Executing Agency: Plan Cambodia
Grant Agreement signed: March 2011
THE GSF-SUPPORTED PROGRAMME IN CAMBODIA:
The work of GSF in Cambodia is known as the CR-SHIP or Cambodia Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Improvement Programme and is best described as adaptive and integrated. CR-SHIP works primarily with local NGO Sub-grantees and government to strengthen the capacity in Cambodia for sanitation and hygiene promotion. The most remarkable results of the project are seen in the number of communities being reached through triggering activities and with key WASH messages. In 2013, the Sub-grantees (SGs) conducted community-led total sanitation (CLTS) triggering activities in 700 communities, which resulted in a total of 128 becoming open-defecation free (ODF). Sub-grantees reached a total of 600,000 people with key hygiene messages. These results are directly linked to the programme’s move to recruit staff for all existing sub-grant opportunities and the increased capacity of the SGs to facilitate CLTS and Behaviour Change Communication (BCC) – 3Behaviour 1 Hour (3B1H) triggering. The World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) contributed funds for a consultant to conduct a contextual analysis for monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and UNICEF agreed to support a consultant to work on the M&E system design.
CAPACITY-BUILDING: Capacity-building, particularly of Sub-grantees is a core objective of the CR-SHIP programme and the programme has looked to increase both technical capacity for sanitation and hygiene-promotion, as well as overall organizational capacity. The programme has focused on working primarily with local NGOs that are generally less familiar with the CLTS approach. Recognizing this need, the EA provided support through CLTS facilitation training with Dr. Kamal Kar, one of the founders of the CLTS approach. Sub-grantee capacity is built through regular training and learning events that focus on CLTS, hygiene promotion and School and Community WASH. General capacity needs are also met throughout the lifetime of sub-grants, ranging from the proposal development process through to management and financial systems. One of the CR-SHIP programme objectives is to develop government capacity at all levels. SGs are engaging with Commune Councils during implementation.
The largest GSF Sub-grantee in Cambodia, the Dutch NGO Smart Development Networks (SNV) implements directly through Provincial Departments of Rural Development (PDRDs). The Ministry of Rural Development was awarded two grants key to long-term sustainability: advocacy and support to setting up the national WASH M&E system. Through this culture of strengthening and learning, the programme has also identified the need to adapt its implementation approaches and consider how CLTS and Sanitation Marketing (SanMark) can best be timed when triggering a community. The work of international non- governmental organisations (INGOs) iDE and WaterSHED, which utilise CLTS approaches during their SanMark activities, has contributed to further understanding on the symbiotic nature of these approaches. The programme has also benefited from integrating the unique approach of professional marketing in the development of the BCC tools and strategy. The programme engaged 17 BCC experts to assess, develop and trial BCC tools that would be tailored to the Cambodian context.
EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES:
This year was dominated by the on-going implementation of existing Sub-grantees in Kampong Cham, Takeo and Svay Rieng provinces and the recruitment of new SGs, expanding the programme into the remaining provinces of Kandal and Kampong Speu. With the SGs implementing in all five provinces, the number of villages triggered in 2013 continued to grow from the previous year, demonstrating the increase in SG capacity for implementing CLTS. In total, CR-SHIP sanitation and hygiene promotion activities are being implemented through 18 sub-grant projects run by 14 local and INGOs. The Department of Rural Health Care (DRHC) of the Ministry of Rural Development joined the ranks as a Sub-grantee to implement both the advocacy project and M&E project for CR-SHIP. Scoping studies to identify existing systems and successful approaches have been initiated as these projects move forward. The year was also marked by the completion of the behaviour change communication tool, which was the product of extensive research, testing and customization to best suit the Cambodian context.
The 17 BCC expert consultants reviewed existing BCC materials used for CLTS and through a variety of qualitative methods determined the best tools and strategy for dissemination. The strategy was translated and prepared for release by the end of the year. WSSCC’s Executive Director, Chris Williams, paid an official visit to Cambodia in May 2013 to meet with key UN agencies and sector stakeholders to maximize synergy between the GSF, national government and the national sanitation policy and strategy. Moreover, he provided recommendations to improve the GSF-supported programme in Cambodia and the sanitation sector as a whole.
