The Accountability and Quality Assurance (AQA) Initiative: measuring what matters
High quality WASH responses are critical to saving lives, preventing harm and supporting a life with dignity. The humanitarian community invests significant resources in providing assistance that is not only technically effective, but in line with fundamental humanitarian principles. However, evaluations repeatedly highlight reoccurring technical issues, and it is common to hear from those affected by crisis that aid does not meet their priority needs in a safe and dignified way.
Delivering high-quality programmes that fulfil our commitment to be accountable to those affected by crisis requires a change in the way we collectively monitor and manage humanitarian responses. The AQA Initiative aims to equip the WASH sector with the tools and approaches required to focus on what is important, to continuously adapt to changing circumstances, and ultimately remodel monitoring systems to start measuring what matters.
To date a guidance note and accompanying modular analytical framework, have been developed (https://washcluster.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/CTK/pages/10782135/Quality+assurance+system).The guidance note describes the step-by-step process to implement the AQA approach; the modular analytical framework is a flexible tool that provides WASH standards, indicators and monitoring approaches in areas where humanitarian WASH partners want to monitor quality in priority.
Ten countries are currently participating in the initiative. Although the levels of commitments vary between countries, all ten countries have pledged to implement the initiative.
The next phase of the QAAI will focus on continuing dissemination and piloting these approaches with National WASH Clusters and partners, identifying tools and approaches for data collection and analysis, and adapting the methodology for a broader audience.
James Brown (Independent) & Sunny Guidotti (UNICEF)