Solution exchange discussion: The issue of convergence in WES programmes, from Water and Sanitation Consultant, New Delhi - Experiences

Compiled by Pankaj Kumar S., Resource Person; additional research provided by Ramya Gopalan, Research Associate, 28 June 2006

Original Query: Bhawna Vajpai, Water and Sanitation Consultant, New Delhi. Posted: 5 June 2006

Most of you will agree that although most social development programmes are designed sectorally, long-term sustainability and a wider outreach necessitates effective convergence with other Government and non-government actors from various sectors. For instance, the success of a sanitation programme will require effective convergence with actors in
water supply, health, education, gender and social empowerment, etc. My own experience of SWAJAL, an integrated programme for drinking water, showed that while drinking water and sanitation remained the major components, other supportive interventions needed to built in during implementation. Examples of these were catchment area development, promoting functional literacy, micro-finance, promotion of health and hygiene awareness, women’s empowerment, community resource mobilization and community based monitoring. However, convergence for these supportive interventions with players from other sectors was inadequate.

Another fallout of the above is that while some village communities get a large number of inputs from various agencies for similar activities, other village communities remain deprived, leading to wastage of scarce resources due to duplication of efforts. In this context, I request members to please share experiences on the issue of convergence, especially as related to the Water and Environmental Sanitation Sector in the following areas:
 
1. Examples of highly effective and successful experiences in convergence in India in the WES sector.
2. Impediments in convergence between various actors in WES and suggestions on methods to foster better convergence.

Responses received with thanks from:

1.  S. Ramesh Sakthivel, WES-Net India, Plan International, New Delhi
2.  Vinod Vyasulu, Centre for Budget and Policy Studies, Bangalore
3.  R. Srikanth, WaterAid India, New Delhi
4.  Jasveen Jairath, Capnet South Asia, Hyderabad
5.  Digbijoy Bhowmik, GoI-UNDP Project; National Strategy for Urban Poor, New Delhi (Response 1; Response 2 )
6.  Nand Kishor Agrawal, KFW-German Development Bank, New Delhi
7.   Jyotsna Bapat, Senior Independent Consultant, Environment and Disaster Management, New Delhi
8.   Arun Dobhal, Swajal, PMU, Dehradun
9.   Pankaj Kumar S, UNDP, New Delhi
10. Bhawna Vajpai, Water and Sanitation Consultant, New Delhi
11. B. M. Kandpal, SIMAR, Uttaranchal
12.  Prabhjot Sodhi, UNDP GEF SGP, New Delhi

Further contributions are welcome!

Summary of Responses

The query on inter-sectoral convergence efforts evoked a wide range of responses. Members identified major barriers to convergence, emphasizing the primary role of communities and their institutions in operationalizing it at grassroots. Quoting from experiences of various projects, they provided useful suggestions to ensure better convergence. One of the major impediments to convergence identified by members was that each implementing department or agency often has its own approach and limitations, and likes to have control over what happens on the field. Thus, each agency tends to pursue its own sectoral model rather than utilizing existing institutions. Members opined that this approach often leads to duplication of efforts, thereby over-emphasizing strengthening of local administration mechanisms rather than bolstering local governance.

Lack of information about the multitude of programmes run by government departments and NGOs was another key hurdle identified by members. Grassroots NGOs and government officials working in line departments often do not always have all necessary information about schemes of other departments, making convergence difficult. Respondents also remarked that restriction of information about schemes to the elite at village level further accentuates the information gap.

Among localized factors, which limit convergence, members mentioned the lack of reliable Below Poverty Line (BPL) data, making selection of beneficiaries very difficult for effective convergence. A livelihoods project in Uttaranchal encountered this problem of lack of dependable information on the poorest households. The reluctance of government officials to visit communities in remote locations also led to hindered convergence, members felt.

Members contended that one of most important ways to ensure convergence was supporting communities and their institutions to take the lead in ensuring convergence, rather than project agencies. They pointed to a case in southern India, where Self-Help Groups (SHG) effectively linked sectoral programmes of various government departments for their own benefit and even succeeded in recovering sanitation infrastructure costs for ‘pay and use’ toilets.

Strengthening the large pool of elected panchayat representatives could also effectively ensure convergence of various government schemes. Members cited the experience of another project where panchayat leaders are playing a key role in facilitating convergence between the Health and Drinking Water Departments through the local health worker.
NGOs and private sector organizations could also provide linkages between different projects/initiatives, members pointed out. For example, a power company providing water and electricity built effective linkages with local farmers and was able to convince them to repay their electricity bills regularly, thus allowing the company to invest in equipment to further reduce power-theft.

