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Evaluation report

2011 Bosnia and Herzegovina: MDGF Evaluation: Mid-term evaluation “Securing Access to Water through Institutional Development and Infrastructure” joint UNDP and UNICEF project in Bosnia and Herzegovina



Author: Lilit V. Melikyan

Executive summary

“With the aim to continuously improve transparency and use of evaluation, UNICEF Evaluation Office manages the "Global Evaluation Reports Oversight System". Within this system, an external independent company reviews and rates all evaluation reports. Please ensure that you check the quality of this evaluation report, whether it is “Outstanding”, “Good”, “Almost Satisfactory” or “Unsatisfactory” before using it. You will find the link to the quality rating below, labelled as ‘Part 2’ of the report.”

Background:

In December 2006, the UNDP and the Government of Spain signed a major partnership agreement for the amount of €528 million with the aim of contributing to progress on the MDGs and other development goals through the United Nations System by funding innovative programmes that have an impact on the population and potential for replication. The Millennium Development Goals Achievement Fund (MDGF) operates through the UN teams in 49 countries, promoting increased coherence and effectiveness in development interventions through collaboration among UN agencies. The Fund uses a joint programme (JP) mode of intervention: the programs are viewed as a step towards UN reform and UN One and are also to contribute to enhanced national ownership of the MDGs achievement.

The “Securing Access to Water through Institutional Development and Infrastructure” joint UNDP and UNICEF project in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH hereafter) falls under the programmatic window of Democratic Economic Governance (DEG). The programmes in this window are geared towards contributing to achieving Goal 7 of the MDGs, particularly the challenge of reducing the proportion of people without sustainable access to drinking water, with a primary focus on strengthening government capacity to handle water supply and quality, including poor population, in water planning and policy, and increasing financial investments in the water supply sector, while also supporting the governments at the national and local levels, civil society and community organizations and leaders.

The project in BiH was approved on November 18, 2008 with an initial budget of US$ 4,450,000, which was revised later up to US$4,600,000. The actual project start dates to 25 November 2009. The planned duration of the project is 3 years. The national partners include:
• BiH Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations (MOFTER);
• BiH Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA);
• FBiH Ministry of Agriculture, Water Management and Forestry;
• Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of the Republic of Srpska;
• FBiH Ministry of Labor and Social Policy;
• Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of the Republic of Srpska;
• Civil society organisations (CSOs);
• 13 participating municipalities and 11 associated with these water utility (WU) companies. The participating municipalities in FBiH are: municipalities of Stolac, Neum, Gračanica, Kladanj, Bihać, Bosanski Petrovac. The participating municipalities in the RS are: the town Grad Istočno Sarajevo (municipalities Istočna Ilidža, Trnovo, Istočno Novo Sarajevo), and municipalities of Rudo, Višegrad, Petrovo and Petrovac-Drinić.
The Ministries of Social Welfare of RS and FBiH were included in the Project Management Committee (PMC) during the first phase of the implementation when it was realized that this would help to maximise the impact of the project.

Purpose/Objective:

This mid-term review (MTR) is aimed to be highly formative in nature and was sought to:
• improve the implementation of the JP during their second phase of implementation;
• generate knowledge, identifying best practices and lessons learned that could be transferred to other programmes.
It is expected that the conclusions and recommendations generated by this evaluation will be addressed to its main users: the Programme Management Committee (PMC), the National Steering Committee (NSC) and the Secretariat of the Fund. As stipulated in the TOR (see Annex 4), the MTR is based on an expedited process of a fast-paced but systematic analysis of the design, process, results and trends of the JP, in line with the questions identified in the TOR. This MTR has the following specific objectives:
• to discover the programme’s design quality, internal coherence (needs and problems it seeks to solve) and external coherence with the UNDAF, the national development strategies and the MDGs, and find out the degree of national ownership as defined by the Paris Declaration and the Accra Agenda for Action;
• to understand how the JP operates and assess the efficiency of its management model in planning, coordinating, managing and executing resources allocated for its implementation, through an analysis of its procedures and institutional mechanisms, and with that, to uncover the factors for success and limitations in inter-agency tasks within the One UN framework;
• to identify the programme’s degree of effectiveness, its contribution to the objectives of the Economic Governance thematic window, and the MDGs at the local and country levels.

