Climate Smart Water Governance
September 11,, 2019
This report covers the end of project evaluation for the climate-smart water governance project, focusing on activities that took place between January 2018 and July 2019, in Garissa and Kilifi counties. The report identifies the changes brought about by the climate-smart water governance project and the extent to which the project has contributed to the detected changes. It also provides the relevant lessons learnt during the implementation process to inform future design and project implementation. The evaluation employed an Outcome Harvesting process to ascertain the level of influence the project had in the community. The process included desktop review, outcome statement development, and triangulation.
- The project objectives, as presented in the initial proposal, were not directly addressed. For instance, Outcome 1: Localized governance solutions to water management, there was no mention of a governance structure established by the contribution of the program activities. On Outcome 2: Regular dissemination of information to the public by relevant county bodies: apart from the regular messaging from GAWASCO, there was no specific mention of activities that pushed more messaging to the community on water issues. Similarly, in Kilifi, this was not witnessed as the wrangles within the service providers created more challenges. Outcome 3: County Government responsiveness and advocacy on water management, was not achieved.
- The activities brought the communities together and increased communal efforts in general. Based on the analysis of the theory of change, 21 the inter-county water access could not be evaluated, and at the time of the evaluation, the discussions were still ongoing. Additionally, apart from mentions of the Kilifi Forest Policy and contribution to the Garissa Act 2018, there is no evidence from the community that shows the input from these documents to the changes in the community.
- The second level gains resulting from the training activities are also vital and a key-component, especially in enhancing community resilience capacity from a cross-sector point of view. Residents within these two counties remembered and provided detailed accounts and stories of what they deem to have been the objective of the project. This is a component that could have been addressed by having better information education communication (IEC) material to enable the community to identify the direct and intended project outcome.
- The barriers were as a result of a project design that made assumptions about the status on the ground on issues involving; the level of engagement, goodwill in the counties, conflict systems in these communities, the relationships between the service providers (especially in Kilifi). The adaptation/uptake strategy for policy documents was measured based on the attendance of meetings, which showed some progress on government engagement, but not enough to influence change. The findings from the PEA did not highlight some of these challenges, and there was no evidence that output IV on providing learning and shaping the program was achieved.
- Baseline /Needs Assessment: Based on the reports supported desktop review, the project was implemented using the lessons learnt in a need’s assessment report. However, the outcomes show other requirements relating to water, that appeared pressing than the advocacy processes. Most of the respondents mentioned that access meant; building dams, pipping water, flood management, and service providers lowering their tariffs. As a recommendation, the needs assessment should evaluate opportunity areas that have massive returns for the project gains to be realized.
- Project Monitoring and Reporting: At output level, the projects reporting provided evidence of attendance to show project activities. The relationship building, response to water access from the service providers, and tangible evidence linking the behaviour change to activities from the project could not be completely substantiated. It is because the low-level outcomes were not monitored well as timelines for action, especially on policy follow-up, the next step of action and service provider/community engagement. Program activities that work with external partners that have different mandates should have a milestone-based engagement with a commitment beyond attendance of meetings.
- Branding and Marking: While there are challenges relating to literacy especially in rural communities where the project was implemented, the development of easy-to-refer-to material; with critical messages from the training, and advocacy activities; would have gone a long way to provide the linkage between the successes and the project. Additionally, the follow-up and ownership from the community on issues relating to service providers including; GAWASCO, Northern Water Services Board, MAWASCO and KIMAWASCO, would have benefited with the creation of a message, flyer or poster with contacts for reporting; especially on issues that were discussed during the community round sessions.
- Target Population Engagement: Success and failure of projects depend on reaching the right people during activity implementation. There is evidence showing that each community has gatekeepers who serve as enablers or barriers to project implementation. Concentrating on these gatekeepers, local leaders and some religious leaders alienate other individuals including the local chief, Nyumba-Kumi leaders, Youth leaders and family setups (for household engagement) who are critical for project implementation in communities.
- Goodwill and Partnership with Stakeholders including Government: Devolution is taking shape in different areas in the republic, and institutions are in place to deal with water management from the National government to the grassroots communities. Apart from the Ministry of Devolutions’ Kenya Accountable Devolution Project (KADP), and the County Government with budgetary allocations through the CECs on the water; institutions like GAWASCO, KIMASCO, MAWASCO and local administration, play a critical role in the communication on project activities and engagement with communities. At the basic level, meeting with the local chief would have provided an opportunity and a platform for regular messaging on water issues and feedback sessions in community Barazas.
- Adaptation & Uptake Strategy on Policy issues: The project reports showed progress from policy sharing with different stakeholders. The project has developed a policy document, which will be shared with the CECs for follow-up. Though this evaluation did not accurately review the level of uptake on the policy document developed; (as it forms part of the last activity implemented during the review), this recommendation is based on the advocacy activities on the Water Bill passed in Garissa. Advocacy and dissemination processes for projects should have pointers on areas that the community would require action, and the steps the population would follow in case action is not witnessed within a specified period. It allows for ease of monitoring, follow-up, and evaluation of success.