In 2023, 300 SWA partners from all constituencies in eleven SWA partner countries conducted a Country Self-Assessment (CSA), which used the SWA Framework to review and assess their country’s strategy on WASH. The CSA provides the opportunity to convene stakeholders within the sector and build a consensus on the current situation on WASH and the necessary steps to achieve the countries’ national objectives.
Since SWA’s establishment in 2009, strengthening coordination and accountability between government and constituencies has been the main objective of the partnership. To better grasp how these concepts are successful and effective, SWA has created the Country Self-Assessments. Complementary to other ongoing global monitoring systems such as GLAAS or JMP, the self-assessments encourage partners to review and use this data from their national monitoring systems for informed decision-making on the sector. Ultimately, the CSAs provide partners and the partnership as a whole with an additional reflection on progress that is not usually captured in global monitoring systems.
In 2023, Cambodia, Honduras, Nepal, Zimbabwe, Maldives, and Perú conducted the self-assessment for their second or third time, and Benin, Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, Nicaragua, and Sierra Leone conducted it for the first time.
During the self-assessment, SWA partners find consensus around their country’s performance around six indicators: political will on WASH, multi-stakeholder platforms, cross-sectoral interlinkages, accountability, finance, and targeting inequalities. Stakeholders provide a score from 0 to 100% as well as a narrative explanation for the score and supporting evidence or justification. This allows to analyze scores over time but most importantly to understand changes happening at the national level.
Participants are also asked to reflect on a list of follow-up actions they would like to put in place to advance the national objectives. This includes identifying the areas in which the partnership can better support these actions. For instance, in Côte d’Ivoire, support has been asked from SWA to enhance the collaboration between the WASH sector and climate-related issues.
Key outcomes include progress in finding synergies between sectors such as Environment and WASH (Côte d’Ivoire), enhancing and working towards more effective multi-stakeholder platforms (Maldives), advocating and obtaining high-level government engagement (Cambodia), improving partners’ commitments through our Mutual Accountability Mechanism (Honduras) and filling the gap between government and other partners to improve funds’ allocation (Maldives).
To strengthen participation and increase accountability in the partnership, a Lessons Learned exchange was also conducted in October 2023. Led by Zimbabwe, it presented the main steps of the process and shared the impacts the self-assessment has had on the sector nationally since its implementation in 2020.
The next steps include conducting an internal analysis of the process and the data collected. This will allow the partnership to determine the added value of this exercise at both national and global levels. Results will also permit SWA to tailor its support to its partners as key collaboration areas have been identified. SWA will be aiming at re-conducting self-assessments in these countries and working with new partners to determine a national baseline. This data will also be important for the upcoming mid-term review of SWA Strategy 2020-2030 and the 2024-25 GLAAS report.