Methodology:

The unit of analysis (object of study) for this MTR is the joint programme (JP), understood to be the set of components, outcomes, outputs, activities and inputs that were detailed in the Project Document (PD hereafter) and in associated modifications made during implementation. The evaluation follows closely the questions identified in the TOR and is in line with OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) evaluation criteria of: relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability and impact. It also took into account the availability of resources and the priorities of stakeholders.The metholodgy of the MTR comprised:
• Desk review: including, but not limited to annual reports, programme documents, internal review reports, programme files, strategic country development documents, third party documents, any other documents that provided evidence on which to form opinions;
• Key Informant Interviews (KII): see Annex 2 for the semi-structured interview guide;
• Fogus Group Discussions (FGD): with Municpal Managment Boards.
4 program sites were visted, namely: Gračanica, Istočno Sarajevo, Stolac, and Neum. During these site visits meetings were held with the representatives of municipalites, water companies, and Municipal Management Boards (MMBs). In Gračanica a FGD was condcuted with MMB members. Mini-case studies for these 4 visits are presented in the Boxes in this report.

Traingulation was used to verify the information gathered from the docuemnt review, interviews and the site vists. It involves developing the reliability of the findings through multiple data sources of information (see Figure 4), bringing as much evidence as possible into play from different perspectives in the assessment of hypotheses and assumptions. In the assessments of the outcomes attempt was made to attribute the results to the project when feasible to the JP: when not feasible, contribution analysis was used, which is presented schematically below, in Figure 5

Findings and Conclusions:

The JP is on the track of securing effective collaboration between institutional building, infrastructure works and social protection components, which would enable local ownership the project and its sustainability.

The program is in its mid way, and it effectively started with a 6 months’ time lag as compared to its initial plan since 6 months were needed for identification process of the partner municipalities- something no envisioned in the Project document. Hence one can only speak about some tentative emerging best practices. Also, the MTR, as mentioned, and stipulated by the TOR was a fast pace exercise, while to make a convincing case of a best practice, one needs to conduct a thorough assessments – at least good case studies on specific issues. Learning, through, at least case studies was not part of the project design, as was mentioned, and this is another factor that makes making judgments about best practices brought about by the project at this stage challenging and premature. Several elements of the project are proving to be best practices, e.g.:
• establishment of MMBs as consultative platforms at the municipalities, which, among other issues tackle identification and support of vulnerable in their communities, including with water supply related issues and bring in accountability/informative element to the operation of municipal water utilities;
• supporting municipalities with water sector masterplans helps to unlock funding sources for the municipalities which would not have such a possibility without external assistance, as well as informing sectoral policy making for higher level governments;
• combining work with the municipalities with the support and advocacy at the higher levels of the government, which will help to put the requirement for improved service delivery based on financial sustainability of municipal water utilities on a more sustainable footing
The JP is contributing to the Millennium Development Goals (access to quality water supply, poverty, etc) at the local and national levels. However there is no sufficient information as yet to make any judgement of the extent of this contribution of the JP to this goal: this will need to be a part of the end of the project evaluation.

The duration of the Programme is hardly sufficient to ensure a cycle that will support the sustainability of the interventions. In particular, close involvement with entity level sector ministries, further support to the Water Department of Water at MOFTER, in line with the potential activities described above, will require additional time and funding.

