By Susan Davis, Improve International
At the IRC Symposium on Monitoring for Sustainable Services, I was excited to see there were several presentations on sustainability checks for water and sanitation systems. The sustainability frameworks contain various combinations of factors including financial, management, institutional / policy, technical, environmental, and community / social.
I think the sector has spent enough time and money reviewing the literature for sustainability factors and developing frameworks and monitoring indicators. Now we all need to apply them to actual water systems, with evaluations years after their construction. And we should build in these principles to our programming from now on. Here are some of the frameworks that I’ve collected.
- Water for Life Sustainability Rating Criteria. Water 1st & Improve International. Presentation here.
- Applying Sustainability Analysis to Rural Water Services. UNICEF Eastern & Southern Africa
- Sustainability checks: Five year annual sustainability audits of the water supply and ODF status in the One Million Initiative, Mozambique. UNICEF
- Advancing Sustainability of WASH Services within USAID. USAID
- Sustainability check: An innovative approach to WASH sustainability monitoring. USAID & Rotary
- Research exploring community-managed water and services. CARE / Global Water Initiative
- Assessing the Sustainability of WASH Services. Helvetas
- Sustainability Framework. WaterAid
- Sustainability Monitoring Framework. Dutch WASH Alliance.
- WASH Sustainability Charter
There seems to be general consensus among those participating in the conversation that at a minimum, for a water system to deliver services, someone must operate and maintain it, and sufficient funds must be available to pay for those activities.