Governance and guidance
Governance refers to high-level decision making and the development of strategies that will be implemented by others. Governance is closely linked to guidance, which means advice or counselling, in this instance on the proper implementation of the OWNP. Broadly speaking, in the context of WASH, governance means the range of political, social, environmental, economic and administrative systems that are in place to regulate the development and management of water resources and provision of water services at different levels (UNDP, 2005).
The OWNP governing body at Federal level is the National WASH Steering Committee (NWSC). The NWSC is at the top of the OWNP hierarchy. It is responsible for providing the overall guidance and general direction for WASH sector ministries and their respective regional bureaus and woreda offices. The Committee’s responsibilities are wide ranging and include the approval of funding from partners and appropriate allocation of those funds, review and endorsement of strategic plans, and oversight of monitoring and evaluation of the OWNP among others (WIF, 2011; POM, 2014). (Monitoring and evaluation, often abbreviated to M&E, is an essential part of any project or programme. It involves collecting data before, during and after implementation so that success can be measured. It will be discussed in more detail in Study Session 13.) As national leaders, the NWSC announced the launch of the OWNP in September 2013, which received widespread publicity. Figure 7.2 shows members of the NWSC at the launch event.
The NWSC includes representatives from the Federal WASH sector Ministries, as shown in Figure 7.3. The Committee is chaired by the Minister or State Minister of the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy (MoWIE). The Chair of the National WASH Technical Team (NWTT), who is also Director of the Water Supply and Sanitation Directorate from the same Ministry, acts as Secretary. The other members are from the state ministries of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED), Health (MoH), and Education (MoE), and the Director General of the Water Resources Development Fund (WRDF). (You will learn about the WRDF in Study Session 9.) There may also be invited members representing the OWNP development partners and other stakeholders.
The Regional WASH Steering Committee (RWSC) is responsible for WASH governance at regional level on behalf of the Regional State Council. Its responsibilities reflect those of the NWSC and include the preparation of consolidated regional WASH plans, budgets and reports, and M&E (POM, 2014).
RWSCs are composed of heads of the regional bureaus of the four WASH ministries. Depending on the regional context, they may add other sectors such as Women, Children and Youth Affairs, and Federal Affairs. The Chair of the RWSC is the Head of the Regional Water Bureau and the Secretary is the senior person with responsibility for water supply (the core process owner) from that bureau. The RWSC is accountable to, and receives guidance and information from, the NWSC. They cascade this guidance to regional WASH sector bureaus and Woreda WASH Steering Committees. RWSCs meet every quarter (i.e. four times a year) and report to the Regional State Council.
At woreda level, the Woreda WASH Steering Committee (WWSC) is responsible for governance of the OWNP. It is composed of members of the woreda cabinet from the offices of Water, Finance, Health, and Education. Other woreda offices such as Agriculture, and Women, Children and Youth Affairs may also be included. For example, the agriculture office may be represented on the team if there are local issues about a water source being used for both drinking water and irrigation.
Look again at Figure 7.1. You can see that the WWSC covers both governance and management. Its role is to provide guidance for the whole water supply, sanitation and hygiene programme; they are also responsible for planning, implementation and budget management in their woredas (POM, 2014).
Now compare it with Figure 7.4 which shows a sub-section from the larger diagram. This indicates how governance and guidance cascades down from national to lower levels, illustrating a vertical organisational relationship. Note that the town or city WASH Steering Committees are at an equivalent level to WWSCs and not one above the other. It also shows the horizontal relationship between steering committees and technical teams at national and regional level. The technical teams are responsible for managing the Programme, which is the subject of the next section.