To assess the take-up of a service delivery approach in the rural water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector, two studies of international development partners’ policy documents were conducted. The assessments used qualitative document analysis (QDA), a research method for rigorously and systematically analysing written materials. We then compared the extent to which the two sets of documents addressed the principles (‘building blocks’) of sustainable service delivery, as articulated by the Triple-S (Sustainable Services at Scale) programme. The results show that development partners’ more recent WASH policy documents performed better especially in relation to professionalisation of community management, recognition of alternative service provider options and regulation of rural services and service providers. Details on asset management and financing to cover all life-cycle costs remain elusive, as in earlier documents, but trends among the newer documents are promising. QDA as a research technique is best used in conjunction with other methods to map and understand sector change. It is hoped that these findings can feed into productive discussions on sector improvement to help build sustainable rural water services. (Link)
Ward, R.; Wach, E. 2015. Qualitative Analysis Document: Review of International WASH Policy. IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre. 27 p.