In recent years many more people have gained access to an improved water supply; unfortunately access to sanitary facilities is still lagging behind. One of the biggest challenges is how to sustain these newly built water facilities and make sure that people have continuous and reliable access to a supply of good quality water in sufficient quantities.
Much is needed to sustain water and sanitation services—from support to communities after construction of facilities; to improved regulation; to financing of all costs including those for support and replacement; to strengthening the capacities of local authorities; to activating supply chains; and to monitoring.
Monitoring is a critical building block for sustaining water and sanitation services. Which water and sanitation system are exactly out there? What is the status of these systems? Are they functional? Do they provide safe quality water? Are the queues and waiting times not too long? Knowing is necessary for correcting, adapting, and planning for sustainable WASH service delivery.
There is momentum to improve monitoring systems. Momentum because sustaining services is now more important than ever. Momentum because the international community is preparing indicators for the post-2015 development goals including those for water, sanitation and hygiene. Momentum because new Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) offer opportunities for faster and more efficient monitoring.
The Monitoring Sustainable WASH Service Delivery Symposium builds on this momentum and provides a platform for gaining knowledge and discussing the challenges for improved monitoring. It presents the latest thinking and experiences in monitoring from all over the world. It discusses how country-led monitoring could be strengthened. It discusses the need and possibilities for alignment of national and global monitoring systems and of project and country led monitoring systems. It provides an opportunity to sector experts to engage with new technologies for data collection and with examples of how monitoring resulted in sustainable water and sanitation service delivery.
The symposium will be attended by some 380 WASH sector experts from all over the world.
The symposium is hosted by the Ministry of Water and Energy and the Ministry of Health of the Government of Ethiopia; it is organised by IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre in partnership with: the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW), WaterAid, Water and Sanitation for Africa (WSA), the Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN), the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) and Water For People.
The symposium will be preceded by a seminar on Monday 8 April, “National WASH Inventory in Ethiopia: lessons learned and maximising value”. 150 Ethiopia water and sanitation experts will attend the seminar.