A two-year project launched in March 2010 is helping local governments in 15 African countries contribute to the achievement of the Water and Sanitation Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
United Cities and Local Governments for Africa (UCLGA) and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability – Africa are partners in the European Commission (EC) funded project ‘Local Initiatives in Promotion of the Attainment of Water and Sanitation Millennium Development Goals’
The project is taking place in 15 countries within Sub-Saharan Africa: Benin, Bostwana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Malawi, Mali, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, which together represent over 383 million citizens.
The main aim of this project is to ensure that the role of local authorities in the delivery of the water and sanitation MDGs is recognized and to enhance the capacity of local authorities to fulfill that role through sharing of knowledge and innovative practices.
It further aims to increase national-local dialogue regarding water and sanitation issues. It is hoped that utilizing the local authorities as an entry point will ensure adoption of improved water and sanitation delivery that will directly benefit local communities.
The national local government associations taking part in the project are members of the UCLGA’s Water and Sanitation Focal Point Network (FPN). UCLGA plans to hold the inaugural FPN Training workshop in August 2010 in Pretoria, South Africa.
The project’s main activities include:
- Preparation of a Baseline study detailing the role of local governments in water and sanitation service provision in the target countries
- Supporting the development of 15 in-country policy position papers articulating the role of municipalities in the delivery of the MDGs
- Knowledge sharing and capacity building workshops and seminars aimed at enhancing the capacity of the Focal Point Network & national associations through the development of in-country Action Plans
- Documentation and sharing of innovative service delivery good practices, particularly relating to the testing of the eWISA Municipal Assistant in 3 pilot sites
- Lobby and advocacy engagements with relevant sector stakeholders as a cross-cutting activity
The project believes that by lobbying that national departments responsible for water and sanitation service delivery and the attainment of the MDGs, based on well-informed and articulate policy positions, greater consideration will given by the water sector in the 15 target countries to the role and issues of local government in the provision of water and sanitation services to communities.
It is also anticipated that through the development and publication of in-country policy position papers, and based on successful lobby and advocacy engagements, the role of local authorities in the delivery of water and sanitation MDGs will be clearly articulated in national policies and strategies to the benefit of local communities.
Another output of significant anticipated impact is the adoption of clear plans towards the attainment of water and sanitation MDGs by 25% of local authorities in the 15 target countries. A key thrust of the project will be towards the decentralisation of service delivery to the local level. As a result, ICLEI Africa, as project partner will be working closely with national associations and their Focal Points to promote the adoption of local plans that spell out the road towards the attainment of the water and sanitation MDGs.
While a key thrust of this project will be on policy development, a second key focus will be on local, on-the-ground impact by adopting knowledge sharing and capacity enhancement approaches. This should lead to the adoption of improved innovative water and sanitation service delivery approaches and practices by local authorities. Key project documentation will include the results from the piloting of the e-Wisa Municipal Assistant and the regular documentation and dissemination of good practice. In addition, the Focal Point Network will provide a learning platform from which to promote good practices.
Contact: Samuel Kaninda, MDGs Project Coordinator, UCLGA, South Africa, e-mail: email@example.com
Web sites : www.uclgafrica.org and www.iclei.org/africa
Read the project media release (12 March 2010)