Zimbabwe- Institutional learning about multiple use services through the learning alliance approach

Zimbabwe- Institutional learning about multiple use services through the learning alliance approach

TitleZimbabwe- Institutional learning about multiple use services through the learning alliance approach
Publication TypeStudy report
Year of PublicationSubmitted
AuthorsMakoni F, Smits S, Jonga IShoshore a
Publication Languageeng

This report analyses the learning alliance approache followed as method for institutional learning about multiple uses in Zimbabwe. It mainly consisted of working with national stakeholders, in the form of stimulating exchange and consolidation of experiences between them.

Citation Key314
Full Text

The concept of multiple use services has been developed in response to the often limited approach to water services development, which doesn’t include water for livelihoods activities, such as gardening or livestock. Zimbabwe is rich in experience with the implementation of water services for multiple purposes, especially those promoted by NGOs. However, learning and sharing about the experiences about this approach was deficient, limiting the effective and efficient scaling up of the experiences. A so-called Learning Alliance (LA) approach was proposed to overcome these limitations.

This report describes how the LA concepts were applied in the MUS project in Zimbabwe, and also assess the experiences with the approach, describing the process followed, and analysis of the experiences and impacts of the approach.

Initially, the LA was conceptualised as a separate group or network of organisations, which would come together on a regular basis to share experiences. Besides, support to activities at decentralised levels was planned. The LA would be a separate group under the WES-WG meeting, the existing coordination body in the water sector.

The different plans developed worked out completely different from what was envisaged. One of the reasons was that it proved impossible to find members willing to make time available for these specific meetings outside the regular WES-WG meetings. At the same time, the Terms of Reference (ToR) of the WES-WG were slightly expanded from being a purely operational coordination body to one in which learning and sharing were more predominant. That made the need for a separate group working on multiple uses partially redundant. In fact, many issues of multiple uses were included into other activities of the WES-WG, such as the standardisation of terminology for technologies and the guidelines for Community Based Management. It must also be recognised that in the country there was already a lot of critical mass around multiple uses. There wasn’t a need to advocate for it, but rather allow the sharing of practical experiences with it.

Developing the link with the district levels proved difficult within the limited resources of the MUS project only. Members of the WES-WG do share lessons with their decentralised offices, but only to a limited way. In the current context, with very limited funds, it will remain difficult to have an effective learning platform at decentralised level, as there is hardly any space to put lessons learnt into practice.