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Monitoring the costs of WASH contracts for unit cost analyses and improved transparency

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By Arjen Naafs and Julia Zita. Prepared for the Monitoring sustainable WASH service delivery symposium, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 9-11 April 2013.

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Monitoring the costs of WASH contracts for unit cost analyses and improved transparency

  1. 1. Monitoring the Costs of WASH Contracts for Unit Cost Analyses and Improved Transparency IRC Symposium 2013 April 09-11th 2013 1April 2013 WASHCost Mozambique Naafs and Zita
  2. 2. CONTENT 1. Introduction 2. The Action Research Model 3. Evolution 4. What Makes It Work 5. What Did Not Work 6. Findings 7. Conclusions 2April 2013 WASHCost Mozambique Naafs and Zita
  3. 3. 1. IntroductionWASHCost is an initiative (2008-2013) led by the IRC; to promote better understanding of what its costs to deliver sustainable was services;First question from partners “How much does a borehole cost”;The paper describes the process how this relatively simple principle has lead to a monitoring tool that has already had four years running and has become a good example of an action research model within the government. 3 April 2013 WASHCost Mozambique Naafs and Zita
  4. 4. 2.The Action Research Model 5. Budgeting and procurement4. Sector 1. Database debate 3. Publication 2. Analises 4April 2013 WASHCost Mozambique Naafs and Zita
  5. 5. 700 contracts – representing more than 6,000boreholes 5 April 2013 WASHCost Mozambique Naafs and Zita
  6. 6. Bi- annual publicationsLinked to three national meetings: March, June, NovemberDistribution via “learning alliance” – GASWww.washcost.info 6 April 2013 WASHCost Mozambique Naafs and Zita
  7. 7. 3. Evolution2009, ad hoc collection from field work and literature2010 slow response due to unfamiliarity:2011, improved when examples came back:2012, integrated and now the effort needed is about four weeks per year of a data analyst to store, verify and analyse the data in a standardized database. 7 April 2013 WASHCost Mozambique Naafs and Zita
  8. 8. 4. What Makes It Work it work1. Willingness, interest and good leadership;2. Shared resources;3. Keeping the data collection simple and verifiable;4. Feedback has been provided regularly and quickly to partners that supplied data through the six- monthly reports;5. National focal person6. Project support in first cycles. 8 April 2013 WASHCost Mozambique Naafs and Zita
  9. 9. 5. What Did Not Work Well1. Expanding the scope with progress or completion data, or bill of quantities2. More frequent updates3. Involve more people4. Involve private sector5. Limited NGO participation6. Combine with other departments7. Web based database 9April 2013 WASHCost Mozambique Naafs and Zita
  10. 10. 6. FindingsThe regular publication of costs led to: Standard unit costs on regular basis; This helps in budgeting for the next year and with procurement (by comparing proposals against costs in the past year); Major deviations from average costs being analyzed and discussed (e.g. high rehabilitation costs linked to a new type of pump); Unit cost information triggering value for money discussions. 10 April 2013 WASHCost Mozambique Naafs and Zita
  11. 11. 7. Conclusions The desire to disaggregate needs to be balanced with the difficulties of obtaining meaningful information from sufficient contracts and interventions. It is important to recognise that the publication of contract data was not a transparency initiative as willingness to cooperate might actually reduce if transparency were indicated as one of the objectives; 11April 2013 WASHCost Mozambique Naafs and Zita
  12. 12. 7. ConclusionsA process based on a limited number of parameters from verifiable data of simple contracts yields credible and very tangible findings and good discussions. WHY NOT TRY IT? 12April 2013 WASHCost Mozambique Naafs and Zita
  13. 13. 13April 2013 WASHCost Mozambique Naafs and Zita

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