IRC hosts Second National Learning Exchange on District-wide initiatives for SDG6

IRC hosts Second National Learning Exchange on District-wide initiatives for SDG6

District sharing session at the learning exchange

Accra, Ghana, December 10, 2019 - IRC Ghana, WaterAid Ghana and Water4/ Access Development, in collaboration with their respective target District Assemblies - Asutifi North in the Ahafo Region, Bongo in the Upper East Region and Wassa East Municipal in the Western Region, jointly convened the second national learning exchange on district-wide initiative focused on strengthening strong local systems to deliver safe and sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services for everyone.

The District Assemblies (DAs) led the discussions and shared current implementation status of the various District Wide Approaches (DWAs); and how the local authorities and their partners are fulfilling their roles and responsibilities in delivering on the agreed WASH agenda.

The dialogue generated clear and strong learning points and recommendations for strengthening district-wide approaches and forging partnerships towards improved delivery of WASH and WASH-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The main lessons for a successful DWA noted from the deliberations included the following:

• Strong district leadership and political commitment;
• Strong partnership and clarity of roles;
• Citizen mobilisation, engagement and commitment;
• Capacity enhancement of the DAs and community members are key to ensure sustainability of WASH interventions;
• Setting-up monitoring framework for tracking performance;
• Creation of cross subsidy system for those with capacity to pay helps those who do not have the capacity to have access to WASH;
• Realistic budget allocation and disbursement for WASH by the DAs support implementation and promote sustainability of WASH facilities;
• A clear advocacy and communication plan to facilitate implementation and mobilise popular support for the initiative;
• Cross sector alliance promotes learning, collaborative decision making and ownership.

Stakeholders also identified the following areas that need to be considered going forward:
• Addressing the water quality (high fluoride and iron) challenge;
• More investment in addressing the sanitation challenge in the DAs;
• National Development Planning Commission adopting and replicating the Asutifi North District approach nationwide.
• Increase private sector involvement in addressing WASH challenges.
• Increase involvement of traditional authorities in designing, planning and implementation, as well as monitoring of WASH system at the District level.

The learning exchange provided a platform for the Asutifi North Ahonidie Mpuntuo (ANAM) partners and other like-minded district-wide initiatives like the WaterAid Ghana DWA with the Bongo District and Water4/ Access Development District Wide Safe Water with the Wassa East Municipal Assembly to share their experiences; and learn at first-hand how these initiatives are being rolled out. This annual learning exchange stimulates all-inclusive district-wide dialogue and interaction to identify learning points for improved planning and practice towards securing universal access to WASH services.
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