Updated: Friday 12 August 2016

CMP Approach Implementation Brochure

Historical background

In 2003, Rural Water Supply and Environmental Program (RWSEP), introduced Community Managed Project (CMP) approach, then known as Community Development Fund (CDF). RWSEP, the first safe water supply, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) bilateral program between Finland and Ethiopia, started implementing CMP in two districts of Amhara region.

In 2008, following remarkable success in Amhara, CMP was adopted in Benishangul Gumuz region by FinnWASH BG, another bilateral program between the two countries. CMP was scaled up to national level in 2011 through Community-Led Accelerated WASH (COWASH) program. Subsequently, CMP approach was adopted into One National WASH Program as one of the four rural WASH implementation approaches in Ethiopia. Currently, CMP is implemented in 76 districts of five regions in the country by COWASH.

Reasons that led to birth of CMP

Various hurdles that hindered effective implementation of safe water in the first decade of RWSEP led to the development of CMP approach. Back then, it was the district that was responsible to implement communal safe water schemes. However, that approach - district-managed project execution - was proved to be ineffective to meet the project targets.

Lack of human resources at districts coupled with complex government procurement procedures caused underperformance. On the other hand, high non-functionality of the schemes was another challenge that encountered the sector. Operation and maintenance management of the water supplies was adversely affected as a result of bringing the user communities into the management picture at the last stage of the project cycle.

Unique features of CMP

CMP, an indigenous innovative approach, was developed to address these challenges and speed-up provision of access to safe water supply and improved sanitation and hygiene services. In the CMP approach, the target community became responsible to plan, execute and managed its’ own WASH projects.

In specific terms, by transforming community from a mere spectator to a real player, CMP unleashed additional local workforces (local artisans) and resources (community contribution to investments and O&M). This contributed significantly in increasing the WASH service coverage. The approach released the district WASH experts from the burden of implementation management to focus on project facilitation and capacity building.

Another salient feature for which CMP is widely hailed is its pledge to engage community from the outset. In fact, this proves the practicality of the approach in ensuring the holistic empowerment of the community in impending and operating its projects. This is the fundamental principle deployed also to help develop strong sense of ownership of the projects among the users – one of the major mechanism in making the schemes and services sustainable.

In Ethiopia, CMP is also fully recognized for its distinctive character in transferring implementation grant funds. In this approach, financial intermediaries, such as regional micro finance institutions, are being used to transfer the investment grant funds directly to the community. By discovering an alternative fund flow to the traditional financing routes, this method has successfully replaced the complex accounting transactions with simple accounting system. Similarly, it - by putting community in charge of procuring goods and contracting services - solved the complicated procurement procedures often associated to government systems. In addition, decentralizing the procurement process to the community level, it created job opportunity for local construction material suppliers and construction service providers (artisans).

In CMP there is no handing-over of the project to the users. In fact, the concept of handing-over suggests a partial or total exclusion of the community from implementation process. Contrarily, in CMP, users are the planners, implementers and owners of the project from the very beginning. For this reason operation and maintenance activities in CMP approach are reportedly starting along with the implementation.

Steps in CMP Approach Implementation

In CMP, the equally important thing is the process, following the implementation steps, not only the result. Every step is designed to build and sustain the capacity of the community to implement, operate and manage the project. Therefore, the process also helps to ensure the sustainability. These are the steps of the CMP implementation

1.    CMP Management Training: Here, administrators and WASH experts at regional, zonal and district levels are trained in CMP management and technical project appraisal. The objective of the training is the increased CMP awareness of the district administrators whose role is to facilitate and supervise the work of the district WASH technical experts. By bringing administrators and experts together, the occasion creates opportunity and forum for them to discuss and conclude on the districts’ common goals in WASH.

2. Promoting CMP Approach: User communities need to be informed about the approach, availability of resources, the opportunities CMP provides and the responsibilities it entails. District technical WASH team together with the village WASH team promotes the approach and generates the interest. Communities are briefed about the application and eligibility requirements.

3. Electing Representatives: When community decides to apply CMP project, they should come together and elect an executive committee which is leading the project implementation and is commonly known as Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Committee (WASHCO). In CMP, WASHCO is responsible to contract services and procure goods. It also enters on behalf of the community into fund agreement with local government.

4. Opening Saving Account: Once WASHCO is elected, it organizes community and mobilizes the local resources in terms of cash, materials and labor. It facilitates the contribution of the up-front community cash contribution aimed for operation and maintenance and saves it in the saving account opened at local micro finance institution. The up-front cash contribution should cover the cost of operation and maintenance for at least the first year after the project completion

5. Project Application: Community, through its WASHCO representatives, is responsible to prepare the project application. Application should indicate the reality on the ground, the real community need of the target households. WASHCO, along with the application form and a copy of the up-front saving receipt, should submit the project proposal to the district CMP supervisor at the water office.

6. Project Appraisal: In CMP approach, there are two types of project appraisals. These are desk and field appraisals.

  • Desk Appraisal: It is a quick review of the application for compliance with the CMP standards. If the application is in line with the expected standards, the WASHCO representatives shall be told that the application is accepted and date for the field appraisal is fixed.
  • Field Appraisal: This is to confirm whether the figures and facts presented in the application are real and that the project technically, financially, environmentally and socially sustainable. At this stage the specific needs and requirements of women and vulnerable community members are heard and considered. Also the capacity of the community to contribute, implement and manage the project is also appraised. The WASH Technical Team of experts from the district’s sector offices is responsible for the appraisal. The team submits its final reports to the District WASH Team.

7. Project Approval: Based on the appraisal report and availability of financial resources, District WASH Team, led by the district administrator, decides the proposed project funding.

8. Project Funding Agreement: After approval of the project WASHCO and district enter into a project funding agreement. Usually, head of the District WASH Team and the chairperson of the WASHCO sign this project funding agreement.

9. Opening Project Account: WASHCO opens project account at the local micro finance institution (MFI) office. It is a current account where investment funds are directly transferred from the regional MFI office. At the end of the project the project account is closed. This project account should not be confused with WASHCO saving account which the account for the operation and maintenance.

10. Community Training: Basically, this training is to capacitate the committee to effectively run the implementation and management of the project. After this training WASHCOs will be able to carry out CMP procurement procedures, financial management, reporting, as well as operation and maintenance management. At the end of the training WASHCO shall have full understanding on contents, obligations and responsibilities of the project funding agreement. This training can be also provided before the funding agreement is signed.

11. Construction: Having completed all the above vital preparatory activities, WASHCOs execute the construction of the communal safe water supply scheme. By now, the required investment funds are transferred to the WASHCO project account opened in the local MFI. In addition of procuring the constructional materials, WASHCO is also in charge of contracting local artisans to construct the safe water facility. WASHCO, besides monitoring the progress and quality of the construction, ensures also active labor and material contribution from the community. Investment funds are released in installments as per the settlements of the project expenditures by the WASSHCO to the CMP supervisor.

12. Inauguration: When the construction of a water supply scheme is completed, communities along with the invited guests, conduct an inauguration ceremony to mark the official opening of the service. At this completion ceremony, WASHCOs report the financial and physical performance of the project to the community members. It is also a forum where communities discuss on the operation and maintenance management of the water scheme.

13. Post Implementation Monitoring: Post implementation monitoring is conducted jointly by the District WASH Team and WASHCO to review and inform the current status of the project and to recommend appropriate corrective measures. Secondly, it is to generate lessons that help further develop the approach. Usually, post implementation monitoring is done twice a year.