National Monitoring & Evaluation Systems for Rural Water Supply and Sanitation
In the Kyrgyz Republic, the national rural water and sanitation program, launched in 2017, seeks to improve service delivery by providing adequate water and sanitation services to many underserved rural households. The primary objective of the knowledge exchange was to build the capacities of the key stakeholders to develop, pilot and support the gradual roll-out of a sector- wide rural water and sanitation monitoring system. The secondary objective was to enhance the participants’ knowledge on effective policy instruments and institutional arrangements to improve the sustainability of water and sanitation service delivery in rural areas.
A knowledge exchange took place between Kyrgyz Republic, Colombia and Uganda in March 2019. The official opening was conducted by Mr. Jose Luis Acero, Vice-Minister for Portable Water and Sanitation - Government of Colombia. All three countries have prioritized rural water supply and sanitation to close the urban-rural gap and achieve universal access. This knowledge exchange made some contributions to the wider efforts of the World Bank Water Global Practice to support the adaptation of the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Information System (SIASAR) from Latin American Countries to other regions. The SIASAR system is an initiative that started in Latin America and is now operational in ten countries. Sharing the SIASAR lessons and experiences from Latin America would allow other countries to leapfrog the costly development of a robust and complex monitoring system.
Only one in ten rural households in Kyrgyz Republic have an inhouse water connection. With the rural population dispersed across over 1,800 villages, the challenges of how to provide citizens with adequate drinking water and sanitation services remain daunting. Both Kyrgyz Republic and Uganda face the challenge of making informed policy and investment decisions due to the lack of regular up-to-date information, the fragmentation of service providers and the dispersed nature of rural service provision.
The knowledge exchange was designed to support the development, piloting and gradual roll-out of a sector-wide rural water and sanitation monitoring system that will contribute to better sector oversight, programming and planning. A secondary goal was to enhance the knowledge of the participants regarding effective policy instruments and institutional arrangements to improve the sustainability of rural sanitation service provision.
A study tour in Colombia took place on March 26-29, 2019, bringing together representatives of three countries from different regions – host Colombia (Latin America and Caribbean), Kyrgyz Republic (Central Asia) and Uganda (Africa). The Head of Delegation (HOD) for the Kyrgyz Republic was Mr. Askarbek Toktoshev, Director of the Department of Water Supply and Waste Water Disposal (DWSWD). The Kyrgyz delegation also included representatives of the DWSWD-Department of Disease Prevention and Sanitation Inspection, the Community Development Investment Agency (ARIS), implementing agency of the World Bank funded Sustainable Rural Water Supply Sanitation Development Project. The Ugandan delegation comprised of senior officials from the Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE) and representatives from both the Rural Water and Sanitation and Information Technology Departments.
This study tour, which included field visits, provided an important forum for exposing the participants to all the building block necessary to provide sustainable service delivery. These building blocks included institutional arrangements, financing, management models, monitoring and evaluation.
Key themes and knowledge from the Colombian experience were:
- Financing models: Colombia has diverse sources of funding such as differential tariffs, government contributions (including matching national funds from national and regional governments), cross-subsidies between socio-economic strata, royalties from concessions, and private sector investments. The regulatory framework provides an enabling environment for the private sector to contribute their tax obligations directly through investments in rural water and sanitation infrastructure
- Tariff setting: Colombia has established and legalized a tariff methodology for small rural water systems that require less data and mitigates against local political influences. These tariffs, though comparatively higher than those in Uganda and Kyrgyz Republic, cover all management, operational and maintenance costs of a service provider as well as 15 percent of capital investments. Cross-subsidies between tariffs are applied based on identification of families within the socio-economic strata
- Rural water program and sustainability measures: Colombia adopted a targeted approach for improving water supply with programs such as “Water to the Community” and “Water for Reconciliation”. These programs focus on closing the urban-rural gap and include the use and implementation of SIASAR, technical assistance to local governments for development, development of investment projects, tariff setting, institutional strengthening and capacity building of community water boards.
- Rural water monitoring and evaluation system: Colombia has well defined, specific policies and legislation providing for the adoption and use of SIASAR. SIASAR is linked to the national statistics and monitoring system called SINAS. This comprehensive system facilitates and supports decision making for urban and rural strategic investment planning, M&E, asset management and project/program planning
- Water quality management: Colombia has a risk-based water quality monitoring and management system in place. This system is based on clear policies and standards which include a score-card risk assessment system as a key performance measure for service providers
- Standards: Colombia has developed legislative norms and guidelines for water supply and sanitation services. In place are alternative solutions to household connections, measures for household water treatment and safe storage
- Sanitation: Local governments in Colombia are in the process of developing sanitation and pollution control management plans. These plans include centralized (sewer) and on-site solutions. Standards and building codes are used to improve on-site solutions, coupled with targeted subsidies to help households improve their status
During the study visit, participants had the opportunity to visit a rural water supply system in Cundinamarca and interact with the Mayor of the Subachoque municipality. They also met with a regional and a local service provider (Empresas de Servicios Publicos -ESPs) in Galdamez el Hato. The Kyrgyz delegation also visited the waste water treatment facility in La Calera and had discussions with the Mayor and service provider.
