IRC Symposium 2010
The IRC Symposium 2010, 'Pumps, Pipes and Promises: Costs, Finances and Accountability for Sustainable WASH Services' addressed the intersecting issues of costing, financing and accountability in WASH service delivery. Participants shared views on twitter or in the IRC Symposium 2010 blog.
The IRC 2010 Symposium reflected a shift in the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector towards the primacy of services over infrastructure, understanding the need for much greater clarity in planning and financing services that reach people with the regularity and quality they demand.
The IRC 2010 international symposium has posed a series of challenges to the water and sanitation sector to improve its ability to cost and finance sustainable services – and to understand the price that communities pay when those services fail. The symposium brought together 120 researchers, practitioners, economists, engineers and governance specialists from 27 countries to draw together three critical strands – costs, financing and accountability. The symposium was supported with 40 papers. Preliminary results from the WASHCost project to identify costs in four countries were also released.
It costs a lot of money to provide low quality water and sanitation services – more expensive technology does not always raise standards. Research in four countries has found that switching from boreholes to small piped services can triple the costs but often leaves people with the same sub-standard or basic service levels. WASHCost director, Catarina Fonseca reveals the first preliminary results of this groundbreaking five year research project.
Developing countries are succeeding in financing efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals themselves, playing a far more significant role than aid donors or the private sector, keynote speaker David Hall told the IRC Symposium.
Five district-based associations of handpump mechanics have started to help improve functioning of handpumps in West Nile, Uganda. Some districts have up to 96% functionality rate due to the maintenance and repair work by members of the association who are now working under contracts from the district government water office. There is also evidence that these associations strengthen accountability mechanisms. Water users in Kibaale can hold the association accountable for work carried out by pump mechanics in the district, with local radio announcements and mobile unit.
The Hon. Vishwarup Pinipe, Minister of Rural Water Supplies and Sanitation in the Indian State of Andhra Pradesh, has called for greater cooperation at global and local levels to address the challenge of providing safe and affordable Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), particularly to the poor.
Thematically-organised abstracts, papers and presentations presented at the IRC symposium ‘ Pumps, Pipes and Promises: Costs, Finances and Accountability for Sustainable WASH Services' in The Hague, The Netherlands from 16 - 18 November 2010.
Access material on the symposium here and gain insight into the depth and rich discussion that took place during the IRC Symposium 2010: Pumps, Pipes and Promises. Explore the various materials presented, discussed and produced from engagements during the symposium by visiting this page.
From Tuesday 16 to Thursday 18 November 2010, IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre will welcome over a hundred participants from around the world to its 2010 Symposium: Pumps, Pipes and Promises – Costs, Finances and Accountability for Sustainable WASH Services.
This package contains the programme schedule, the background note and a link to all abstracts and papers that will be presented in the symposium. For the convenience of all participants to this year's symposium, an information guide (handbook) may also be found here.
Follow the IRC Symposium 2010 as it unfolds and share your comments through our blog and Twitter at: #ircwash2010.
Setting water tariffs and collecting user fees have become articles of faith within the WASH sector – without ability and willingness to pay, it is said there can be no sustainability. However, UNICEF has been asking questions about why different approaches are being operated inside different areas of work central to its focus on children and parents.