Capacity of institutional instruments for citywide inclusive sanitation in Abidjan and Accra

4 Poster Track: Applied Research » 4 Institutional arrangements

Speaker: Peter Emmanuel Cookey

Summary – for publication in conference brochure:

An assessment of institutional capacity needs for implementation of citywide inclusive sanitation (CWIS) was conducted in the cities of Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire and Accra, Ghana to the assess the capacity and adequacy of existing sanitation institutions in these cities of the novel CWIS. Result revealed that while financial incentives exist at operational levels, institutional instruments in both study areas lacked clear provisions to implement CWIS and existing institution is ridden with overlaps and fragmentations. The study concluded that more work needs to be done to provide better information and guidance and to train key actors and update sanitation institutional instruments. 

Introduction, methods, results and discussion:

Functional and robust institutions play a cardinal role in regulatory and standard setting as well as enforcement and investment supports for the upscaling and consolidation of inclusive urban safely managed sanitation and faecal sludge management services. The study used the Ostrom’s Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework to explore the capacity of existing sanitation policy frameworks, key actors, and decision makers to produce the policy superstructure needed for successful implementation of citywide inclusive sanitation (CWIS) for safe, equitable, and sustainable urban sanitation services especially for the vulnerable groups. The objective of the study was to the assess the capacity and adequacy of the existing sanitation institutions in the cities of Abidjan and Accra to support the implementation of the novel citywide inclusive sanitation. Thus, a sanitation institutional analysis for Abidjan and Accra was conducted to determine the potential for integrating CWIS into the existing urban sanitation policy mandates, processes and service delivery. A purposive stratified sampling method was used to identify the study population of interest and a mixed methods approach for data collection, while thematic networks and descriptive analysis was used for data analysis. Qualitative data were collected using the instruments of 20 semi-structured interviews at the organisational level, observation and journals. The interviews collected data about the knowledge and perceptions about CWIS and about the capacity development environment of the sanitation institutions; while Quantitative data was collected from 25 completed questionnaire surveys. Integrating quantitative and qualitative data yielded a comprehensive understanding of the phenomena.  Other data sources were through unstructured observations and secondary data was reviewed. The study revealed that in as much as evidence indicated some financial incentives at operational level in both cities that could support the implementation of inclusive and equitable urban sanitation services, however, the policy documents that guide sanitation management in Abidjan and Accra (Letter of sectoral policy of sanitation and drainage of Ivory Coast and the National Environmental Sanitation Strategy and Action Plan (NESSAP) of Ghana) do not contain the basic elements of CWIS. Also, the study revealed inadequate information and knowledge among the actors on CWIS inhibit their capacity to steer and make decisions for the implementation of their own sanitation agenda to deliver sanitation services. Overlap and fragmentations with multiple sanitation agencies and same mandates are also current hindrance that will also impede CWIS. Furthermore, unclear and inadequate information, knowledge and empirical guidance about CWIS coupled with a lack of autonomy amongst actors also weakens the capacity of upgrading existing institutions to CWIS. The study reviewed the sanitation policies of one francophone and Anglophone Sub-Saharan country to assess the readiness of the region to adopt and implement CWIS considerations. The conclusion is that more work needs to be done to provide much more information and guidance on CWIS, train key actors and update sanitation institutional instruments. This is key because without this, FSM implementation could remain a pipedream.

Conclusions and implications:

The major finding of this study shows that sanitation institutional capacity for the implementation of CWIS is minimal and there are no provisions in the current policies and urban sanitation strategies that capture the core principles of CWIS. This could be attributed to the fact that CWIS is a relatively new concept and has not been empirically explored as a potential approach to address urban sanitation challenges in the context-specific studies. The existing institutions lack provisions for standards to manage, dispose and treat faecal matter, and also revealed inadequate tariffing for emptying and disposal, weak monitoring and regulating agencies involved across the sanitation service chain and an absence of enforceable by-laws.  Therefore, extensive reviews and updates of key sanitation policies, laws and regulation, guidelines and standards are recommended as well as ensuring that institutional capacity development should change from being reactive to proactive, where there is clarity on what is expected before and after institutional capacity development activities and that these programmes are sustained.

Relevant references:

(1991) Institutions. Journal of economic perspectives 5: 97-112
E. (2011). Background on the Institutional Analysis Development Framework. Policy Studies Journal
and Polprasert
(2019) Social-ecological system. Regenerative Sanitation: A New Paradigm for Sanitation 40:107-140. IWA Publishers
and Ban
(2020) Citywide Inclusive Sanitation: A Public Service Approach for Reaching the Urban Sanitation SDGs. Frontiers in Environmental Science
8 DOI 10.3389/fenvs.2020.00019
I. Kapembwa
(2020) Institutional capacity needs for implementation of citywide inclusive sanitation in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. IHE
Master of Science Thesis
MSc Thesis Identifier: Sanitation. 20-07.

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