+27 (11) 403 3425 (General Enquiries) info@themvulatrust.org.za

by Kathy Eales, The Mvula Trust and Linda Tyers, DWAF Technical Assistance

Streamlined project business planning simplifies the task of the water services authority (WSA) in securing funds for a project – but unless that project business plan reflects more detailed planning elsewhere, the WSA could run into difficulties which will raise the cost of implementation, and compromise long term sustainability.

Project planning begins with the water Services development plan (WSDP) and municipal Sanitation Strategy. The Project Implementation Plan applies the broad municipal Sanitation Strategy to a defined geographical area, with its own unique needs and challenges. Local consultation and local data verification is essential, as desktop information is frequently inaccurate or out of date!

The municipal Sanitation Strategy should be completed before Project Business and Implementation Plans are submitted – and funds are available from the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) to fund this planning.

This Implementation Plan must be approved by both the targeted community and the WSA before submission to the funder. Where DWAF is the external funder, the Sanitation Project Implementation Plan data is easily summarised and entered onto DWAF’s web-based business planning contract document – Per Form Developer. The detailed Implementation Plan is then submitted as an annexure to the web business plan, elaborating on particular items, and explaining why particular approaches will be followed, and acting as a tool for monitoring and evaluating progress throughout project implementation.


I. Baseline survey

The baseline survey profiles the status quo in the targeted settlement. It is comprised of:

1 Settlement profile

  • Growth and development trajectory,
  • Demographic, health and income profile,
  • Water and sanitation facilities and backlogs, and
  • Local representation and leadership structures.

2 Groundwater protocol

A desk top assessment of local geo-hydrological factors which could influence technology options.

3 Technical assessment

What toilet technologies and designs are feasible and appropriate.

4 Training needs assessment

What local skills will be required to support project implementation, what skills already exist locally, and what skills training will be needed.

The baseline survey informs the scope of work (including activities, costs and time frames).

II. Scope of Work

1. Institutional and social development (ISD)

  • Local project representation and management structure – including the role of women.
  • What type of user education will be needed to address local needs?
  • Health and hygiene promotion,
  • Operation and maintenance (O&M) information, and
  • How impacts will be assessed.
  • Skills development programme – for whom, and with what intended measurable outcomes.
  • Synergy with other local development projects, notably water and housing.
  • Project implementation methodology, detailing who will undertake which activities.

2. Construction of toilets and hand washing facilities

  • What type of toilets and hand-washing facilities will be built: household, clinic and schools?
  • Options for designs and materials, with full costing and details of sources of supply.
  • Construction methodology.
  • Arrangements for desludging or relocation when ventilated improved pit (VIP) toilets are full.
  • Local economic development opportunities for local service providers (e.g. block makers).

3. Institutional linkages

  • Linkages with local representation and coordination structures.
  • Linkages with municipal and Department of Health health and hygiene initiatives.
  • Provision for long term O&M support.

4. Management systems

  • Different roles and role players, by department and agency.
  • Coordination and reporting functions.

5. Conformance with policy

Details on how the project will address national policy requirements.

6. Costing

  • Capital cost.
  • Funding plan (sources of funds).
  • Annual and monthly cash flow requirements.

7. Time schedule and milestones

8. Monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment

  • Format, with key performance indicators (KPIs).
  • Close out report format.
  • Project audit as required by funders.

III. Annexures

  • Evidence of approval by the WSA and local Project Steering Committee (PSC).
  • Locality map and 1:50 000 footprint of the project.
  • ISD report.
  • Geo-technical information, including groundwater protocol.
  • Technical drawings of toilets that will be built.
  • Schedule of quantities and costing.
  • Cash flow forecast.

IV. Executive summary

The executive summary is a key part of the appraisal process and must be comprehensive:

  • Project location.
  • Summary description of the settlement and beneficiary community.
  • Purpose of the intervention, addressing locally specific needs.
  • Project objectives, including skills transfer and long term sustainability.
  • Quantity, design and technology type of toilet units required.
  • Synergy with other local development initiatives.