Integrated Evaluation of a Community-Based Safe Drinking-Water Project in Rural Guatemala

2015-11-01T00:00:00Z (GMT) by Felipe Tendick-Matesanz
One of the main directives for the provision of safe drinking water in developing nations is to eliminate the health risk posed by enteric pathogens. Often these programs fail to create long lasting solutions. Challenges arise due to the frequency with which safe drinking water programs focus on creating barriers to transmission primarily through engineering solutions by way of water supply and quality. Resulting evaluations from these programs are not able to identify why a program was or was not sustained. This limited ability to identify programmatic sustainability can be linked to a tunnel vision on evaluation of engineering outcomes and programmatic goals. This tunnel vision leads to a linear cause and effect dichotomy and does not take into consideration complexity and interdependence of factors outside the scope of engineering outcomes. This approach alone is inappropriate as most safe drinking water projects are both complicated and involve a level of complexity outside the scope of engineering which have a strong bearing on programmatic uptake and long term sustainability. This intervention is an example of how safe drinking water problems can be approached and how to apply an evaluative lens to what is traditionally considered an engineering intervention. This evaluation illuminates how processes highlight areas for program improvement and it shows how to begin measuring outcomes during the implementation phase of an intervention to assure long term sustainability, effectiveness, and impact