Consultant - Measuring the Effectiveness of the WASH Committees in Dereige, Sakaly and Alsref Camps

Mercy Corps

Khartoum, Sudan 🇸🇩


MC Scotland (MCS) is an international relief and development agency, registered to work in Sudan since June 2009. Like its global affiliate Mercy Corps, MCS exists to alleviate human suffering in the world’s toughest regions especially those suffering from natural calamities and chronic conflicts by helping people to transform their crisis situation into opportunities for progress. MCS currently has field offices in Nyala, Kadugli and Damazine with the Head/Country Office in Khartoum.

In South Darfur State, MCS supports programming in three peri-urban IDP camps providing basic humanitarian and early recovery, Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services to IDP populations coupled with Food Security and Livelihoods (FSL) programs. In addition to work currently undertaken in IDP camps, MCS also supports programming in rural areas of IDP return in SD providing essential WASH and FSL conflict integrated support to returnees and host communities. For example, in 2011-2013, through funding support from UNDP/DCPSF, MCS implemented a successful program in Abga Rajel in SD that has laid solid foundation for economic recovery and peaceful coexistence.

Purpose / Project Description:

Since 2015 MCS has focused on empowering target communities to take full ownership and adopt a more sustainable approach to service delivery and reducing dependency of the target populations of the camps (Dereige, Sakaly and El Serif) located near Nyala Town in South Darfur State (SDS). MCS intends to pave the way towards self-reliance by: supporting the populations to transition from subsidized to self-managed WASH services. The overall MC dependency reduction strategy focuses on empowering IDP communities to take full ownership of all key elements of the program moving forward into 2016. Over the past two years, MC has conducted a series of dialogues with community leaders, government officials (represented by WES) and NGO partners operating in South Darfur on the long- term status of IDPs in these camps and how a feasible transition to a more sustainable service delivery can be achieved.  MC recognizes that for such a strategy to work, a buy in as well as a strong commitment from all partners involved is paramount. MC’s vast knowledge of target communities and its reputation as a trusted partner is instrumental to the successful implementation of the proposed strategy. By the end of this proposed intervention, the goal is for the three IDP camps to be graduated to self-managed and cost recovery based WASH services, via the following activities:

– Reducing the recurrent costs for provision of WASH services;

– Establishing and strengthening the WASH committees to manage, operate, maintain and sustain the cost recovery WASH mechanisms;

– Working with the WASH committees to develop cost recovery mechanisms to deliver WASH services; roll out and implement the cost recovery system to deliver WASH services;

– Strengthening water supply in the camps through three motorized systems and ensure the continue maintenance of these systems;

– Working with WASH Committees to enable them to replace and repair latrines as needed, and provide technical support;

– Sensitizing communities to dispose of waste properly and assist the community to set up a cost effective, community-managed waste disposal system;

– Introducing Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation (PHAST) and Children Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation (CHAST) models of health messaging and behavior change, training hygiene promoters and embedding them in the community to ensure continued uptake of healthy hygiene behaviors

Consultant Objectives:

The purpose of this consultancy is to evaluate the outcomes of the OFDA – funded program in South Darfur by focusing primarily on the effectiveness of the community-led WASH management structure in delivering sustainable and high quality WASH services to the IDPs and conflict-affected population in the three camps of Sakali, El Serif and Derige, in South Darfur.  Over the past three years, Mercy Corps Sudan has been working with the three camps’ leaderships to phase out direct involvement and support and gradually hand over the responsibility of managing and paying for WASH services by the communities themselves. To help the community achieve this goal, MC has introduced numerous cost reduction measures to bring the cost of delivering WASH services (particularly water supply) to within an affordable level for the camp population while helping the WASH committees to introduce a cost recovery system based on affordable, acceptable, and sustainable user fee.

The Consultant will be expected to analyze qualitative data and report on the outcomes and results of the project from the members of 16 WASH committees, members of 3 Higher WASH committees, 75 promoters (Shekhats), members of Hygiene Promotion Centers, Camps’ community leaders, and IDPs camp communities’ members that meant to enable these structure to successfully roll out and manage the systems of WASH services in the camps and to what extent these structures are accountable to the members of the camps’ communities.

