IWC evaluates World Vision WASH projects
World Vision’s Pacific projects are on the ni-Vanuatu islands of Tanna, Santo, and Pentecost, the west coast of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea, and the Nendo and Pele islands in the Solomon Islands. World Vision’s geographical focus for these projects is the most remote communities; those rarely served by the government or the NGO community.
Before World Vision’s involvement in the communities, a lack of year-round access to safe and sufficient water left many families (in particular, women and children), carrying water (not always of good quality) over long distances to serve their drinking, cooking, and washing needs. Many villages had a sanitary history of open defecation, coastal defecation, or the use of ‘bush toilets’ (open dry pit).
World Vision project
World Vision’s project sought to improve health in the target communities by improving access to safe water and sanitation, improving the capacity of communities to manage and plan for WASH community needs, and to improve knowledge and practice of good hygiene behaviours.
IWC and partner researchers visited project sites and evaluated the projects individually and as a cluster. They conducted a review of relevant documentation and developed an evaluation framework and fieldwork methodology. The fieldwork involved techniques such as focus group discussions, key informant interviews, household surveys, and observations of water and sanitation infrastructure.
Researchers interviewed World Vision staff, practitioners in environmental health and rural water supply, and government staff (identifying potential for government collaboration with World Vision). They conducted field research for the five project sites, analysed data and produced a report on the effectiveness of implementation of the WASH projects. Drawing on the similarities, challenges and strengths of each country's context, the evaluation provided World Vision with a framework for future engagement across the Pacific.
This was World Vision’s first WASH evaluation conducted in multiple countries. It enabled researchers to recognise patterns over the varying country contexts within the unique challenges and strengths of the Pacific area, and in that way to have impacts on a number of levels.
Local project staff, country and regional program managers and World Vision Australia were able to draw insights relevant to their roles, and to use these insights to discuss what has been working and what has not, and to plan and implement future projects for effectiveness and sustainability.