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Evaluation database

Evaluation report

2012 Liberia: Evaluation of WASH interventions in Urban Slums of Monrovia and Buchanan 2011-2012

Author: Stephen Ntow

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, Best Practice", "Highly Satisfactory", "Mostly Satisfactory" or "Unsatisfactory" before using it. You will find the link to the quality rating below, labeled as 'Part 2' of the report."


UNICEF has in collaboration and support from ECHO embarked upon implementation of two Urban WASH projects in deprived communities in and around Monrovia and Buchanan. For purposes of this report they will be referred as Urban WASH I (UW I- 2011) and Urban WASH II (UW2-2012). The projects were meant to deliver sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene promotion services in urban slums to ensure continuous availability of the facilities and a permanent change in behaviours long after the project ends.


The objectives of the assignment is to provide data which will allow UNICEF to report to ECHO on the indicators and targets listed in urban WASH I, SM100429 proposal. In addition the evaluation will assess the impact, coverage, coherence, relevance/appropriateness, effectiveness and efficiency of the ECHO funded urban WASH I: SM100429 grant (implemented in Monrovia and Buchanan) and Baseline data for Urban WASH II.


A random sampling method was used to represent selected characteristics of the survey population; social, cultural, economic indicators and also access to WASH facilities. The evaluation drew a sample size from a sample frame (population) of 135,000 and 120,000 respectively. Two-thirds of project communities were drawn as the sample size using a simple multiple stage random sampling procedure. Subsequently 18 and 12 project communities were randomly selected in a participatory manner at a meeting of all implementing agencies. From each community, between 26 and 27 houses were randomly selected. Enumerators further selected households and finally interviewed 484 and 322 woman with children five years old or less. A combination of data collection tools including, structures questionnaire, key informant interviews (KII) guides and Focus Group Discussion (FGD) guides and observation guides.

Findings and Conclusions:

Information obtained as a result of the evaluation suggests the project largely achieved its objectives. It has suffered some challenges but these were the opportunities from which lessons would be learnt about providing WASH services to special populations living at the fringes of urban communities.

A review of epidemiological data reveals an increase in suspected cholera and other diarrhoea diseases between the years 2009 and 2010 in Montserrado County. One year later some decline has been observed. The period of decline coincides with intervention suggesting a contribution of the intervention.

Access to safe water drinking water
Survey report indicates 89% (433) of respondents depend on improved water sources which are expected to meet World Health Organisation’s (WHO) water quality standards. Projects sources indicate that a total of 8 water points 2 small water systems (SMS), 7 water kiosks and public stand pipes connected to LWSC mains with elevated poly-tanks have been provided through the actions of the project. Together, these are expected to provide 23,000 people with access to improved drinking water.

Water quality and HWTS
More than 77% (373) of respondents indicated they draw and store water in the recommended jerry cans with cap. About 29% (137) use open containers that are prone to contamination.

Research indicate that capacity has been created to provide sanitation access to more than 10,000 people and improved access to latrine. About 46% (216) of respondents have access to improved latrines (family latrines). Most respondents access latrine less than 50 metres away. 

About 81% (291) reported hand washing after using the latrines but only 29% (37) of persons did so during an observation mission designed as part of the survey.


UNCEF should facilitate a process of ensuring that MOH&SW and the CHT perform the relevant water quality tests at the water kiosks and all the point sources provided under the project.

It is recommended that the implementing agencies are assisted by the WASH Section in UNICEF to correct the defects.

Hygiene - handwashing facilities
Hand washing facilities have been provided but the numbers seen inadequate to be supportive of newly captivating hand washing behaviours crowded neighbourhoods and large institutions of learning where limited time is allocated for using toilet and other facilities.

Community entry approaches
In future UNICEF should distinguish between community mobilization and core hygiene promotion activities separately. They can be delivered as one package but they both deserve special attention at the planning stage and adequate resources. The use of tools such as the wealth ranking and other baseline data gathering processes should be made essential elements of urban WASH projects.

Hygiene Promotion
All partners involved with the Urban WASH project should agree on a harmonized approach based on informed behaviour benchmarks conducted prior to the intervention.

Lessons Learned:

Hygiene - handwashing facilities
Hand washing facilities have been provided but the numbers seen inadequate to be supportive of newly captivating hand washing behaviours crowded neighbourhoods and large institutions of learning where limited time is allocated for using toilet and other facilities.

Community entry approaches
A community entry and participatory does not stand out in the programme. It also does not look like the distinction between community mobilization and core hygiene promotion activities. Whereas the two can and should be carried out by same cadre of people, it may be necessary to plan for both separately in order to make the desired impact of mobilizing the community and effectively change behaviours.

Hygiene Promotion
The absence of a baseline to determine behaviour benchmarks will often lead to over generalization and also lead to missing some risk behaviours. It makes the targeting of audiences and the development of messages difficult.

Communication and Advocacy
Some advocacy and communication issues have emerged. These will require further scrutiny in order to develop appropriate strategies to address the issues.

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