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NGOs strategies in water supply and sanitation projects

Author(s): A case study from Ingeniería Sin Fronteas(Engineering Without Borders)Spain
Congress: 2008
Author(s): Alejandro Jimenez, A. Pérez-Foguet, M.Carrillo
Civil Engineer (1999, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid), Msc Hidraulycs (2001,Universidad Politécnica de Madrid), PhD Candidate (Universidad Politécnica de Catalunya), I have 9 years of experience in development projects. Since 2004, I am the water and i

Keyword(s): NGO, civil society, water projects, bottom-up, MDG
Article: Poster:
AbstractThe lack of access to safe water and basic sanitation in developing countries remains one of the biggest obstacles to foster human development in those regions. Improving access to these basic services has been an international priority since 1977, being reinforced with the Target 10 from Millennium Development Goals, and recently, by the declaration by United Nations of the period 2005-2015 as the Water Decade for Action. Political situation in many developing countries is oriented to decentralization and devolution of responsibilities to local institutions and final users, mainly in the rural areas. International aid programmes have been normally designed and implemented from an up-bottom approach, while local institutions and final users have been traditionally targeted by NGOs projects. The importance of analyzing these NGOs approaches is an important task in nowadays context, since some research show that they amount up to 20% of total sector expenditure in some African countries (Mehta et al, 2005). This paper aims to deepen in the knowledge of the NGOs approach to water and sanitation projects through the analysis of three interventions, two in Tanzania and one in El Salvador, implemented by the Spanish NGOs Engineering without Borders (ISF) during the period 2000-2006. First it describes important context and sector information at country, regional and local level. Secondly, the objectives targeted and the implementation methodology are described, as well as the temporal evolution of each programme. Thirdly, the cost structure is divided in components, including the cost analysis from the different technologies used, as well as the relative importance given to planning or providing services. These parameters are compared with international standards for each region. Fourthly, the relative importance and structure of the population benefited from the action is characterized. The analysis collaborates in the understanding of the links between the strategy chosen in the project design (including level of service), the local and national context and the number and structure of benefited population. This and other similar analysis will be useful for development practitioners and policy makers to understand context influences in the design of bottom-up approaches in water and sanitation projects. The paper concludes highlighting how the NGO applies its basic principles through the intervention in different contexts and identifies major challenges for the future. REFERENCES: Mehta et al 2005: “Financing the Millenium Development Goals for Water and Sanitation: what will it take?” Meera Mehta, Thomas Fulgelsnes & Kameel Virjee, Water Resources Development, vol 21, No.2, 239-252.
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