byHarro Riedstra via web
Water security is an integral component of South Asian developmental discourse. Bangladesh and Nepal are no exceptions. Water Security Planning is a well-defined instrument to achieve water security. Currently, the discussions around water security either follow a theoretical construct or tend to be jargon-heavy. Lack of data contributes to such complexities. Even if the data is available, it may not be available in a form that supports decision making. The overall approach to D2D in South Asia Hub attempts to improve the water security situation by creating useful examples at scale. Examples of data that can be used for water security planning and help administrators and policymakers to make important decisions. An important outcome of this process will also be how communities get involved in this whole exercise and use data to nudge their respective governments.
Akvo has identified a local NGO partner (Development of Rural Poor, DORP) in Bangladesh. While Akvo will bring in the understanding of data and programme design, DORP will bring in its implementation and lobbying skills. Both the partners have selected a small administrative unit (Ramgati sub-district) in the South-West coastal area to test their data based approach to water security planning in a local pilot.
Enumerators will collect field data on water security using Flow, DORP and Akvo will analyse this data on Lumen and compare this data to data collected in 2014 as part of the WASH Alliance Program. Also, secondary data will be researched and analysed to support the primary data. A situation assessment report on water security will be compiled, and a plan for improvement in water security will be outlined. A roundtable of donors, NGOs and government shall be organised in Dhaka for sharing this water security assessment and discussing future course of action. Based on interest shown by donors, a proposal shall be submitted to deepen the engagement in Ramgati, and expand to similar climate-vulnerable areas.
Akvo’s engagement in Nepal will follow a similar trajectory. Akvo will use people’s perceptions of water security as an underlying narrative to build up the planning process. In addition, Nepal is going through a process of urbanisation. Some of the newly minted urban areas will find it harder to measure their WASH service levels and make improvement plans. Putting citizens at the centre of conversation and using local NGOs as facilitators, Akvo will support benchmarking of WASH service levels of small urban utilities in Nepal.
Akvo staff will interview water user committees, institutions responsible for water security, and common citizens on the status of service levels of water quantity, access, perceptions on water quality, and other water security parameters. These narratives will be captured in RSR, and reported back to the communities, donors and government agencies. So, donors should earmark funds, time and human resources for conducting similar People’s Perception of water security for all Water Use Masterplans. Akvo and Luati will submit joint proposals to support these Water Security Activities.