Integrating water, sanitation and hygiene services in Guatemala

In Guatemala, inequities in access to quality water supply, safe sanitation facilities, and improved nutrition lead to poor health outcomes, especially for Indigenous populations that live in rural areas. USAID's Integrating Water, Sanitation and Health Services (I-WASH) programme focuses both on improving the public WASH sector and the governance and management of water resources. IWASH sets out to:

  • Increase coordination and collaboration between the community, municipal, and central levels of government surrounding WASH and WRM.
  • Improve the technical, administrative, and financial management skills of the water services workforce.
  • Provide high-quality, accessible, sustainable, and equitable access to services.
Above: Photo of the I-WASH team in Guatemala


Locations

Guatemala


Sector

Water and sanitation


Services

Data strategy

Web portal

The challenge

A major barrier to sustainable, equitable, and affordable services is a lack of accountability and capacity among service providers, such as in low-resource water and sanitation service providers. Similarly, a major barrier to effective water resource management is a lack of capacity in, and sustainable finance for, basin authorities, institutions, and water user entities. In particular, the service providers and stakeholders lack the information and insights needed to identify the most vulnerable populations, track critical infrastructure, and make optimised decisions on the distribution of resources.

The solution

I-WASH consortium partners are supporting the government of Guatemala and civil society to improve health outcomes in Huehuetenango and Quiché by establishing a high-performing WASH and WRM system with an emphasis on reaching rural Indigenous communities. Akvo’s role is to design and implement a data strategy that builds stakeholder capacity in data generation and use. Through Akvo’s task-based approach, key decision makers learn to equip themselves with the insights and information needed to effectively carry out their roles and responsibilities.

Above: Photo of the I-WASH team in Guatemala

The impact

I-WASH is professionalising the WASH and WRM workforce through activities that benefit all relevant employers, employees, and trainees, with a specific focus on enabling women, youth, and other underrepresented groups. This will allow the workforce to provide critical WASH services to rural communities.