Pilot Project to improve district water and sanitation management and sustainability – PROPILAS
Timeframe: 2002 – 2006
executed by CARE PERU in the department of Cajamarca;
financed by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC),
technical assistance Water and Sanitation Program.
The PROPILAS project is being carried out to build the district municipalities’ capacity for directing the water and sanitation services in their rural communities. The Project seeks to help the local governments themselves to improve the quality of life in their areas by ensuring the sustainability of the W&S services based on medium-term planning.
Typically, municipal activities in the small rural districts of the Andean highlands suffer from a poor institutionalization of the processes, standards, and procedures designed to obtain greater efficiency and transparency in the management of local development. The traditional approach to municipal work continues to be employed: activities are undertaken to meet short-term goals, with a series of small public works projects, but there is no integrating approach.
This is why it was necessary to promote a culture of participatory planning with a long-term horizon, and to stimulate the processes that would define a shared vision for the future and produce the commitment of the different stakeholders in local development to make joint decisions and coordinate their efforts.
PROPILAS, as a pilot project, seeks to design and validate sustainable modes of intervention in basic rural water and sanitation. Accordingly, in coordination with the local governments, it was decided to give support in designing the municipalities’ strategic plans for water and sanitation. The Project’s task was to train the six district municipalities in the use of planning and management tools.
1. Preparatory stage
(a) Designing the methodology
(b) Motivating municipal authorities; induction
(c) District water and sanitation diagnoses
(d) Identifying and inviting stakeholders
2. Design stage - preparing strategic plans for water and sanitation
(a) Presentation and analysis of district water and sanitation diagnoses
(b) Definition of key issues in water and sanitation management
(c) Local institutional framework for water and sanitation services
(d) SWOT analysis of the municipalities’ ability to provide services
(e) Strategic goals for water and sanitation
(f) The Vision Statement
g) Preparation of the Annual Operating Plan
(h) Preparation of the Water and Sanitation Investment Plan
(i) Consolidation of the strategic planning document for water and sanitation
3. Creating support committees for local municipal management
a) The representatives of public and private organizations and of the district’s civil society are familiar with, and are trained to replicate, a methodology for the development of participatory planning processes for water and sanitation; and the proposal may also be applied in other fields of local public management.
b) The district municipalities (six) now have strategic plans and annual operating plans to govern their investment in water and sanitation projects, product of the joint work of local stakeholders. However, in three of these six municipalities the plans are in process and awaiting formal approval by the municipal council.
c) The strategic planning process created a scenario of participation, consensus-building and coordination among the different local actors, reinforcing the citizen participation approach, and identifying the mechanisms that will lead to an effective management of water and sanitation by the district municipalities.
d) Committees to support district water and sanitation management have been formed in six municipalities; these committees will play an important role in the monitoring and assessment of the execution of the plan.
a) Sectoral strategic planning is enriched when a participatory approach is adopted, since the different points of view and interests coexisting in the district are included in the analysis and discussion. This participatory planning process is a good opportunity for consensus-building, creating alliances, and taking on commitments to optimize the resources available in order to meet water and sanitation goals.
b) The district water and sanitation diagnoses provide indispensable information at the starting point of the strategic planning process. Making the results of these diagnoses available ensures that participants will have objective empirical evidence which helps not only to focus the discussion, but also to set priorities and reach decisions using sound criteria.
c) A local information system is a useful tool for management of the provision of district water and sanitation services. The municipal authorities and the community may take part in the on-going updating of sectoral information, providing that they identify or recognize a value and an immediate utility in this activity.
For detailed information on the project see the activity report of PROPILAS