We are committed to maximising our contribution towards reaching everyone, everywhere with clean water, sanitation and hygiene by 2030. To achieve this, evaluations and reviews are essential to organisational accountability and learning as they allow us to reflect, learn and improve our work to meet this commitment.
In our new Global Evaluation Policy we commit to conduct one thematic review per year to explore a specific area of our work, shining a spotlight on new opportunities and challenges we need to address to continuously strengthen our work. The Global Evaluation Policy describes WaterAid’s minimum requirements for evaluation. Its purpose is to (a) to direct WaterAid members and country programmes and (b) inform and assure WaterAid stakeholders of our commitments and key practices expected from our reviews and evaluations.
Sector strengthening for sustainable services
We commissioned an external evaluation (January to June 2018) to assess how our approach to sector strengthening under our Sustainable Services goal is understood and operationalised within our Country Programmes. The evaluation was seeking to find out how we can support governments and service providers most effectively to meet the SDG targets.
The evaluation found that we are on the right track as our "approach is relevant to addressing WASH sector issues at global, national and local levels and is an appropriate response to meet the goal of universal WASH access by 2030". The evaluation provided a number of concrete recommendations on how we can improve our work.
WASH in the health sector and WASH access for people with disabilities
The first evaluation (May to December 2017) focused on the themes of WASH in the health sector and WASH access for people with disabilities, which fall under our strategic aims of 'equality' and 'integration' respectively.
The evaluation found that at WaterAid we have a high level of internal awareness of and commitment to inclusion. Furthermore, our integration work has been successful in terms of global advocacy for the relationships between WASH, health, nutrition and maternal and child health; national-level capacity building and improved coordination; and good examples of service delivery in healthcare settings. The evaluation also identified areas for improvement through a number of recommendations that now act as a mandate for us to address challenges more systematically.
Reducing gender inequality, within and through WASH, is essential to achieving our goal of ensuring everyone, everywhere has their right to safe WASH realised.
The evaluation found mixed sentiments around prioritisation of gender in WASH work, although noted that these tensions are moving towards resolution through development of the Global Strategy 2022-32. Across the review, space for deeper meaningful reflection on biases or attitudes to gender was found to be a key sentiment. The evaluation found that teams made steady and meaningful progress on their journey to gender transformative WASH when two features were present: self-reflective environments that adopt a ‘work in progress’ attitude; and leadership who take committed action as gender champions. Our mission will only be realised through strategic, ambitious action that tackles gender inequality head on. The Global Strategy looks well-positioned to enable this.