1. Design level
The project addresses an important issue for Bosnia and Herzegovina. The project design is adequate in that it aims to bring together the two building blocks necessary for achieving sustainable, affordable, effective and accountable service delivery: capacity building for water utilities and improving the accountability mechanisms for the operation of water utilities and municipalities. One aspect where the project design could have been better elaborated relates to the role of MMBs as it pertains to the water sector as opposed to other issues having social significance – in the context of the overall scope of work of municipalities, as well as linking the outcome envisioned under this program to strategic development of municipalities. Also, expectations about municipalities’ increasing water tariffs needed better elaboration, with consequences for other components (e.g. capturing their impact on households). Additionally, a stronger evaluation/learning component would have benefitted the program to result in recommendations and concrete actions to enhance the potential for replication.

2. Process level
At the process level, the program management initiated and succeeded in some advancement related to bringing the third building block into the picture- engagement with entity and state level government bodies, resulting in the establishment of the Department for Water within MOFTER.

The program ensured active engagement of the residents in forming PAG groups, and establishing the MMBs; in identifying the vulnerable households in the respective communities as well as training of the MMBs to continue the work in the future.

A few areas where the program could be improved are: having a clear timeline of the planned activities for the whole duration of the project; a more strategic and clear approach towards training of the WU staff (in addition to experience sharing between the water utilities, which in itself is an innovative approach, but, potentially not sufficient)
Ideally large scale public awareness campaigns were to be started earlier, than it is planned now (during the second phase), as was envisioned in the PD. A Communications Strategy is however developed now and if implemented effectively with innovative elements this could contribute largely towards changing knowledge, attitudes and practices of the residents largely.

Cooperation between UNDP and UNISEF is good; however a more detailed information sharing is advised between the agencies, as well as better coordination of their work in a given municipality.