Consultant Activities:

The consultant is expected to evaluate and provide detailed analysis of the following key programmatic areas:

  • The community – based WASH management structure, its ability to deliver and maintain high quality WASH services to the IDP population in the three targeted camps. The WASH management in the three camps consists of three umbrella WASH committees responsible for the overall management of the WASH services in the camps. The umbrella WASH committees are supported by 16 sectors – specific water supply sub committees, which are responsible for the daily management and maintenance of the water supply systems and infrastructure in each sector, in addition to 75 trained female hygiene promoters (Sheikhats), which are mainly responsible for hygiene promotion activities in the camps. The evaluation should focus on – but not limited to – the following aspects:
  1. Capacity (internal systems/structure and skills) of the WASH committees to manage WASH services
  2. Structure, membership of the WASH committees, and the relationship between the umbrella committees and the sector – specific WASH sub committees
  3. Accountability towards the IDPs
  4. Transparency in setting up rate for services, handling revenues and expenses
  5. Inclusion of vulnerable groups in decision making, delivery and access to services
  6. Managing external and internal relationships/stakeholders
  • The assessment should also include a detailed analysis of the water user fee systems introduced by the WASH committees to generate revenue to cover the cost of delivering sufficient, clean, and sustainable water supply to the IDP population in the three targeted camps. Further, MC has also introduced several other revenue sources to cover the cost of hygiene promotions and management of solid waste inside the camps. MCS is therefore interested to understand:
  1. The capacity and ability of the WASH sub committees to manage user fee
  2. The effectiveness of the methods by which user fees are collected;
  3. Whether the amount of money collected is sufficient to cover the cost of operation and maintenance, plus a remaining surplus to cover contingencies
  4. The ability of the WASH committee to enforce regular payment of water users’ fee
  5. How user fee rates are set and calculated;
  6. Acceptance of the user fee by the community and the degree of affordability/ability to pay by different segments in the community;
  7. How the lists of users are compiled and verified to represent the actual population of the camp;
  8. How the WASH committee regularly share information with the general camp population regarding financial transactions in terms of money collected, spent and balance remaining
  9. How the population sectors within the camps interact with each other to share experience and lessons?
  10. How extremely vulnerable families are identified and what criteria are in use to exempt vulnerable families who are unable to pay from the water user fee
  11. ability to interested to evaluate the effectiveness of these revenue sources in generating sufficient fund to cover these activities
  • By the end of this current phase of the OFDA program implementation (April 2017); MC will complete the handover of all WASH services in the three camps to the camp management. Moving forward, MC role will be limited to coaching and monitoring of the WASH committees’ activities and provision of direction/advice when necessary. Since this will be the first ever initiative implemented by an NGO in the Darfur region, MC is keen to share its experience with the wider NGO community in terms of the approach, success factors, and whether the level of services, quality and access will be compromised or not and that the WASH committees will be capable of maintaining the same level of services as before the transition. It is important to note that MC expects to see a period of service disruption (3-6 months) as the capacity of the WASH committees is gradually improving in taking full charge of the services. We also expect that the buy – in from the IDP households to be slow and once all the orientation and awareness sessions are completed, we expect full buy-ins and participation
  • MCS has provided a one-off distribution of seeds and agricultural tools to returnees in a cluster of villages in South Darfur with the objective of helping them to quickly restore their livelihoods and reach self-sufficiency. this intervention was timed to coincide with the beginning of the growing season as most of the returnees are farmers and depend almost entirely on farming as a mean to provide food for their families and produce a surplus for the market to meet other needs such as health, education, social commitments, and others. Mercy corps is therefore interested to understand whether the intervention is successful in achieving its objective, and whether the approach can be replicated successfully in similar situations

Consultant Deliverables:

  • The quantitative and qualitative data collection instruments (in Arabic with English Translation), developed with input from the MCS Director of programs
  • The final cleaned data set (including primary data as sub set),
  • The consultant’s presentation on the initial findings to the MCS Program Team at Nyala Office upon completion of the field level assessment
  • Draft and Final evaluation reports (in English)

The quality of the consultancy report will be assessed according to the UNEG Evaluation Standards.

  • The consultancy report should represent a thoughtful, well-researched and well organized effort to objectively evaluate what worked in the project, what did not and why?
  • Consultancy report shall address queries included in the scope of work,
  • The consultancy findings should be specific, concise and supported by strong quantitative or qualitative evidence, and recommendations need to be supported by a specific set of findings
  • Recommendations should be action-oriented, practical and specific, with defined responsibility for the action

Timeframe / Schedule: 

The consultancy will be conducted in the month of May 2017 (not later than 23th  of  May), for the duration not exceeding 25 working days, including field work, analysis and report write up.

The Consultant will report to:

DM&E Manager