Other methods for fostering better convergence suggested by members included building of a convergence framework by government and other stakeholders. Compilation and dissemination of booklets on “who is doing what” at various levels (panchayat, tehsil or district) could then be done. Similarly, members highlighted using community maps, such as those prepared by students under the 'Mapping the Neighbourhood' programme for planning collaborative activities. Respondents also mentioned the National Urban Information System in this context as an attempt to use geospatial mapping for collecting data on urban poverty alleviation projects and programs. Integrating the larger livelihoods concerns of a community with specific sectoral intervention was an additional suggestion given.

For institutionalizing convergence within government programmes, members advised assessing government agencies based on how many communities they have been able to link with their programmes. Inclusion of convergence related project development and monitoring indicators when designing a project could also ensure that projects show progress on convergence, suggested members. Respondents also drew attention to one of UNICEF’s programmes in Madhya Pradesh, where key stakeholders were involved from the start. Since stakeholders agreed upon the programme strategy and helped prepare the guidelines, they were able to work with a high degree of convergence. In conclusion, members agreed that strengthening of communities and institutions by giving them better access to information on all existing programmes and institutionalizing convergence within programmes
are two important keys to improving convergence.

Comparative Experiences

Effectively Linking Sectors (from S. Ramesh Sakthivel, WES-Net India, Plan International, New Delhi)

In South India, an NGO supported by  WaterAid  initiated a water and sanitation programme to address the issue of convergence at the grass roots level. The project effectively linked several sectoral interventions such as thrift, education, income generation, agriculture, and women’s empowerment. In some of the urban slum sanitation projects, it was possible to recover the infrastructure expenditures through women’s SHGs managing a ‘pay and use’ system.

From Digbijoy Bhowmik, GoI-UNDP Project 'National Strategy for Urban Poor', New Delhi

Unifying Urban Poverty Alleviation Projects

The National Urban Information System is implemented in through the Town and Country Planning Organization. It is attempting to bring all hardware/software on poverty alleviation onto a single, unified geospatial base. Initially, the System covered 137 towns; focusing on the water supply, sanitation, sewerage, solid waste management and power systems. The state Town and Country Planning Departments are responsible for authenticity and integrity of data.

Read More

Mapping Neighborhoods for Service Improvement
An initiative of the Department of Science and Technology, the “Mapping the Neighbourhood” project’s primary objective is to sensitize communities, through schoolchildren about the use of maps to identify issues facing a community. The community can then use the maps created through the children’s science project, as a tool for communicating and negotiating with those responsible for service delivery and improving those services.

Read More

Building Trust to Reduce Power-Theft and Improve Water Use (from  Jyotsna Bapat , Senior Independent Consultant, Environment and Disaster Management, New Delhi)

The NOIDA Power Company provides electricity and water in rural Uttar Pradesh. The Company successfully implemented a project where they convinced farmers about improved water quality and quantity and benefits of using new more efficient power pumps. The results were reduced power-thefts and improved agricultural water usage. In three years, the returns from the new approach enabled the company to recover their investments in equipment to prevent power-theft.

Integrating Village Level Activities Using ASHA (from  Arun Dobhal, Swajal, PMU, Dehradun)

ASHA is the women health worker for the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) project run by the Health Department. In some Uttaranchal villages, ASHA are being used a common resource integrating their health work with the Drinking Water Department’s Total Sanitation Campaign project. To help develop the support of Village and Block level representatives, the Total Sanitation Campaign conducted an IEC campaign to sensitize them.

Bridging Implementation Gaps (from Prabhjot Sodhi, UNDP GEF SGP, New Delhi)

A UNICEF program in Madhya Pradesh ensured convergence between diverse stakeholders by conducting several meetings to design programme implementation plans. The project then drafted WES manuals incorporating all necessary knowledge and skill requirements for field implementation. Selected NGOs were trained intensively and district officers facilitated, monitored and reviewed the convergence activities.

Strengthening a Livelihoods Project (from Pankaj Kumar S, UNDP, New Delhi)

This IFAD supported Uttaranchal Livelihoods Improvement Project for Himalayas commissioned a study to compile a directory of government schemes targeted at the poorest households. This led to the formulation of a convergence blueprint with various government line departments. Key learnings included the need to strengthen communication within and between governments and communities, and to examine the criteria for selecting project beneficiaries.

