Community-to-catchment planning for inclusive, climate-resilient WASH systems in Solomon Islands

 


March 2023


Plan International Australia and partners recently completed this Innovation and Impact (I&I) project. The project trialled an innovative climate-resilient water security planning approach in a small number of communities in Solomon Islands, linking water stewardship with the catchment scale. A large volume of guidance materials were produced and are now available to support future water management activities, including a framework for climate-resilient WASH and integrated water management, and a community-based water security improvement planning facilitator guidebook.


You can read more about the project and the research findings in the project wrap up:


Strengthening water stewardship in Solomon Islands for sustainable WASH and water resource outcomes

 


Blue background with white text stating "Innovation & Impact"

Plan International

Partnering with Live & Learn Environmental Education, the International WaterCentre at Griffith University, Solomon Islands National University, and Earth Water People

 

Innovation and Impact projects are contributing to ongoing research and development in Water for Women as a way of strengthening the use of new evidence, innovation and practice for inclusive, sustainable and resilient WASH.


 

Water for Women is partnering with Plan International Australia in Solomon Islands for the New Times, New Targets project, which is supporting improved water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services, access and practice in rural communities, schools and health clinics in western Guadalcanal Province.

Target exceeded

 

In Solomon Islands, individual communities are responsible for their own WASH systems, however, these are affected by, and impact the WASH systems of other communities within the same catchment.

 

Conversely, community and catchment land-use activities also impact WASH systems. Policies and practices that consider catchment-level links between communities and WASH systems are likely to increase the sustainability and resilience of those systems. Such policies and practices are presently weak or absent in Solomon Islands.

 

This Innovation and Impact project builds on the ongoing Water for Women partnership between Plan International, Live & Learn Environmental Education, the International WaterCentre at Griffith University and Solomon Islands National University.

 

The project is developing approaches linking community-scale WASH action planning with catchment-scale thinking and deliberation by applying a ‘water stewardship’ concept.

 

Through this project, partners are developing, documenting and sharing a locally-suited, innovative water stewardship approach, combining action and formative research, that achieves complimentary community and catchment-based actions and outcomes by:

• strengthening the capacity for catchment-scale thinking among communities and stakeholders

• building community-level and catchment-scale awareness of intergenerational and gendered perspectives on water resource values

• leveraging inter-community political economies and social networks for catchment-scale collaboration on water management

• developing community-scale action plans that recognise the impact of catchment activities and interconnectedness between community WASH systems.

This project comprises three key components designed to deliver independent outputs and outcomes, that will also combine to deliver a cohesive, inclusive, community-to catchment planning approach:

 

1. Enhancing the Community-based Water Security Improvement Planning approach developed by IWC, Plan International and Live & Learn Environmental Education to improve sustainability, inclusivity, and opportunity to plan for future scenarios.


2. Exploring opportunities and piloting approaches to promote inclusive catchment-level water and WASH stewardship.

 

3. Developing a framework and facilitator guide for integrated, inclusive, climate-resilient WASH and water resources that provide a structured, evidence-based approach to support civil society programming and projects across Asia-Pacific.

 

This project introduces an innovative application of the ‘photo voice’ methodology to facilitate intergenerational and inter-gender perspectives on water resources management and climate-change adaptation, using creative approaches to community cultural engagement.

 

This project is producing diverse, user-focused outputs, including policy briefs, case studies and facilitator guides, which are contributing to improved, climate-resilient WASH and water resource management evidence, and sector policy and practice in Solomon Islands.


 

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Live and Learn Environmental Education
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IWC and Griffith University logo
Earth Water People logo

The Australian aid program is investing in innovation and learning to deepen impact throughout Asia and the Pacific through the Innovation and Impact grants. By supporting partners to further their innovation and impact, we can not only improve WASH outcomes in this region, but also contribute to improved WASH policy and practice globally. Water for Women is proud to be partnering with Plan International, Live & Learn Environmental Education, the International WaterCentre at Griffith University, Solomon Islands National University, and Earth Water People in Solomon Islands.

 

Photo by Live and Learn Environmental Education

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