Aid programs sometimes struggle to establish suitable management arrangements for effective program performance. Facilitating learning within a program and implementing appropriate monitoring and evaluation (M&E) arrangements can be especially challenging.
At the request of DFAT's Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Section (DFAT WSH), ODE completed an evaluation of the management arrangements for the $103 million Civil Society Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Fund. The Fund supports 29 projects implemented by 13 civil society organisations in 19 countries across Asia, the Pacific and Africa. This evaluation will be useful for program managers of grant programs who are looking to strengthen their program's M&E, internal learning, and risk-management.
The evaluation found that the Fund's management arrangements are largely functioning well. For example, the Fund's CSOs are supported to implement high quality WASH projects through the Fund's emphasis on learning, including through global and regional face-to-face learning events. The engagement of long-term M&E advisors has assisted CSOs to improve their projects and adjust to changing conditions on the ground.
The evaluation recommends that the Fund's management costs be justified as well as improvements to strengthen the roles of DFAT WSH and contracted staff in future Fund management and CSO selection.