3. Results level
a) local level in pilot municipalities
The project is progressing well and important achievements are in place, which have a good potential to improve the water supply for the residents of the selected municipalities. The project is also on track of securing effective collaboration between institutional building, infrastructure works and social protection components, which would enable local ownership the project and its sustainability. In particular:
• Masterplans and water sector studies, based on comprehensive assessments that were carried out have the potential to unlock the funding from IFIs for the pilot municipalities. Already, the program has managed to broker a number of potentially promising investment/loan projects. One area for improvement and future work is ensuring a closer link between the JP and other projects in support of developing local governance (strategic planning, program based budgeting in particular).
• Municipalities have shown a keen interest in improving water supply in their service areas. This has manifested itself in large amount of cofunding for the infrastructure projects (US$435.000).
• Most of the municipalities are proving to be reluctant to increase water tariffs drastically to reach cost recovery levels. It has subjective reasons but also objective ones: this has to be a gradual process, accompanied by efforts to decrease the losses and attract investments. The municipalities need however continued guidance by the JP. It is also important to monitor the process closely to derive lessons learnt.
 MMBs were established in all target municipalities. Despite the short time for preparation and realization of activities in the JP, most of the MMBs successfully realized planned tasks and embraced the concept of HRBAP methodology with the purpose of achieving best interests for children and adults;
 Assessments and situation analyses made in area of social and child protection, in many municipalities enable them to conduct qualitative and quantitative analysis about the current situation in institutions and organizations which implement activities in the area of social protection of children and adults in local communities;
• MMBs/Commissions help to bring the accountability element into the oversight of water utilities, ensuring that the rights of the residents and especially the poor and vulnerable are included in the decision making process with regards to both municipalities and water utilities. One potential area for the improvement and future work is bringing in more clarity in terms of the multisectoral role of MMBs at municipalities (vis a vis water sector; in name as well as in nature) as well supporting advancement of their work. Also, there are municipalities which perform better than some others in terms of PAG activity: the latter need a more targeted support to catch up. .
• Municipalities are better informed now with knowledge of the vulnerable households in their communities. This is a good start for the upcoming reform of the social assistance reform – and the JP successfully cooperates with the WB, which is leading these efforts.
• Municipalities are also better equipped with the information databases (DevInfo) which, coupled with training in evidence-based policy making already helps them to improve their performance especially in the areas, which are of direct relevance to the poor and vulnerable. Information flows to the state bodies in charge of social assistance is taking place already in many of the target municipalities
• MMBs in all municipalities have developed Action Plans. They were trained in how to develop these sustainably to reflect the needs of the vulnerable. Some priority activities were funded from the project budgets with small grants. Action Plans are in the process of implementation in all municipalities.
• MMBs have started developing strategies on how to assist the vulnerable with water sector issues (e.g., subventions from the municipality budgets, social tariffs by water utilities, etc). It is important to continue monitoring these developments and continuing to assist the MMBs, water utilities and municipalities in this regard.
• PAR groups were formed with UNICEF support which involved schoolchildren in action research. These also were built upon with the UNESCO component, whereby they fundraised for small scale water projects, thereby also contributing to public awareness raising. This is an interesting approach, but it would be important to assess the effectiveness
b) Canton and Entity level
• The research and masterplans developed within the JP have been very useful for these levels of the government to inform elaboration of Water Sector strategies. The FBIH has made Water Management Strategy, which has passed a public hearing campaign and the same was adopted by the Government of the Federation and the House of Representatives of the FBIH, and is expected to be adopted by the House of Peoples of FBIH. The strategy was prepared for a period of 12 years and includes planned institutional reforms, legal and regulatory measures, evaluation of investments for the water supply necessary to achieve planned objectives . The work with the entity level ministries needs to be intensified however with a goal to see service standards, key benchmarks, and incentive mechanisms adopted.
• The concept of MMBs should ideally be imbedded in the laws. There is already a draft Law in the Republic of Srpska, which is an important achievement: this should be followed through with for FBiH in cooperation with the UN and other initiatives in support of local governance development.
• The JP contributed to the ongoing work by the Association of Municipalities, aimed at developing laws on communal services in the two entities. This needs to be continued, ensuring that the findings from the project are fed into the process
c) State level
• The programme advocated for more solid structure for water related policies at the nation level resulting in establishment of Department for Water in key stakeholder Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relationship (MOFTER). It is expected that Department for Water becomes hub for all future interventions in the water supply sector and to take an active role in coordination activities (e.g. between entities) as well as setting some ground rules for tariff setting. It was established only year ago and has only 4 staff. The department needs more support and capacity building to operate effectively. And more work is needed at this level, and with the Water Department in particular (e.g. for the latter develop agreed by all tariff setting guidelines) to unlock the bottlenecks in operating environment of the water sector entities in a sustainable manner.
• Cooperation with the Association of Municipalities and the Association of Water Utilities has started, but a more targeted and specific capacity building assistance/cooperation programme is needed
d) Cross-cutting issues
• The Program ensured active participation of women in the MMBs, thus contributing to more active participation of women in decision making at the municipality level, as well as addressing the problems which are of acute importance for women.
• Youth are being actively involved in forming PAG and PAR groups, ensuring their engagement in the solving of the community problems from an early age. This is a good investment to promote their future engagement as well.

Recommendations:

