In the context of Lake Victoria Region Water and Sanitation Initiative stakeholders are the organizations and individuals affected by the programme, and those who have influence or power over it, or have an interest or maybe even feel threated by its success.
It is generally acknowledged that giving stakeholders a voice and choice in the basic service delivery process and building their capacity to manage and maintain them produces better outcomes. The rationale for this is that meaningful involvement and participation of stakeholders ensures programme sustainability by promoting local ownership and accountability for programme outcomes. Stakeholder engagement also ensures from the onset that accountability and transparency are built into the programme and that investment is targeted to poor communities. It raises awareness, develops understanding, ensures buy-in, builds local support, and promotes actors’ participation in achieving the goals of the programme.
The Lake Victoria Region Water and Sanitation Initiative stakeholder engagement process consists of two interrelated phases to support both the design and implementation phases of the initiative. The design phase involves interviews with local stakeholders during the design missions, high level town hall meetings, community focus group discussions and workshops to provide stakeholders with the opportunity to understand, review and provide input on the design of the physical and capacity building interventions in water, sanitation, solid waste and drainage. The implementation phase involves the establishment of a town-level multi-stakeholder forum to monitor project implementation and provide regular feedback to the local project team. For more information on specific stakeholders meetings see events.
As part of the programme, field missions were undertaken, in June 2005, to assess the governance aspects of small scale water service providers and develop preliminary financial and economic models to promote investment in the secondary urban centers. In recognition of the importance of both women and men in the community in the provision of water and sanitation, UN-HABITAT commissioned a team of experts, in July 2005, design a community based, gender sensitive projects to enhance the communities’ capacity to provide water and sanitation facilities in the short and long term.