Systems Thinking

LiteratureReview

System Approaches to Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene: A Systematic Literature Review

Endemic issues of sustainability in the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sector have led to the rapid expansion of ‘system approaches’ for assessing the multitude of interconnected factors that affect WASH outcomes. However, the sector lacks a systematic analysis and characterization of the knowledge base for systems approaches, in particular how and where they are being implemented and what outcomes have resulted from their application.

Brief

Maintenance Approaches to Improve the Sustainability of Rural Water Supplies

Numerous studies have sought to understand the factors that most influence the sustainability of rural water supply services. This understanding has led to the development of maintenance approaches, both reactive and preventive, that seek to improve functionality rates and maintain reliable continuity of rural community water services. This document reviews literature about the factors influencing the sustainability of rural water services, and the emerging maintenance approaches seeking to address these factors and improve service reliability.

Brief

Emerging Lessons on Sustaining Rural Water Services in Uganda: A Case Study of Whave's Preventive Maintenance Model

To address the complex challenges of sustainable rural water service delivery, Whave has been testing a model for the provision of preventive maintenance services. Whave’s approach focuses on results-based payment for avoiding breakdowns, rather than payment for repairs. By incentivizing performance, their goal is to establish a system that reduces water source downtime and therefore improves the reliability of water supply systems. Whave is currently operating in more than 400 communities across Uganda.

Training

IRC WASH Systems Academy

The WASH Systems Academy is a dynamic online platform developed to assist WASH sector professionals in applying a WASH systems strengthening approach. Interactive and and free—the WASH Systems Academy is available to all. Listen to podcasts, watch animations, connect with others in the forums, create your own materials and more. 

Conference

2020 Colorado WASH Symposium - University of Colorado Boulder

The intent of the Colorado WASH Symposium is to provide a platform for sharing and expanding collective knowledge in the field of water, sanitation, and hygiene in both domestic and international contexts. The symposium brings together leaders and WASH practitioners in social enterprises, the private sector, NGOs, academia, and development agencies. The Colorado WASH Symposium is deliberately small and intimate - designed around in-depth conversations and unrushed sessions where each individual’s contribution is valued.

Purpose

Document

WASH Research Questions Worksheet

This worksheet features a series of questions designed to guide strategic thinking and programming decisions related to the following components of the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sectors:

  • Governance & Finance
  • Sanitation & Hygiene
  • Safe Drinking Water
  • Water Resources Management

Click here to download the worksheet. Please remember to share your input no later than Friday, November 29th.

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.