1. Develop a time bound planning tool for the project management with clear deadlines for each activity. Ensure better and in-detail coordination and information sharing between UNDP and UNICEF
2. Continue to support water utilities with technical assistance with regards to the implementation of their strategies. Monitor the developments related to increasing water tariffs. Incorporate this into the Learning plan.
3. Review the place of the MMBs in each municipality [narrow (only water) vs. wider role] helping to clarify their mandate vis-a-vis other potentially existing consultative platforms. Coordinate this activity with various projects (including those of UNDP, but not only) on local governance development. If these are multisector, then ensure that this is reflected in the names of the Commissions (into which MMBs are formalized) and Action Plans
4. Ensure a better and in-detail coordination to achieve synergies with UNDP (and other) programs on local governance development. In particular, to link the masterplans and MMB/Commission Action Plans with the strategy formulation by the municipalities (based on program based budgeting) and encouraging IMC.
5. Investigate cooperation opportunities with the regional development agencies (e.g. in terms of attracting funding)
6. Develop a more systemic approach to training of municipality and water utility staff and MMBs (regarding water supply issues), as well as Municipal Councils. , to be preceded by assessments of the persisting training needs of water utility staff. Ensure that the effectiveness of these efforts is assessed.
7. Develop and implement a more systematic approach to public awareness among the population. Ensure that the effectiveness of these efforts is assessed. It is noted that the Program Plan for 2012 includes activities related to raising public awareness among population.
8. Develop and implement a well-designed plan for the evaluation of the program outcomes and impact. Well designed case studies could be utilized to generate valuable learning about the water supply management models, as well governance models. Topics for case studies could include: IMC for water service delivery; Villages-city connections; performance of varieties of governance structures at water utilities (e.g. the effects of PSP); WU and Small scale water suppliers: cooperation vs. competition; effects of political dynamics on water tariff policies; water quality monitoring systems: what works; successful modalities of assisting the poor (related to increasing water tariffs); Success factors for MMBs, etc. KAP survey could be used to assess behavior change related to public awareness campaigns.
9. Ensure that monitoring mechanisms are developed for water service delivery. There are now baselines for each of the water utility: after the end of the project it would be important to assess what changes have taken place at all water utilities across several dimensions (performance; behaviour, capacity).
10. It would be important to understand whether the MMBs are being able become an effective vehicle for multisector approach for resolving problems of water supply: e.g. having real influence on the water utilities and municipalities to achieve the desired change (sustainable water supply, effective water utilities, moving towards cost recovery while protecting the poor).
11. Build the capacities of the MMBs, and various levels of governments to enable them to monitor and assess the effectiveness of the multisector approach to resolving the problems of water supply.
12. The learning from the Recommendations 8-10 above should feed the plans of reapplication by the various levels of government, as well as by industry associations (Association of Municipalities, Association of Water Utility Companies).
13. Continue the efforts to ensure that citizens and local officials play a more significant role in securing benefits of efficient local government, and increase civil society “voice” and participation. Ensure that the municipalities are held accountable to citizens for service delivery. In this regard, support municipal councils (along with MMBs) to achieve improved oversight of service providers.
5.2. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE FUTURE PROGRAMMES

In case additional funding is available for the project:

14. Support the Association of Municipalities in the development of the Laws on communal services (currently in progress). Support replication of the successful management models emerging under the JP through the Association of Municipalities and Association of Water Utilities. This might require capacity building of these Associations, which could be done based on an assessment of their current status and needs
15. Support increased accountability in terms of both vertical and horizontal mechanisms of municipalities and water utilities in cooperation with entity level sector ministries through for example, a framework for service delivery standards to ensure compliance across constituent jurisdictions, and implementing a performance-based system that includes publicly available performance benchmarks and indicators, and offers incentives to providers to improve their service delivery
16. Support the newly established Department for Water in key stakeholder Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relationship (MOFTER) for it to become a hub for all future interventions in the water supply sector and to take an active role in coordination activities (e.g. between entities) as well as setting some ground rules for tariff setting.

Lessons Learned (Optional):

The JP is on the track of securing effective collaboration between institutional building, infrastructure works and social protection components, which would enable local ownership the project and its sustainability.

The program is in its mid way, and it effectively started with a 6 months’ time lag as compared to its initial plan since 6 months were needed for identification process of the partner municipalities- something no envisioned in the Project document. Hence one can only speak about some tentative emerging best practices. Also, the MTR, as mentioned, and stipulated by the TOR was a fast pace exercise, while to make a convincing case of a best practice, one needs to conduct a thorough assessments – at least good case studies on specific issues. Learning, through, at least case studies was not part of the project design, as was mentioned, and this is another factor that makes making judgments about best practices brought about by the project at this stage challenging and premature. Several elements of the project are proving to be best practices, e.g.:
• establishment of MMBs as consultative platforms at the municipalities, which, among other issues tackle identification and support of vulnerable in their communities, including with water supply related issues and bring in accountability/informative element to the operation of municipal water utilities;
• supporting municipalities with water sector masterplans helps to unlock funding sources for the municipalities which would not have such a possibility without external assistance, as well as informing sectoral policy making for higher level governments;
• combining work with the municipalities with the support and advocacy at the higher levels of the government, which will help to put the requirement for improved service delivery based on financial sustainability of municipal water utilities on a more sustainable footing
The JP is contributing to the Millennium Development Goals (access to quality water supply, poverty, etc) at the local and national levels. However there is no sufficient information as yet to make any judgement of the extent of this contribution of the JP to this goal: this will need to be a part of the end of the project evaluation.