Related Resources

Recommended Organizations

Central Himalayan Rural Action Group (CHIRAG) (from B. M. Kandpal, SIMAR, Uttaranchal) Village Sitla, PO Mukteshwar, District Nainital 263138 Uttaranchal; Tel: 91-5942-286032; Fax: 91-5942-286246; info@chirag.org ; http://www.chirag.org/. The Kumaon section of the Institutional Livelihoods Program started in November 2002, is being led by CHIRAG toempower rural communities through integrated development

WaterAid (from S. Ramesh Sakthivel, WES-Net India, Plan International, New Delhi)
http://www.wateraid.org/international/default.asp
In India, WaterAid is working with urban sanitation programs, particularly involving women’s self- help groups.

Recommended Documentation

From Digbijoy Bhowmik , GoI-UNDP Project ‘National Strategy for Urban Poor,' New Delhi

National Urban Information System (NUIS) Workshop Recommendation Report,

National Urban Information System; Bangalore; November 29-30, 2004
http://www.solutionexchange-un.net.in/environment/cr/res19060601.pdf (Size: 118 KB)

Documents efforts by the Town and Country Planning Organization in urban areas to bring all poverty alleviation elements-line services onto a single, unified geospatial base

Methodology for Neighbourhood Mapping Exercise                      

Centre for Science Development and Media Studies and the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India
http://www.csdms.in/NM/project/methodology1.htm

Project  where school children create ‘neighbourhood maps’ of their communities generating a database that could be used for local level planning and development

Enhancing Rural Livelihoods through Participatory Watershed Management (from B. M. Kandpal, SIMAR, Uttaranchal)

Sir Ratan Tata Trust Institutional Livelihoods Program; 2005
http://www.srtt.org/prog-rural-himmothan-enhanrural.html

Focuses on implementation of micro-watershed projects, designed specifically for the Himalayan conditions, through community based village-level watershed committeesFrom  Ramya Gopalan, Research Associate

Swajaldhara Guidelines

http://ddws.nic.in/popups/swajal_pop.htm
Details guidelines on Swajaldhara detailing the need for convergence, promotion of social mobilization and capacity development for the communities and their institutions

Total Sanitation Campaign Guidelines

http://ddws.nic.in/NewTSCGuideline.doc
Details guidelines on TSC outlining the comprehensive concepts and implementation methods of rural sanitation for various agencies and community institutions.

Report of the Steering Committee on Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation (Rural and Urban)

Tenth Five-Year Plan, Government of India, Planning Commission; February 2002
http://planningcommission.nic.in/aboutus/committee/strgrp/stg_water.pdf (Size: 48 KB)
Highlights need for convergence at the village level/Panchayat level/Block level with PRIs- the key institutions handling drinking water supply programs at ground level

IDS Working Paper 233- Financing Water for All: Behind the Border Policy Convergence in Water Management

By Lyla Mehta with Oriol Mirosa Canal; Institute of Development Studies (IDS); Sussex, UK; September 2004
Abstract at: http://www.eldis.org/static/DOC15817.htm
Full text at: http://www.ids.ac.uk/ids/bookshop/wp/wp233.pdf (Size: 376 KB)
Demonstrates how policy convergences gradually emerged around key issues- the state’s diminishing role, shifts in public and private spending and the private sector’s role

Rural Water Sector Reform in Ghana: A Major Change in Policy and Structure (Field Note 2)

By Elizabeth Kleemeier; Water and Sanitation Program-Africa Region (WSP-AF), Nairobi, Kenya; August
2002
http://www.wsp.org/publications/af_bg_ghana.pdf (Size: 222 KB)
Documents Ghana’s national program reform process in the rural water supply sector- including major stakeholders, several pilot projects and lessons learned

Responses in Full

S. Ramesh Sakthivel, WES-Net India, Plan International, New Delhi

The water and sanitation programmes initiated through women SHGs in South India to some extent addressed the issue of convergence at the grass roots level. The effectiveness of this arrangement brought about many other sectoral interventions like thrift, education, income generation, agriculture and women empowerment interventions being addressed at the village level. In some of the urban sanitation programmes, the women SHGs were even able to meet expenditures of the infrastructure requirement of the slum communities with the savings from the pay and use toilets. Further information can be obtained from WaterAid.

