Sometimes the results of monitoring and evaluation processes may be disappointing or not as positive as your organisation expected. It is often tempting to not share these findings with others in the same way that you may share positive findings. However within the WASH sector there is renewed interest in learning constructively from failures. The Nakuru Accord encourages WASH practitioners to:

  • Promote a culture of sharing and learning that allows people to talk openly when things go wrong.

  • Be fiercely transparent and hold myself accountable for my thinking, communication and action.

  • Build flexibility into funding requests to allow for adaptation.

  • Design long-term monitoring and evaluation that allows sustainability to be assessed.

  • Design in sustainability by considering the whole life cycle.

  • Actively seek feedback from all stakeholders, particularly end-users.

  • Recognise that things go wrong, and willingly share these experiences, including information about contributing factors and possible solutions, in a productive way.

  • Critically examine available evidence, recognising that not all evidence is created equal.

  • Write and speak in plain language, especially when discussing what has gone wrong.

During outbreaks, organisations may be even less likely to discuss and report programmatic failures - big or small - because they perceive the risks to be higher. However effective sharing of challenges and failures can mean that these mistakes do not get repeated by others and that the whole sector benefits and is able to improve the outbreak response.

Editor notes

Author: Sian White
Reviewed by: Peter Winch, Katie Greenland, Karine Le Roch
Version Date: 28.5.2020

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