Partnerships between water sector institutions and aid agencies in urban areas affected by armed conflict
2015-09-22T15:34:31Z (GMT) by
Many of the recent armed conflicts have taken place in cities of the Developing World. In the resulting emergency situations, water supply and sanitation are among the most essential services to restore. They form part of the urban services available to the city dwellers that are commonly managed by local water sector institutions. This is, in principle, acknowledged by aid agencies but partnerships between them and water sector institutions do not always happen because of concerns such as: independence vis-a-vis the local government; possible corruption arid inefficiency problems; and political obstacles. Moreover, agencies prefer short-term structural rehabilitation to long-term institutional development, for which they do not always feel sufficiently qualified and experienced. This study tackles the problem by determining how these partnerships influence the performance of aid operations, in particular in terms of efficiency I effectiveness in the case of emergency response and of sustainability and coverage in the case of rehabilitation. It is based on a number of case studies selected in: Kabul (Afghanistan); Jaffna (Sri Lanka); Monrovia (Liberia); Beni (Democratic Republic of Congo); Port-au Prince and Port-de-Paix (Haiti), and Grozny (Chechnya in the Russian Federation). For emergency operations, findings show that partnerships tend to take place when the type or level of technology involved and/or security conditions do not allow the aid agency to work independently from water utilities. Partnerships do not necessarily influence efficiency I effectiveness in the short term but are beneficial because they prepare for rehabilitation. In terms of rehabilitation, findings suggest that current practice maintains a separation between large-scale rehabilitation projects and community-based projects focusing on specific neighbourhoods. This has a detrimental effect on sustainability and fails to address the needs of the most vulnerable populations. The study recommends a more coordinated approach that involves a reform of funding patterns, in order to reconcile sustainability and universal service.