However, if we take a look at the past programmes, we find that each department pursued its own village level model for promotion of an intervention rigidly than accepting/utilising the existing village level institutions promoted by either a NGO or for a different government programme. This leads to duplication of efforts at the grass root level. These can be avoided if the programmes are implemented with better integration of Government departments at the operational levels and with the active involvement of the NGOs.

This issue convergence needs to be given very high priority, as the natural resources are being unduly exploited/poorly managed/conserved day by day. More so, these aspects have a very high influence on the WES interventions and if not addressed, WES coverage figures will always be under trouble. 
 
Vinod Vyasulu, Centre for Budget and Policy Studies, Bangalore

Every department wants control on what it does at the local level--hence such duplication. We have a strong local administration from the days of the Raj. But we have no local government, which is where such convergence can take place. The 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments present an opportunity, but because we think of local administration and not local government--especially the elected one in the panchayats -- we face this problem. The solution is to work towards strengthening local government--and this is what the PRI ministry is trying to do.

R. Srikanth, WaterAid India, New Delhi

In many areas, there is duplication of work given the fact that there are numerous NGOs in India, one is not aware who is doing what and many times water and sanitation is one among  the standard menu pursued by  NGO's among host of other issues regardless of the fact that they are specialized or not. In my opinion ,there is need to develop a manual or booklet on 'who is doing what'; in each geographical region having factual data on various gov't programmes intervention ,list of NGOs and major activity pursued . This can lead of some degree of convergence and contribute to some success. It is seen unless livelihood is combined with watsan issues than only this programme is successful in terms
of coverage and one need to be creative in addressing this issue working together with NGO network rather than working in isolation.

Jasveen Jairath, Capnet South Asia, Hyderabad

This is to entirely endorse points made by Ramesh below:
At Capnet, we would like to explore the possibility of developing training programmes for achieving such integration through hands on experimental projects on a small scale. If any members of this group are interested in involving in developing such a proposal or can seek such expertise - please ask them get in touch with WES-Net and we will coordinate through you.

Digbijoy Bhowmik, GoI - UNDP Project - 'National Strategy for Urban Poor', New Delhi (response 1)
 
I would like to share with you an effort that is presently "trying to take off" in Urban Areas. The National Urban Information System, being implemented through the Town and Country Planning Organisation is an attempt to bring all hardware/ software on poverty alleviation, including line services onto a single, unified geospatial base. In the first instance, a total of 137 towns are proposed to be covered under the scheme. Of the elements covered, the state of water supply, sanitation, sewerage, solid waste management and power can be well highlighted on such a geospatial base, clearly indicating (a) the need for any given NGO to select any particular area and the kind of hardware/ software that cannot be provided in the normative service delivery process. State Town and Country Planning Departments are proposed be the prima-facie custodians of the data including its authenticity and integrity, while its use can be made by any urban local body, and if the data sharing regime so permits - civil society in order to prevent overlaps.
 
Nand Kishor Agrawal, KFW-German Development Bank, New Delhi

A tricky issue indeed and sometimes I wonder whether the efforts made to get players from other sectors for the purpose of convergence are worth the results one would get at the end of it. Nevertheless, it is a necessity and without this no intervention can actually achieve the desired results. One fact is clear:

  • Different agencies have different approaches and their own varied limitations which make it extremely difficult to coordinate and cooperate with other agencies in spite of their willingness to do so. Therefore, one possible solution is to support the community to take the lead for convergence rather than Project Agencies taking the lead on the behalf of the community. One of the main impediments is that in most cases, the Project Agencies ignorantly take the lead rather allowing the community to take the lead in ensuring the convergence. In any case, in our experience, the following approaches could be tried in the rural context.
  • A convergence workshop at least once a year in the project area (for example, a village or a watershed or a cluster of villages) in which the relevant players from other sectors (government departments, banks, NGOs, etc) at the district and block levels are invited to participate and share their plans. To be sustainable, this has to be a community driven exercise with support from the Project Agency in the initial stages.
  • The NGOs or Project Agencies supporting the communities, in addition to their project related tasks, must also be made responsible from the very beginning for ensuring the convergence by supporting the community to access the district level regular programmes of the government line departments. There should be sufficient resources made available to these agencies to perform this task objectively and their assessment should be based how many programmes the community is linked with at the end of each year.

