Degree Granting Department
Linda Whiteford, Ph.D.
Water sanitation, Monitoring and evaluation, Cambodia, Gender, Health
Bridges Across Borders (BAB), a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Cambodia, directs diverse and complementary projects to improve the lives of Cambodians living in poverty. The Hand In Hand project (HIH) is one of these projects, implemented in the rural community of Chamcar Bei. This project started in 2006 and is designed to be completely sustained by the villagers after 5 years. One of the four components of HIH is a health component, whose goal is to improve the health of the community. In 2007 and 2008, through these health initiatives, BAB provided the community with 280 ceramic water filters, 20 wells and 10 latrines. BAB agreed to host an internship that would allow me to monitor and evaluate these water and sanitation initiatives. My internship responsibilities included providing advice on future Monitoring and Evaluation (ME) protocols as well as community and organizational identified indicators to gauge the progress of the initiatives.
In addition, these protocols were to be gender sensitive and able to be sustained by the community. For the internship I conducted ethnographic interviews with members of BAB and with members of the community regarding the water initiatives objectives, potential impacts as well as guidance on future initiatives and ME protocols, including indicators to gauge programmatic progress. Cultural explanatory models of disease, traditional therapies and gendered nuances related to water procurement and management were also explored to inform program development. Focus groups and 90 household surveys were used to triangulate data. Findings revealed that organization and community perceived benefits of the technologies, while not in complete congruence, did overlap, allowing for the recommendation of mutually informed ME indicators. In addition, both the community and organization identified salient program and ME issues and proffered solutions.
Community ownership and education were not integral components of past initiatives. This compromised sustainability and the community's commitment as well as belief in their ability to care for the technologies. However, the motivation of some community members to acquire ME skills and recognition by the organization of past programmatic errors have paved the way for future community driven, informed and sustained ME protocols.
Scholar Commons Citation
Churchill, Elizabeth, "Integrating rural Cambodian villagers' perspectives into monitoring and evaluation protocols for an NGO's water and sanitation program" (2009). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.