byHarro Riedstra via web
Akvo in the Americas
We are currently working with partners (including governments) in Bolivia, Canada, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru and the USA. There is a great opportunity to expand our services in these countries to ensure we are reaching global coverage and a core part of our strategy is to build upon these opportunities.
The ability to build capacity of people and organizations is going to be critical to achieving our mission. When the right combination between innovative technologies and human expertise are applied to a program, results can be dramatically improved. This is not a shift in thinking; we have always believed this, but instead a move to increase resources to dedicate to this. We still believe that innovative ICT plays an important role, but ICT alone is not going to create the impact to deliver real change on the ground. Hence our work in the Americas will focus on Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (PMEL) activities using innovative ICT and approaches in the following three areas:
Capture: Collaborate with organizations to collect useful data, in better ways. We provide training to improve skills in data gathering using phones, mapping, and visualizing data over time. In addition, capacity building around data capture considers strengthening planning skills to ensure that data collection efforts respond to information needs and produce relevant data.
In the Americas we will focus on working with partners to capture data that is aligned with global and regional standards. At the global level this will focus on the Sustainable Development Goals (especially SDG Goal 6 “Ensure access to water and sanitation for all”) and at the regional level this will focus on SIASAR, the regional information system for rural water and sanitation.
Understand: Work with partners to analyze their data in combination with other data sources. This gives insight into complex situations, turning data into knowledge that drives better decisions. Capacity building efforts around the understand pillar include helping partners transform data through the use of quantitative and qualitative analysis methods to find meaning in it and be able to translate it into information that can be used. Generating valid visuals, graphs, and charts is part of developing capacities to understand data.
Lazos de Agua 2 is a 5-year initiative funded by the Inter-American Development Bank, the One Drop Foundation, the Coca Cola Foundation and FEMSA Foundation, to support governments into achieving the SDG Goal 6. Drawing on One Drop’s ABC for Sustainability approach and other innovative practices from program partners, the LAC Program creates a space to collectively identify solutions to the challenges faced in the WASH sector. The program will focus on five countries: Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, Guatemala and Paraguay. We are acting as a core partner within this initiative to implement the use of Akvo Flow, Akvo RSR and Akvo Lumen as well are providing M&E support including activities around moving from data to decision making.
Share: Improve openness and coordination between colleagues, networks, civil society, NGOs, and governments. Our systems publish and exchange project data easily to improve partners’ performance, and build understanding and support of their work. Capacity building activities around share include sharing best practices about how to ensure data uptake by key stakeholders and how to generate effective communication material. Telling the story behind data can be challenging and is therefore part of the capacities that we aim to strengthen. We see great value in sharing examples and best practices from the work Akvo has done in order to improve name recognition throughout the Americas.
Specific objectives 2017
A1. To work with partners to capture data that is aligned with global and regional standards (SDG and SIASAR). A2. To act as a core partner within this Lazos de Agua 2 initiative to implement the use of Akvo Flow, Akvo RSR and Akvo Lumen as well are providing M&E support including activities around moving from data to decision-making. A3. To support the Lazos de Aqua 2 MEL committee (One Drop, IDB and FEMSA) in the design and implementation of a program wide MEL strategy. B1. To improve our name recognition among US partners. B2. To renew and improve our network with US funding partners. B3. To better connect to innovative (IT) companies.