Jyotsna Bapat, Senior Independent Consultant, Environment and Disaster Management, New Delhi

I would like to quote the example of the NOIDA Power Company that has successfully expanded its rural electrification programs in Utter Pradesh and was able to provide power for domestic as well as irrigation water supply. They were able to take into confidence majority of the farmers and assure them about the quality and quantity of power to their pumps. This saved them money on repair costs. They could buy pumps of lower wattage that were cheaper. Thus they gained the farmers confidence in such a way that the additional capital investment the company needed to make in order to reduce power-theft was recovered by them in three years and consumer accountability of the transformers they had to install was also ensured. This is an example of highly effective and successful experiences in convergence in India in the Water sector.

Implementation problems that the company faced were largely related to recovery of the electricity bills. The small farmers who benefited were very diligent about payments but they had to take on the oligarchy of large farmers who had benefited from the earlier regime.  In this case thus convergence between various actors in Water supply and power consumers was ensured by privatization of power distribution system and better methods to foster better convergence could not be very successfully ensured given the political clout of the lobby of large farmers that exists. Political intervention is quoted as the most important impediment in implementation effective convergence.

Arun Dobhal, Swajal, PMU, Dehradun

The convergence issue in WES programmes firstly can be taken up within the programme itself. It has been the experience of many WES programmes across different states in India, especially those funded by external agencies like the World Bank and ADB that although a lot on input in terms of time and financial resources were allocated to activities like Women's Development Initiatives, Non Formal Education etc., yet these lost steam on the way. This was primarily due to the fact that none of these support activities contributed to the overall Project Development Monitoring Indicators of the project/program. These activities were relegated to the back seat and focus was on water supply. If the
implementing and the funding agencies are really serious about the issue of convergence, then these activities should be reflected in the Project Development Monitoring Indicators, during the design of the project/program in the preparation stage itself.
 
Secondly, for ongoing programs, which are largely centred on the three tier Panchayati Raj Institutions, there is this huge resource pool of elected representatives, who could be suitably involved in the process of convergence. They can, in fact, take the driver's seat in convergence of WES programs, as they have access and information to the various programs running. Only, they need to be oriented and sensitized towards the cause of convergence. An example of this in Uttaranchal is the integration of village level activities of ASHA, the women health worker of the National Rural Health Mission project being run by the Health Department with the activities of the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC), being managed by the Drinking Water Department. This coordination is bearing fruit only due to the active support of village and block level public representatives, who have been gradually sensitized in the IEC campaign of the TSC project.

Pankaj Kumar S, UNDP, New Delhi

The query raised by Bhawna is extremely important but a very difficult one to answer. This is because although everyone will agree that convergence is most important; there are no easy answers on how to achieve the same.  I present below an experience on convergence not directly from the water sector but from the livelihoods arena.
 
While working with the IFAD supported Livelihoods Improvement Project for Himalayas in Uttaranchal, we tried to prepare a blueprint for convergence of the project with various Line Departments of Uttaranchal Government. For this, we engaged a consultant to study and compile a Directory of the various Government schemes that benefit the poorest households. We also asked the consultant to design a system for ensuring that the project was able to put the convergence into operation.
 
My learning from this entire exercise on convergence is as follows:

 1. Lack of Government to Government communication
Information about the various schemes is not available easily in a compiled manner even with Government officials. Occasionally, Departmental Directories are published, but these are widely disseminated. Thus even for Government Department Officials, keeping track of the myriad schemes of the various departments is a daunting task. One can imagine the plight of the proverbial common man.

 2. Lack of Government to People Communication
At Gram Panchayat and village level, the poorest households do not have any knowledge of the various schemes that they can access. It is also in the interest of the elite in the village to keep the knowledge of these schemes a closely guarded secret. Efforts to widely disseminate knowledge about these schemes on the part of the implementing agency are also in most cases inadequate. Thus convergence among various departments and between Gram Panchayats and departments does happen, but ends up in favour of the elite.

3. Selection Criteria
Since most schemes are targeted at BPL families, the path of access to these schemes goes via the BPL Register, which as we all know, are not always fairly drawn. Thus even schemes which can bring about benefits to the most needy village communities through multi-sectoral convergence are not able to do so simply because the selection of the beneficiaries has not always been done fairly.

Digbijoy Bhowmik, GoI - UNDP Project, 'National Strategy for Urban Poor', New Delhi (response 2)

You may wish to look at a DST supported project known as 'Mapping the Neighbourhood'. While the primary objective here is to sensitize the community in general, through School children about the use of maps to identify issues facing a community, such maps can also be used as a tool for communication and negotiation with those that are responsible for service delivery.
 
