies and systems analyses undertaken in two rural woredas (districts) in Ethiopia: South Ari, in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region (SNNPR), and Mile, in the Afar Region. The Sustainable WASH Systems Learning Partnership conducted these assessments with representatives from local government and the USAID Lowland WASH Activity. The baseline studies include an asset inventory, service delivery assessment, life-cycle cost analysis, sustainability check, organizational network analysis, and factor mapping.

Video

WASH is About Systems

This video shares IRC Uganda's experiences applying the systems approach in delivery of water, sanitation, and hygiene. The video is set in Kabarole District, Uganda.

About IRC Uganda

IRC's priority In Uganda is understanding and strengthening WASH systems at national and district levels. We are committed to helping our partner district, Kabarole, to achieve universal access by 2030. Learn more.

 

Report

Summary Report of Baseline IFML Analyses in Kamuli District, Uganda

Between April and October 2018, Whave conducted five factor mapping workshops in Kamuli District, Uganda to learn about factors that affect the functionality of rural water services in the area. Factor mapping is a stakeholder-driven activity that seeks to create understanding of local systems and system leverage points by sharing, challenging, and making explicit stakeholders’ assumptions of how issues arise from a complex interaction of unique factors. This SWS report presents a synopsis of findings and methodology from the factor mapping and learning (IFML) process.

Brief

Factor Mapping to Understand Water Source Functionality in Kamuli District, Uganda

Between April and October 2018, Whave conducted five factor mapping workshops in Kamuli District, Uganda to learn about factors that affect the functionality of rural water services in the area. Factor mapping is a stakeholder-driven activity that seeks to create understanding of local systems and system leverage points by sharing, challenging, and making explicit stakeholders’ assumptions of how issues arise from a complex interaction of unique factors.

Research/Study

Understanding Coordination in Kitui County's Water Sector: An Analysis of Stakeholder Interactions and Perspectives

The Sustainable WASH Systems Learning Partnership undertook an organizational network analysis to study interactions across WASH sector actors in Kitui County, Kenya relating to information, skills, resources, and authority relationships. The study sought to identify the position of organizations in the network and understand network gaps, successes, challenges, and actors’ perspectives on possible solutions to achieve rural water sustainability.

Technical Brief

Factor Mapping for Rural Water and Small Town Sanitation Services

In Ethiopia and Uganda, the Sustainable WASH Systems Learning Partnership (SWS) developed and piloted a novel Factor Mapping approach to better understand the complex relationships between factors that influence water, sanitation, and hygiene services. The Factor Mapping process is a stakeholder-driven decision support technique that generates systems-based insights into how factors interact as a complex and dynamic system to affect WASH service delivery outcomes.

Article

Factors Influencing Revenue Collection for Preventative Maintenance of Community Water Systems: A Fuzzy-Set Qualitative Comparative Analysis

This Sustainable WASH Systems study analyzed combinations of conditions that influence regular payments for water service in resource-limited communities. To do so, the study investigated 16 communities participating in a new preventive maintenance program in the Kamuli District of Uganda under a public–private partnership framework. First, this study identified conditions posited as important for collective payment compliance from a literature review.

Video

Introducing the WASH Systems Academy

The WASH Systems Academy is a new dynamic online platform will be available to assist WASH sector professionals in applying a WASH systems strengthening approach. If you are at the start of your career or are a senior WASH expert that wants to understand what a systems strengthening approach entails and how you can integrate it in your work, this free resource is for you.

Training

Online Training: WASH Systems Strengthening – the Basics

This is the inaugural course of the WASH Systems Academy. It consists of nine interactive and engaging sessions dedicated to topics such as the origins and rationale for a systems strengthening approach, hygiene promotion, service ladders, and how to leave no one one behind—among many other topics