SIASAR implementation and scale-up require dedicated human and financial resources both at national and regional levels. Other critical elements are legal anchoring through a national policy framework with differentiated approaches for urban and rural contexts. In Colombia, regulatory policies and instruments have been issued and adjusted over the past decade to support rural water and sanitation goals. These relate to tariff regulation, water quality regulation, technical standards, norms and programs targeting rural water and sanitation improvements in lagging municipalities. The Colombian Ministry of Housing and Construction leads SIASAR and has employed a core team comprising of IT and sectoral expertise. SIASAR is linked to national programs and is used to inform investment planning and regional development.
Specifically, the participants learned from Colombia’s targeted and differentiated policy instruments for rural areas, tariff polices, water quality and environmental regulations, technical standards for water supply and sanitation, financing modalities for investments and information systems for evidence-based decision making.
An evaluation survey was handed out to participants for completion at the end of the knowledge exchange. Some highlights participants shared in the evaluation included:
- An appreciation for the warm hospitality accorded to them by the Colombians
- An appreciation for the professionalism and experience of the speakers and facilitators
- Rated the participating organizations and institutions as “Excellent”
- All participants rated the overall knowledge exchange as highly relevant to their work and that they greatly benefitted from the new knowledge gained
“Many of the problems that affect Central Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe are very similar. To improve the monitoring and management of information, the Kyrgyz Republic is trying to adopt the SIASAR information system. That is why this meeting with Colombia and Uganda is very useful for discussing normative documents, tariff regulations and overall sector management.” – Mr. Asarberk Toktoshev, Director, Department of Drinking Water Supply and Waste Disposal (DWSWD), Kyrgyz Republic.
“In Uganda, we have severe water supply challenges and systems are very difficult to sustain and support, so coming here is an opportunity to learn from Colombia especially from the management model and the information systems that are in use” – David Bateganya, Senior Sector Specialist, Ministry of Water and Environment, Uganda.
“I think it is very impactful when the participants hear Colombians talking about how they are developing targeted instruments for the rural sector and how they have progressed over time in implementation. Seeing other solutions can be a great motivation. It stimulates learning from one another’s experience and encourages officials to try and adapt solutions to their own circumstances.” Susanna Smets, Senior Water Supply and Sanitation Specialist, The World Bank.
Beneficiaries / Participants
- Director, Department of Drinking Water Supply and Wastewater Disposal (DDWSWD) of the State Water Resources Agency
- Head of the Monitoring and Analysis Division, DDWSWD of the State Water Resources Agency
- Deputy Director, State Agency for Architecture, Construction and Housing and Communal Services under the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic (Gosstroy)
- General Hygiene Specialist, Department of Disease Prevention and State Sanitary and Epidemiological Surveillance under the Ministry of Health of the Kyrgyz Republic (SES)
- Executive Director, Community Development and Investment Agency (ARIS)
- Interim Project Coordinator, Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist, ARIS
- Head of Monitoring and Evaluation, Directorate of Water Development, Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE)
- Senior Sector Specialist, Department of Rural Water Supply, MWE
- Senior IT Specialist, Directorate of Water Development, MWE
- IT Specialist, Directorate of Water Development, MWE
- IT Specialist, Directorate of Water Development, MWE
World Bank Contribution
The regional knowledge exchange workshop was co-funded by the World Bank’s South-South Facility. World Bank teams from the Water Global Practice, the Governance Global Practice, Development Economics (DEC) Vice Presidency Unit and the World Bank Country office in Colombia contributed to the design, planning and implementation of this knowledge exchange. With the support of the World Bank, Kyrgyz Republic will become the first country in Central Asia to implement the SIASAR approach and Uganda potentially the first in Africa to adopt it.
Uganda - Next Steps: A roadmap for piloting SIASAR was prepared, including the familiarization on SIASAR by the Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE) teams, adapting the tools to the Ugandan context and exposure to how SIASAR could be linked to the existing MIS systems in the country. Follow-up discussions were planned to take place during subsequent missions for the Integrated Water Management and Development project (P163782), under which SIASAR would be supported.
Kyrgyz Republic - Next Steps: The Kyrgyz delegation presented their plan for a gradual roll-out of SIASAR. The Colombian SIASAR team provided guidance and recommendations on how to improve this plan, particularly the need for a legislative adoption of SIASAR and the need to review the roles of different entities in the scale-up process. Continued support from the Colombian SIASAR team to Kyrgyz Republic will be explored in the next financial year.
The participants were impressed by the strong institutional, financial and technical capacities of the Colombian local and regional governments.
New knowledge: The participants gained new and practical knowledge on how local and regional governments strengthen rural service providers, and also on how an enabling policy and legal environment have been established at the Colombian national level. They also learned about robust financing models for operational and capital costs, direct support cost to rural service providers who are necessary to close the urban-rural gap, how to combine government funds and tariffs as well as leveraging innovative sources such as royalties and tax-swaps with the private sector.
New skills and improved actions: Participants learned about the development of SIASAR in Colombia, the various stages of scale-up, and the associated costs. They also learned about the roles and responsibilities of the different agencies in data collection, validation, national coordination, training and technical support provided to regional departments. The Ugandan delegation benefitted and learned from the Colombian and Kyrgyz Republic experiences in SIASAR. They received additional training on SIASAR capabilities and tools such as conceptual model, questionnaires and indicators.
- Department of Portable Water and Sanitation Under the Ministry of Housing, Cities and Territories (MHCT), Government of Colombia
- National Water Regulatory Commission (CRA), Colombia
- National Control and Monitoring Agency (SSPD) Under the National Planning Department (NDP), Colombia
Results Story Author: Twity Mueni Musuva Uzele