 Bhawna Vajpai, Water and Sanitation Consultant, New Delhi

Thanks to members for sharing their experiences, well said by Mr. Pankaj this is really difficult to answer as I have mostly worked in the integrated programs but still could not get very fitting example with well-organized use of resources/manpower. Mr. Arun Dhobhal suggestion, inclusion of convergence activities during the design of the project/program in the preparation stage can be a switch on in this direction.

I am also in agreement with the opinion shared by Mr. Nand Kishore, Mr. Ramesh Sakthiwal and Mr. Srikant that organization /agencies/NGOs need to work upon the strengthening of community/CBOS to take lead on convergence and dub tailing of resources that is ultimate aim of community empowerment program, but to achieve this many task need to be done and in this regard Ms. jyotsana suggestion of Political intervention, Mr. Nand Kishore suggestion to hold convergence workshop for all stakeholders as Mr. Digbijoy Bhowmik posted related example of such workshop and Mr. Jasveen Jairath suggestion to prepare manual or booklet on 'who is doing what' in may be move in this direction. I would request to discuss further about the booklet and how to ensure its dissemination and actual and productive use at panchyat/tehsil level.

As I have seen in M.P (TSC) lot of convergence efforts has been made at state level by regular sitting and further action by state level officials, such efforts should be percolate to all level down. I think there is a need of sitting by sector professional and prepare some sort of convergence framework/structure at state, district, block and most important at village level. If would be great if a small workshop/meeting etc may be organized as an initiation towards this. Hope to move discussion further to get some proposed arrangement.

B. M. Kandpal, SIMAR, Uttaranchal

The biggest hurdles in convergence for strengthening of WES program particular to mountains are:

  • Project based nature of interventions
  • Mountain terrain creates inaccessibility thereby the departments are reluctant to regularly address the constraints in the ground.  
  • Lack of trust on functioning of government departments.
  • Well known leakages in various schemes.

The budding example of convergence is visible in Himmothan Project at CHIRAG_Integrated Rural Development Project at Bageshwar.

Prabhjot Sodhi, UNDP GEF SGP, New Delhi

I have been following on the measures, queries and very proactive choices / possible solutions. Let me share our experiences when we were involved with UNICEF program (Dauda Wurie was then the director of the program based in Bhopal. Madhya Pradesh).

It is well-written fact that it is not easy to have convergence within a “Diverse and Divergent range of partners” with each having a set of different priorities and agendas, and that is
challenging and needs to be addressed. We first had meetings at the policy level (With key Stakeholders) defining what has to be done; how it needs to be done and who shall take the lead and when. These meeting were often fiery and conflicting, but through a facilitator we could get the common ways of working and the focus together into a strategy. Once policies were agreed upon then the implementation strategy was agreed with partners.

Manuals on WES were drafted keeping in view the knowledge technologies skills, which need to be done at the field level. Also the costs factors were worked into what needs to be effectively implemented by the NGOs/ CBOs. These were drafted in consultations with partners and which led to the ownerships, but still they also maintained the flexibility to incorporate the lessons-changes required during the implementation at the community levels. The project did suffer from the lack of monitoring through a more participatory manner, leading to empowering rather than filling the numbers to the program.

Later the NGOs /CBOs were selected and agreed through their proposals with the District Collectors in the respective Districts. Then the approved partners were guided through meetings (Indirectly). Later workshops were held with the NGOs / CBOs partners on the participatory approaches to WES. They were explained in details on the guidelines and how they need to be implemented. (Each NGO had identified the team members and all the members were invited in the training workshops). Such workshops led to provide mutual respect, changes required in the project. These were normally 2/3 days residential workshops. All the Stakeholders were involved in sharing experiences. Such meetings led to all also develop a knowledge management empowered system approach at the NGO level.

UNICEF had also employed WES project officers in each of the 4 districts where the program was implemented. They were also trained along with NGO partners on the “Guidelines
implementation” bridging the gaps. These officials were basically then monitoring, guiding, facilitating synergy with Government-institutions-NGO in implementing the program. A continued dialogue- meeting review systems were put in place, leading to recognize the efforts of one and all. The challenge was to hold the power structures and bureaucracies in the program, bring the communities to pay and ensure sustainability. I think the program has lot of lessons to share with different partners. Many thanks to all who contributed to this query!

If you have further information to share on this topic, please send it to Solution Exchange for WES-Net at se-wes@solutionexchange-un.net.in with the subject heading “Re: [se-wes] Query: The issue of convergence in WES programmes, from Independent Consultant, New Delhi (Experiences). Additional Response.”

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