Following years of discourse among sector stakeholders towards a better coordinated and more effective WASH sector in line with the Paris Declaration, the WASH sector in Ghana embarked on a series of eight (8) Action Oriented workshops to move from a highly projectized sector and adopt a Sector Wide Approach (SWAP). So far, six (6) of these workshops have been held already, with only two (2) outstanding. The first workshop in the series, dubbed “SWAp Road Map Introductory workshop” was organised on the 2-3 February 2010 to solicit the buy-in of all sector stakeholders and to introduce the concept of a Code of Conduct for the SWAp, among others. The second workshop in the series was organised in Accra, from the 22–25 March 2010 at the Alisa hotel. The theme for the workshop was “Deepening the understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the Ghana Water Sector SWAp”. This workshop could be described as the foundation stone for the entire process by its nature and the issues it covered. First, it enabled a common understanding of the SWAp concept and how it is implemented in practice among key sector players. Second, it enabled stakeholders to critically analyse the 5 key elements of SWAp namely Sector Polices and Strategies, Budgets and Financing, Sector Institutions and capacities, Coordination and Monitoring and evaluation for the various WASH sub sectors.
Overall the workshop found that government leadership of the SWAp process was developing well and that a credible process was in place to develop a fundable sector plan based on the planned Strategic Sector Development Plan (SSDP). However, two most important issues that arose were: (i) How wide should the sector‐wide be? How Ghana should delineate the SWAp, and in particular whether and when the Sanitation sub‐sector should be taken on board by an overall WASH SWAp; and (ii) How to ensure consistency between the SWAp and the decentralization process, especially in the rural sub sector. Further complicating the first issue above is the fact that the sector assessments carried out during the workshop covered only the Urban, Rural and Water Resources sub sectors, whilst the Sanitation sub sector was not assessed.
The sector has since made significant progress in resolving these uncertainties. On the latter issue (Decentralisation), the fifth workshop was dedicated to deliberating how the SWAp processes would be fitted within the decentralized framework. The outcome was positive in as far as agreeing on modalities for implementing SWAp at the decentralised level is concerned. What remains is to further dialogue on issues of coordination at the regional and district levels.
On the former issue (inclusion of the Sanitation sub sector) some progress has also been made in arriving at a consensus to widen the scope of the SWAp to cover the entire WASH sector, hence include the Sanitation sub sector from the start. With this
decision, the failure to include the sanitation sub sector in the assessments of the elements of SWAp was a missed opportunity. Fortunately however, the Sector Strategic Plan that is currently under development, and which is expected to guide the implementation of the SWAp also covers the Sanitation Sub sector. Noting that a good understanding of the issues surrounding the five SWAp building blocks in the Sanitation sub sector is a critical step for the success of the process, the Seventh Workshop in the SWAp series has been dedicated for this purpose. As was done for the other sub sectors, stakeholders would assess all the five elements of SWAp (Policies & Strategies, Budgets & financing, Institutions & Capacities, Coordination, and Monitoring and evaluation) within the existing frameworks of the sanitation sub sector to determine if all the building blocks are in place, what the most critical issues are and next steps in addressing these issues, as well as modalities for moving forward with the SWAp. The workshop is scheduled to take place at the Coconut Regency Hotel, on the 21st – 22nd June 2011.
Objectives of the Workshop
- To increase understanding of stakeholders regarding modalities for implementing SWAp in a sector spanning several ministries, especially with regard to coordination, financing arrangements and monitoring.
- To assess the five building blocks of SWAp with regards to sanitation and determine short and long term priorities to deal with in moving the SWAp forward
Scope of the Workshop
The workshop will span two days. Day one would be dedicated to presentations that are considered key to enabling stakeholders do a thorough assessment of the five elements of SWAp. Though presentations may not necessarily be exhaustive of these issues, those considered critical in filling knowledge gaps of stakeholders would be useful. On the second day, participants would work in groups to carry out the sanitation sub sector assessment with regard to these elements. Again as was done for each of the 3 sub‐sectors, short term priorities of the Sanitation sub sector that should be fundable within the 3 year Medium Term Expenditure Framework would be identified together with longer term priorities over a 15 year period. Other lesser but still important priorities would also be identified.
1. A clear definition and delineation of the WASH sector in SWAp discourse, as well as the linkages between the water and sanitation institutions
2. Clear roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders for sanitation
3. An understanding of whether or not the SSDP adequately addresses all the relevant issues of sanitation
4. Results of the sanitation sub sector assessment, spelling out
• The building blocks
• Crucial issues needing attention
• Next steps – what needs to be done
A better understanding of how to deal with Sanitation in the WASH sector Swap, noting the largely decentralised approach to delivering sanitation services.
Date: 21st – 22nd June 2011
Venue: Coconut Grove Regency Hotel