Using Citizen Report Cards to Assess Accountability in Nepal

Assessing performance of water supply services, strengthening capacities and enabling advocacy

Context

Jalsrot Vikas Sanstha (JVS) implemented the project entitled Strengthening drinking water and sanitation sector services through enhanced accountability measures in Nepal in 2012 with financial support from the World Bank/CECI under Program for Accountability (PRAN). The aim of the project was to introduce the use of Citizen Report Card in the water supply sector to get better assessments of water service provider performance and encourage engagement from local stakeholders.

The assessment was implemented for six water supply schemes from two ecological regions and operated under three different management systems:

  • Community (rural) Water Supply Schemes (CWSS)
  • Small Town Water Supply Schemes (STWSS)
  • Nepal Water Supply Corporation Schemes (NWSCS)

One of the schemes was managed by only women.

 

Action and Outcomes

Focus Group Discussions were first held with service providers and users before a household survey was carried out for 826 households under all six schemes.

As with similar studies in other regions, the CRC highlighted inequity and integrity issues: the poor and landless have lower access to water supply. It also appeared that no mechanisms were available to interact with service users in the NWSC schemes even though there are growing issues of rights over water sources.

Results showed that a higher percentage of users were satisfied with quality of tap connections, and quality and timeliness of repairs in small town schemes than in the Nepal Water Supply Corporation schemes. On the other hand, users were more satisfied with tariffs under the NWSCS than under the STWSS.

Results were shared in an interface meeting and at a national workshop. As a consequence, service providers accepted the findings of the survey and committed to improve various aspects of service delivery pinpointed in the surveys. A water supply monitoring mechanism coordinated by a representative from water users was established in one of the water supply schemes in Janakpur. Other service providers also showed interest in setting up such mechanism.

The CRC served to develop a baseline assessment that supported the implementation of a Nepal country programme to promote water integrity which is still ongoing.

 

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