The duration of the Programme is hardly sufficient to ensure a cycle that will support the sustainability of the interventions. In particular, close involvement with entity level sector ministries, further support to the Water Department of Water at MOFTER, in line with the potential activities described above, will require additional time and funding.

1. Design level
The project addresses an important issue for Bosnia and Herzegovina. The project design is adequate in that it aims to bring together the two building blocks necessary for achieving sustainable, affordable, effective and accountable service delivery: capacity building for water utilities and improving the accountability mechanisms for the operation of water utilities and municipalities. One aspect where the project design could have been better elaborated relates to the role of MMBs as it pertains to the water sector as opposed to other issues having social significance – in the context of the overall scope of work of municipalities, as well as linking the outcome envisioned under this program to strategic development of municipalities. Also, expectations about municipalities’ increasing water tariffs needed better elaboration, with consequences for other components (e.g. capturing their impact on households). Additionally, a stronger evaluation/learning component would have benefitted the program to result in recommendations and concrete actions to enhance the potential for replication.

2. Process level
At the process level, the program management initiated and succeeded in some advancement related to bringing the third building block into the picture- engagement with entity and state level government bodies, resulting in the establishment of the Department for Water within MOFTER.

The program ensured active engagement of the residents in forming PAG groups, and establishing the MMBs; in identifying the vulnerable households in the respective communities as well as training of the MMBs to continue the work in the future.

A few areas where the program could be improved are: having a clear timeline of the planned activities for the whole duration of the project; a more strategic and clear approach towards training of the WU staff (in addition to experience sharing between the water utilities, which in itself is an innovative approach, but, potentially not sufficient)
Ideally large scale public awareness campaigns were to be started earlier, than it is planned now (during the second phase), as was envisioned in the PD. A Communications Strategy is however developed now and if implemented effectively with innovative elements this could contribute largely towards changing knowledge, attitudes and practices of the residents largely.

Cooperation between UNDP and UNISEF is good; however a more detailed information sharing is advised between the agencies, as well as better coordination of their work in a given municipality.

