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Evaluation database

Evaluation report

2014 Somalia: Regional Supply Hub Mechanism as a Strategy for WASH Emergency Response in Somalia

Author: Regina Juma Apiyo

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, labelled as ‘Part 2’ of the report.


Somalia is characterized by a diverse nature of emergencies ranging from conflicts, floods, drought, internally displaced persons and AWD/Cholera cases that pose a threat to human life. The absence of a functioning government has further complicated issues since the existing government cannot provide for the needs of the population. This has resulted in the country falling among those with the highest child and maternal mortality rates in the world. Only 32 per cent of Somalia’s population has access to safe drinking water sources and 29 per cent sanitation facilities. At the end of 2010 when drought was declared, UNICEF in collaboration with Somalia Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Cluster scaled up its activities. However, the situation deteriorated in 2011 and caused large-scale displacement within the country and to the neighbouring countries. During the famine period of 2011/12, UNICEF through the WASH cluster brought together over 150 local and international NGOs, government departments and UN agencies working in WASH sector to support the people in need of humanitarian assistance.

In response to the humanitarian needs in Somalia, UNICEF Somalia developed the Regional Supply Hub (RSH) mechanism as a strategy for WASH Emergency Response in Somalia with the objective of improving the timeliness of WASH responses. The WASH supplies and equipments were distributed to ten WASH Cluster partners – the Regional Supply Hub Managers for an emergency response in their areas of operation.


The purpose of the evaluation was to provide UNICEF Somalia, the WASH cluster and the cluster partners with sufficient information on the relevance, impact, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of RSH approach, and make recommendations for future needs and support that may be required for interventions.

The overall objective of the evaluation was to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the RSH that would provide UNICEF, the WASH cluster and the cluster partners with sufficient information as to the relevance, impact, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of RSH approach and make recommendations for future needs and support that may be required for interventions.
A particular focus of the evaluation was the role of the UNICEF field staff, UNICEF WASH team at USSC, the WASH cluster secretariat, sub-regional WASH cluster coordinator, the regional/district focal points and that of the local authorities and provide recommendations in hierarchical order about the relevance of each of the above and how their role could be strengthened, and/or better supported in the future


Data collection was conducted in six districts namely; Luuq, South Gedo Region, Baidoa, Bay Region, Ceel Waaq, North Gedo Region, Afmadow, Lower Juba Region and Dharkeynley, Banadir Region in South-Central Somalia.A number of participatory methodologies were employed in this evaluation, including examination of secondary data, focus group discussions, key informant interviews, observations and household interviews. The data collection tools that were used in this evaluation include interview schedule, in-person surveys and observation check-list .

This evaluation employed various sampling methodologies for data collection. The household survey employed the random sampling methodology while the qualitative survey employed purposive and quota sampling methodologies. A total of nine focus groups, 32 key informant interviews and 125 household interviews were conducted.

Findings and Conclusions:

There is a need to establish sub-Regional Supply Hubs and/or RSH at the district levels to reach more affected community members in lower levels. Furthermore it is important to incorporate all community members in some WASH supplies distribution, for example, water treatment supplies, since water affects all community members irrespective of their vulnerability. The RSH managers need to undergo refresher training on Regional Supply Hub management in order to improve their management skills and to be trained on humanitarian issues to complement their skills in emergency management. The knowledge acquired by the community on hygiene promotion, hand washing at critical times and water treatment can be used by the community members themselves to create more awareness on the importance of use of clean and safe water to reduce water-related diseases in the community. The achievements of the RSH program should be documented and shared with all stakeholders, including the community members, the local authority, the Diaspora and the donor agency for purposes of soliciting for funding for the program.

The RSH program has influenced organization of the community members, and the communities have learnt to save and make their own contributions during emergencies. In regions with community structures, these need to be empowered. Otherwise community members should be encouraged to establish community committees and empowered to manage community projects by themselves to promote ownership. The findings of this evaluation will go a long way in helping improve on the RSH program in the future. The successes of the program should be marketed to the donors for purposes of fundraising and the weaknesses of the program addressed to make RSH a better mechanism.

The government agencies/local authorities need to be incorporated in the program for purposes of sustainability considering that RSH program is a learning and reference point. 


1. Community involvement in RSH program implementation and management. The community needs to be involved in the program through community committees for purposes of ownership.
2. Timely reporting is key in emergency management since information sharing is the basis for planning, and any delay is likely to cause loss of lives.
3. Strengthen the capacity of RSH staff and cluster partners involved in the RSH program management. Cluster partners, and the RSH managers with competencies required to train community members on WASH supplies.
4. WASH supplies delivered in each hub should correspond to the emergencies experienced in each region.
5. In areas where local authority is functional, it is important for RSH managers to actively involve the local government in the management of the RSH program for purposes of sustainability and ownership.
6. There is a need to scale up the scope of the program areas to replicate the initiative at the district levels to enhance accessibility of WASH supplies by WASH Cluster partners.
7. Improve on the quality of the WASH supplies.
8. The RSH program is not sustainable as it relies a lot on replenishment of the WASH supplies. UNICEF Somalia, RSH managers and WASH Cluster partners need to market this concept to potential donors to source for more funding.
9. Replicate the RSH program in health and nutrition sectors based on the context of Somalia.
10. Follow up on areas that RSH program is being implemented but are considered as insecure.
11. There is a need to link the WASH supply activities with WASH Cluster partner strategies.

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