Author: Murray Biedler
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This is a report on the external final evaluation of the project on “Improvement of the Health and Livelihood of Rural Communities in Southern Sudan and the Three Transitional Areas of Abyei, Blue Nile State and South Kordofan1 through Increased Access to Safe and Sustainable Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Facilities Project”. The evaluation was conducted during September, 2011.
The project was started in March 2007, and was planned to run for three years, ending in February 2010. However, following recommendations from the Mid-Term Review conducted in 2009, a request for a one-year extension was submitted by UNICEF to the European Commission and approved. The project activities ended in February 2011. This evaluation is therefore the end of project evaluation to help understand how much the project has been able to deliver, where the shortfalls have been and what lessons to learn from if any.
Essentially the purpose was to examine issues of relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability of the project. The period of evaluation of the programme focuses on the last two years following the mid-2009 interim project evaluation. It is not considered to be an overall evaluation of the project design (as this was accomplished by the interim evaluation conducted in 2009) but more a process of reflection to define what a future course of action for WASH system sustainability might be, one which is more relevant to the population dynamics and the political realities faced today in the new Republic of South Sudan, such as the evolving capacity in local government. The evaluation also aimed at examining issues of sector coordination and management, sustainability and monitoring, and how best to achieve results in these areas in the context of the socio-economic and political realities of Sudan.
The evaluation involved the following:
1. A desk analysis and review of project documents and reports.
2. Visits to authorities and communities in 4states in South Sudan: Central Equatoria (Juba County), Eastern Equatoria (Torit County), Lakes State (Rumbek Centre and Rumbek East Counties), Upper Nile (Malakal and Fashoda Counties).
3. Discussions with project partners and stakeholders, community leaders and community members, trained individuals, school officials and officials at different levels of government - ministry, state, and county.
However security concerns and lack of access to the 3 transitional areas meant that the evaluation finally took place in South Sudan only and UNICEF - Sudan provided project documents for desk review which are included as an annex in the report.
Findings and Conclusions:
The context has changed greatly since the design and inception of the project and original project targets and some methodology were changed during the mid-term review. Sustainability of the project was therefore found to be an issue as implementing partners and government authorities all reflected some attempts to adjust to the evolving context.
Similar to findings at mid- term review, seasonality and planning were serious issues to be considered in WASH projects in the future. This should be clearly highlighted in future proposals and negotitations with donors. The window of time for borehole drilling and construction work is limited to the dry season only in most project areas.
Intergration of seasonal challenges in all aspects of planning, this includes timing of the implementation ensuring that as much as possible is covered during the dry season because during the rainy season a number of areas are hard to reach.
In the technical aspects - involvement of hydrogeologists for siting and qualified supervision of drilling projects
Reinforce information collection systems such as Water Information Management Systems (WIMS),
Hygiene promotion - Development of a visual traiing curricula to help arrest the situation especially where female hygiene promoters are not available. Also the reinforcement of hygiene promotion at county and payam levels.
Inclusion of risk analysis of security issues in project activity planning as insecurity can seriously hamper project work or even force it to stall.
Preparation of information materials for Donors and updating of the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation organograme.
Lessons Learned (Optional):
In implementation of programmes where work is done through implementing partners follow up is crucial and there should be consistent follow up to ensure actions are being done or results being achieved. The report gives examples of the drilling program in Guinea worm endemic areas where boreholes were installed in locations that they should not have been and the population in question was still not reached with clean water despite new boreholes.
Similarly for the community Led total sanitation, while the triggering led to a number of holes being dug there was no standardized size and local materials in some cases could not fit to cover the latrine holes.
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