Thinking of a Career in Emergency Management?
- BY Nicole Pelette
USAID has launched various calls under “E-WASH Program” for the purpose of implementing scalable innovative solutions to strengthen urban WASH governance and operations within Nigeria. E-WASH has a strong interest in leveraging the expertise of new and underutilized partners.
Under the “E-WASH Program”, RTI has launched the Request for Expressions of Interest (REOI) for the E-WASH Innovation Grant Fund: Advocacy, Coordination and Strategic Communications (Nigeria).
E-WASH is seeking to issue grant(s) to local non-US organizations including I) large youth-led and women-led organizations, 2) business development service providers and non-governmental organizations, and 3) tertiary institutions for the purpose of implementing scalable innovative solutions to strengthen urban WASH governance and operations. E-WASH has a strong interest in leveraging the expertise of new and underutilized partners.
Reform programs succeed when they are well understood and supported by stakeholders. Such programs are however often placed at risk when the institution steering the changes does not put in place adequate mechanisms to secure political and social support amongst stakeholders. Such mechanisms include adopting a strategic approach to communicating with key stakeholder and interest groups.
The implementation of Urban WASH reform involves major changes in the provision of water services. These changes have the potential to generate resistance from politicians and the general public. The discomfort associated with commercialization, autonomy, negative media coverage, and apprehension regarding potential tariff increases and the transfer of assets to the State Water Boards (SWBs) are all factors that have the potential to create opposition against the type of reform E-WASH is advocating.
Therefore, advocacy, stakeholder coordination and strategic communications are required to build understanding and support for reforms because resistance to reform is expensive. When there is resistance, reforms take much longer to implement, or they may not proceed as planned. Strategic communication in a reform period must be strategic and intensive in nature to build understanding and minimize resistance, E-WASH believes innovative technical solutions can deepen the consensus that is required for reforms to succeed. Hence, the program looks to partner with the private sector and nongovernmental organizations through adoption of communications enhancing technologies and upgraded marketing infrastructure to improve SWB business processes.
E-WASH will work towards achieving the following mutually reinforcing objectives:
E-WASH Theory of Change
Increased access to sustainable WASH services will only be achieved in urban areas within Nigeria when SWBs undergo a reorganization process to develop professional and commercially oriented practices that enable them to operate efficiently as commercial entities. They must have autonomous, accountable, and transparent management and strengthened corporate governance with clear priorities for effective and inclusive service provision. Well-functioning SWBs must have performance-based contracts, good monitoring capabilities, trained personnel, cost recovery, a proper tariff structure, and asset maintenance management systems. Creating good corporate governance in SWBs is essential to increase access to sustainable water services.
E-WASH targets urban WASH challenges, especially at the water board or utility level, building from five key assumptions:
Award(s) will contribute to one or more of the results below:
Result 1: Innovative approaches to advocacy, coordination and strategic communications are developed and applied to promote citizen engagement in WASH sector reforms, accountability, and social transparency.
Result 2: Innovative approaches to community- based WASH engagements targeting vulnerable groups such as women, girls, boys, and persons living with disabilities.
Applicants must meet the following minimum eligibility requirements to qualify for funding under this REOI.