Building capacity to measure change

Building capacity to measure change


The International WaterCentre has had a capacity development partnership with Live & Learn Environmental Education for the past four years. The partnership has focused on providing technical and capacity support under the Western Pacific Sanitation Marketing and Innovation Program across four Pacific countries – Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. The project is due for completion in June this year, and we are currently working with field teams to complete final monitoring exercises.

Between March and May we will have visited each of the country sites twice; our team has just returned from the first of these final round visits. These first trips focused on mentoring field teams to lead the completion of data collection for end-line monitoring activities, analysis and case study reports. This has been done using an experiential learning approach – after completing a collaborative review of tools, the IWC team members work with Live & Learn field team members to jointly test the tools in the communities and the schools, and then collectively reflect on the process of data collection and reporting.

In Daru, where the program focused mainly on WASH in schools, a selection of tools were jointly completed by IWC and Live & Learn with two out of five local schools. The process of joint implementation has increased staff’s confidence and understanding of the monitoring process. It has also helped to increase the legitimacy of the field teams (with local stakeholders) to complete data collection. In Kavieng, joint implementation included working with local sanitation businesses, or community-based sanitation enterprises (CBSE). This process has reinforced the need to fully understand the tools’ purpose, and to be deeply familiar with the flow of questions to maintain consistency, and to keep respondents engaged, in the data collection process. The joint implementation also validated the time expected for completing the full set of monitoring tools.

Early insights on change and impact

Being a part of piloting the tools has provided us with early insights into some of the responses from community partners and participants in the program. For example, in Kavieng, when completing a customer feedback survey we heard from one householder who was “very proud to be the first old lady from Kulangit village who completed paying off my toilet from the sanitation enterprise.” 

A head teacher from a local school, expressed that: “the quality of the service and prices exceeded expectations,” and “was better priced than what was on offer from local hardware stores.” While there was acknowledgement of challenges too, including the issue of transparently managing cash flows in a collective group, or the challenges of marketing messages to dispersed communities, the head teacher emphasised “how proud community members were to have the first operational sanitation enterprise in their community.”

While conducting a key informant interview in Erakor Half Road community in Vanuatu, the interviewee shared his experience with a portable toilet, designed for customers with disabilities or reduced mobility with the support of Engineers Without Borders. He said that: “having this portable toilet has improved inclusion for my wife, who is now more able to look after herself and join in community activities and has given me more freedom too.”

These are just a few snapshots of the type of data emerging from the end-line monitoring. On our second round of visits we will work with field teams to consolidate and provide quality assurance in the data analysis and reporting processes. Final outputs from the field monitoring will be consolidated to inform project-wide final reports due in June. They will also inform the development of additional knowledge and learning products to share key lessons with the broader WASH sector.

Photos from the field:

Team debrief after the first interviews and household surveys were collected in Erakor Half Road, Vanuatu.


School teacher proudly shows their handwashing station installed after Live and Learn completed hygiene promotion activities in the school.

More information

Find out more about the Western Pacific Sanitation Marketing and Innovation Project and our partnership with Live and Learn here. You can also contact our capacity development and applied research team:


T +61 7 3028 7600


Our partnership with Live and Learn Environmental Education is part of the Civil Society WASH Fund, an Australian aid program initiative funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). This project is delivered in collaboration with Live and Learn Australia and the Australian Women’s Development Agency.


Related Post

23 November
The Queensland Government has set out to make the state a global leader...
2 July
On the 19 and 20 June 2018, The International WaterCentre (IWC) visited Hanoi...
2 July
The International WaterCentre (IWC) has won one of six Research Awards under the...