Things can, and do, go wrong in water, sanitation and hygiene. In July 2018, an event at the Water Engineering Development Centre Conference in Nakuru, Kenya, “Blunders, Bloopers and Foul-ups: A WASH Game Show” inspired a call for WASH Professionals to publicly commit to sharing their failures and learning from one another. After months of iterations, including collecting feedback from the sector, we present to you:
The Nakuru Accord: failing better in the WASH sector
Transparency and accountability are necessary for achieving sustainable, positive impacts from water, sanitation and hygiene. As a WASH professional, I believe that we can achieve this through a culture of sharing and adaptation when things go wrong. To support this, I will:
- Promote a culture of sharing and learning that allows people to talk openly when things go wrong.
- Be fiercely transparent and hold myself accountable for my thinking, communication and action.
- Build flexibility into funding requests to allow for adaptation.
- Design long-term monitoring and evaluation that allows sustainability to be assessed.
- Design in sustainability by considering the whole life cycle.
- Actively seek feedback from all stakeholders, particularly end-users.
- Recognise that things go wrong, and willingly share these experiences, including information about contributing factors and possible solutions, in a productive way.
- Critically examine available evidence, recognising that not all evidence is created equal.
- Write and speak in plain language, especially when discussing what has gone wrong.
Please click here if you would like to sign The Nakuru Accord.
You can download a high resolution version of the Accord as a pdf or a png and stick it on your wall/door to spread the word and keep yourself accountable.
We also suggest adding to your email signature: I am a signatory to The Nakuru Accord: I believe that things can and do go wrong in WASH and I promote a culture of sharing and adaptation.
We’re excited to share that we have been awarded funding by the Royal Academy of Engineering for a project titled: “Amplifying local voices to reduce failure in the WASH sector”. The project began in October 2019 and is a collaboration between University of Leeds, University of KwaZulu-Natal, UNICEF Supply Division, National University of Science and Technology (Zimbabwe), University of Malawi Polytechnic, the MWANZA Centre (Tanzania), Cranfield University, York University, Imperial College London and Plymouth University.
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