- Research project
- – Western Pacific
This International WaterCentre led research project explored how CSOs and governments can better enable rural community water management in the Pacific to improve SDG6 outcomes, using community water management plus practices.
Research focus: Progressing inclusive, resilient and sustainable SDG6 and WASH outcomes in the rural Pacific: approaches to enable effective community-based water management
Video: Community-based Water Security Improvement Planning in Solomon Islands – project video
Pacific Community Water Management Plus Compendium of Tools, and associated video
Video: Strong Water Committees – Strong WASH Communities (English subtitles)
Video: Water is everyone’s business (English subtitles)
Video: Women and Community Water Management (English subtitles)
Video: Youth and Community Water Management (English, subtitles)
*note: the video resources for Solomon islands here are with English subtitles, spoken in local pijin. If you would like to use these videos without English subtitles, or want a downloadable copy lease contact [email protected])
This research looked at how can CSOs and governments better enable rural community water management in the Pacific to improve SDG6 outcomes, using community water management plus practices?
Specifically, the project looked at:
(a) What can be learned from evaluating community water management across diverse community contexts, especially about which community governance, engagement, and support features are most aligned with inclusive, integrated and resilient SDG6, including WASH, outcome? then,
(b) What approaches and tools, that are sensitive and responsive to local context and improve inclusion, enable community management plus? That is what approaches and tools can CSOs/governments use, to strengthen the community engagement, support and governance features that are aligned with successful community water management in the Pacific?
Poor management of water sources and services is associated with inadequate WASH outcomes, negatively impacting on human health and well-being, and often affects women and girls disproportionately. Across the Pacific, community water management remains the necessary model for rural water services, due to the limited presence of government and private sector.
However, global and Pacific evidence indicates that current approaches to enabling community water management don’t lead to inclusive, integrated and resilient WASH outcomes, and that external support is necessary. Community Water Management Plus (Baumann, 2005), recognises that managing rural community water systems is a shared responsibility between communities, local authorities and central government.
Although Pacific governments appreciate that support is required, and invest in providing support for community water management, there is a lack of evidence about what support is effective, including in different community contexts.
In partnership with CSOs, government and communities in both Fiji and the Solomon Islands, through this research, the project team answered how CSOs and governments can better enable rural community water management in the Pacific to improve SDG6 outcomes, including the resilience, inclusiveness and sustainability of WASH outcomes.
This was answered by:
The approach involved male and female local university and village ‘researchers’, strengthening local research capacity as well as promoting gender equity in academia and local WASH outcomes, and participation of women in local water governance.
Key outputs are showcased above and include a toolkit and guide to enable Community Water Management Plus. This toolkit is comprised of
“Currently, governments and NGOs know communities need support to manage their own water supply systems but don’t have any evidence of what works and why. The practical tools of this research, co-developed with academics and practitioners, will allow us improve practice by NGOs and government, and increase the likelihood of sustainable and reliable water services in communities.”
Tom Rankin, WASH Program Manager, Plan International Australia