Last week, USAID released Water and Development Strategy: Implementation Field Guide. The document serves as a reference tool to help USAID Operating Units understand and apply the agency’s 2013-2018 Water and Development Strategy.
Design and implementation of the strategy is guided by a results-oriented approach, using a set of standard indicators on water, sanitation, hygiene, and agriculture. The Field Guide lifts up the following key points about USAID’s strategic approach:
- Geographic focus areas for WASH for health programming are determined by country needs and vulnerability; opportunity and potential; and strategic considerations. Priority countries for water for agriculture are those identified by the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future initiative.
- Monitoring and evaluation should be applied as mutually reinforcing, but distinct, tools. It is also recommended that Operating Units develop and implement a learning plan around the program cycle.
- To achieve the greatest sustainable impact on health, WASH programming should aim for a balance of: access to hardware, behavior changes, and enabling policies and institutions.
- The principal legislative driver of USAID WASH funding is the Water for the Poor Act. Global Climate Change Initiative, Biodiversity, and other water- and food-related discretionary programs are also funding sources that can be leveraged.
By sharing the document publicly, USAID aims to ensure coordination of their efforts with the wider water sector. The Field Guide will be updated periodically. What do you think of the Guide? Feel free to share your reactions in the comments.