3. Results level
a) local level in pilot municipalities
The project is progressing well and important achievements are in place, which have a good potential to improve the water supply for the residents of the selected municipalities. The project is also on track of securing effective collaboration between institutional building, infrastructure works and social protection components, which would enable local ownership the project and its sustainability. In particular:
• Masterplans and water sector studies, based on comprehensive assessments that were carried out have the potential to unlock the funding from IFIs for the pilot municipalities. Already, the program has managed to broker a number of potentially promising investment/loan projects. One area for improvement and future work is ensuring a closer link between the JP and other projects in support of developing local governance (strategic planning, program based budgeting in particular).
• Municipalities have shown a keen interest in improving water supply in their service areas. This has manifested itself in large amount of cofunding for the infrastructure projects (US$435.000).
• Most of the municipalities are proving to be reluctant to increase water tariffs drastically to reach cost recovery levels. It has subjective reasons but also objective ones: this has to be a gradual process, accompanied by efforts to decrease the losses and attract investments. The municipalities need however continued guidance by the JP. It is also important to monitor the process closely to derive lessons learnt.
 MMBs were established in all target municipalities. Despite the short time for preparation and realization of activities in the JP, most of the MMBs successfully realized planned tasks and embraced the concept of HRBAP methodology with the purpose of achieving best interests for children and adults;
 Assessments and situation analyses made in area of social and child protection, in many municipalities enable them to conduct qualitative and quantitative analysis about the current situation in institutions and organizations which implement activities in the area of social protection of children and adults in local communities;
• MMBs/Commissions help to bring the accountability element into the oversight of water utilities, ensuring that the rights of the residents and especially the poor and vulnerable are included in the decision making process with regards to both municipalities and water utilities. One potential area for the improvement and future work is bringing in more clarity in terms of the multisectoral role of MMBs at municipalities (vis a vis water sector; in name as well as in nature) as well supporting advancement of their work. Also, there are municipalities which perform better than some others in terms of PAG activity: the latter need a more targeted support to catch up. .
• Municipalities are better informed now with knowledge of the vulnerable households in their communities. This is a good start for the upcoming reform of the social assistance reform – and the JP successfully cooperates with the WB, which is leading these efforts.
• Municipalities are also better equipped with the information databases (DevInfo) which, coupled with training in evidence-based policy making already helps them to improve their performance especially in the areas, which are of direct relevance to the poor and vulnerable. Information flows to the state bodies in charge of social assistance is taking place already in many of the target municipalities
• MMBs in all municipalities have developed Action Plans. They were trained in how to develop these sustainably to reflect the needs of the vulnerable. Some priority activities were funded from the project budgets with small grants. Action Plans are in the process of implementation in all municipalities.
• MMBs have started developing strategies on how to assist the vulnerable with water sector issues (e.g., subventions from the municipality budgets, social tariffs by water utilities, etc). It is important to continue monitoring these developments and continuing to assist the MMBs, water utilities and municipalities in this regard.
• PAR groups were formed with UNICEF support which involved schoolchildren in action research. These also were built upon with the UNESCO component, whereby they fundraised for small scale water projects, thereby also contributing to public awareness raising. This is an interesting approach, but it would be important to assess the effectiveness
b) Canton and Entity level
• The research and masterplans developed within the JP have been very useful for these levels of the government to inform elaboration of Water Sector strategies. The FBIH has made Water Management Strategy, which has passed a public hearing campaign and the same was adopted by the Government of the Federation and the House of Representatives of the FBIH, and is expected to be adopted by the House of Peoples of FBIH. The strategy was prepared for a period of 12 years and includes planned institutional reforms, legal and regulatory measures, evaluation of investments for the water supply necessary to achieve planned objectives . The work with the entity level ministries needs to be intensified however with a goal to see service standards, key benchmarks, and incentive mechanisms adopted.
• The concept of MMBs should ideally be imbedded in the laws. There is already a draft Law in the Republic of Srpska, which is an important achievement: this should be followed through with for FBiH in cooperation with the UN and other initiatives in support of local governance development.
• The JP contributed to the ongoing work by the Association of Municipalities, aimed at developing laws on communal services in the two entities. This needs to be continued, ensuring that the findings from the project are fed into the process
c) State level
• The programme advocated for more solid structure for water related policies at the nation level resulting in establishment of Department for Water in key stakeholder Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relationship (MOFTER). It is expected that Department for Water becomes hub for all future interventions in the water supply sector and to take an active role in coordination activities (e.g. between entities) as well as setting some ground rules for tariff setting. It was established only year ago and has only 4 staff. The department needs more support and capacity building to operate effectively. And more work is needed at this level, and with the Water Department in particular (e.g. for the latter develop agreed by all tariff setting guidelines) to unlock the bottlenecks in operating environment of the water sector entities in a sustainable manner.
• Cooperation with the Association of Municipalities and the Association of Water Utilities has started, but a more targeted and specific capacity building assistance/cooperation programme is needed
d) Cross-cutting issues
• The Program ensured active participation of women in the MMBs, thus contributing to more active participation of women in decision making at the municipality level, as well as addressing the problems which are of acute importance for women.
• Youth are being actively involved in forming PAG and PAR groups, ensuring their engagement in the solving of the community problems from an early age. This is a good investment to promote their future engagement as well.



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