The biggest challenge was due to circumstances external to the programme. Programme implementation was impeded by political unrest following the July 2013 national election, which included political rallies and involvement of front-line government staff. This affected the ability of SGs to effectively implement the programme. The situation worsened when the opposition party did not accept the election results which led to a series of demonstrations, road-blocks, and a crack-down by police and the military. Threats of violence prevented programme staff from traveling to conduct activities. Since then, the ruling party has pushed forward with creating the new government and implementation was able to resume. In addition to political unrest, Cambodia experienced heavy rains that caused extreme flooding in at least 17 provinces. Of these, three of the CR-SHIP target provinces – Kandal, Takeo and Kampong Cham – were affected. The Executing Agency worked with SGs operating in those provinces to take stock of the situation and identify target villages affected. Working in areas prone to flooding has always remained a concern for CR-SHIP and this situation served to further highlight the importance of developing targeted solutions for these disaster prone regions.
The involvement of Provincial Departments of Rural Development in promoting and pushing the activities is critical, in order to gather their technical support and to share the ownership of the activities. Coordination with Sanitation Marketing organizations and those implementing CLTS has improved the overall quality of implementation and increased efficiency in achieving ODF village targets. Door-to-door sales are emphasized over group sales events during the wet season when many households are busy with their farms and also during the election period. Children have played a key role in promoting CLTS within families through effective message dissemination, encouraging action and enforcement of behaviour change. CLTS as a technique to improve sanitation in rural areas is gaining ground with local and international NGOs and aid agencies. However, increased advocacy efforts with the Government of Cambodia are required in order to incorporate CLTS into national sanitation plans.
In this second full year of CR-SHIP, the EA facilitated the launch of regular learning meetings amongst SGs in addition to continuing to host delegations from other GSF country programmes. These regular learning events foster a culture of sharing challenges and lessons learned among SGs and helped the EA to identify areas of SG support to focus on in the coming year. In late January/early February the EA conducted refresher training for the SG CLTS facilitators attended by 60 staff members. Later in the year, the CR-SHIP SGs were invited to attend a CLTS consultation workshop organized by the Ministry of Rural Development in Phnom Penh. The three day workshop covering CLTS models and exploring various implementation experiences was attended by five SGs. The EA also supported one of the female staff members of Rain Water Cambodia to attend the Women Deliver Conference in Malaysia to gain expertise on menstrual hygiene management.
CAMBODIA WASH INITIATIVE:
The national WASH coalition, known locally as the Cambodia WASH Initiative, started in 2008 and is coordinated by the Department of Rural Health Care in the Ministry of Rural Development. It was renamed the National Coordinating Mechanism (NCM) and received strong support from UNICEF, and other partners including the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program (WSP), Plan Cambodia, Lien Aid, iDE and government departments concerned with rural water supply. The goal of the NCM is to contribute to advocacy and policy development through sharing and developing evidence and experience from partner programmes and projects. In 2013, the NCM organized regular meetings and consultations with the EA and the CPM, to be informed of the GSF-supported programme implementation. In addition, the EA assisted the NCM consultant in the development of a concept for programme expansion and in the writing of the programme expansion proposal.
MONITORING AND EVALUATION:
Under the CR-SHIP programme, the Ministry of Rural Development was awarded a grant to establish the Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Monitoring and Evaluation (RSH M&E) System that will be applicable nationally and ensure long-term sustainability of programme impact. As a first step in this process the ministry conducted a contextual analysis, identifying the lack of a unified RSH M&E System. In order to address this issue, the MRD will establish a system that will streamline data and information for effective WASH sector planning, advocacy and resource allocation within the framework of the National Strategy for Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene. The RSH M&E System will be piloted nationally including in the five districts of the CR-SHIP programme.
2014 AND BEYOND:
During the next year, the project seeks to increase the number of villages achieving open-defecation free status and to provide a clear picture as to the situation in triggered villages that have yet to achieve ODF. The number of SGs should remain constant and the focus of their activities will be on previously triggered villages that have yet to achieve ODF. In these villages, retriggering activities and additional follow-up visits will be conducted in addition to research on the factors that have influenced the pace of ODF achievement. The Executing Agency developed a survey tool at the end of 2013 after the issue was identified as key to providing a more detailed picture of real time status of target villages. The tool was rolled out to SGs in December and will become a regular part of reporting to provide consistent data on programme villages.