Presentation of SWIFT’s semi-urban approach to WASH in Kinshasa
On May 16, 2018 in Kinshasa, Oxfam and its partners brought together representatives of 25 international and Congolese organisations working on water, sanitation and hygiene promotion (WASH) in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The meeting began with Oxfam, Tearfund and the SWIFT Consortium team introducing the SWIFT programme, a four-year multi-stakeholder project that has been running since 2014 in fragile contexts in Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The program aims to achieve sustainable access to water and sanitation while encouraging the adoption of better hygiene practices among 1,730,000 people, including 1,400,000 in the DRC.
The team then discussed the benefits and challenges of the payment by result model and how to meet financial partner DFID’s requirements.
Payment by result allows risk sharing between the donor and the SWIFT consortium as well as a quality assessment of the results achieved at each stage of the project.
Despite the particularly fragile context in North and South Kivu, the SWIFT programme was able to reach, and even exceed, expected results. For instance, during phase 1 of the project, 97.0% of beneficiaries observed and interviewed were able to demonstrate 3 hand washing actions and 94.1% were using the water points built by SWIFT.
The rest of the meeting focused on the semi-urban approach of the programme.
In semi-urban areas, the development model is similar to that of small towns but is characterised by a lack of governance structures and government services. SWIFT’s approach is therefore different from that of rural areas where programmes such as the “Villages et Écoles assainies” (VEA) are implemented.
Finally, the sustainability indicators were presented by the team, such the technical choice of quality equipment; taking into account natural and less expensive options for the community; the institutional side of the project with the structuring and the recognition by the state of the Users Associations Drinking Water Networks (ASUREPs); the strengthening of the link and solidarity between the communities as well as the setting up of an acceptable price for water services.
Interactions between all the participants were lively and fruitful. The following organisations were present: TEARFUND, HYFRO, SANRU, MSH, PNEVA, DNH, USAID, ADIR, KFW, PATH, CONSORTIUM WASH, SIDA, ADF, UNICEF, GIZ/GIS, OMS, DFID, ENABEL, JSI, SNHR, MINISTERE DEVELOPPEMENT RURAL, IMA WORLD.
Since 2014, the Sustainable WASH In Fragile Contexts (SWIFT) Consortium has been working to provide access to water and sanitation and to encourage the adoption of basic hygiene practices in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and in Kenya.
Various partners implement SWIFT’s actions in both target countries, in collaboration with governments as well as water providers, including utilities. The consortium is led by Oxfam, and includes Tearfund and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) as global members.
The SWIFT programme is funded by UK aid from the UK government under a Payment by Results (PbR) contract.