In the remote mountains of the Muminabad district in the south of Tajikistan, women on a newly formed advisory board are leading to make important human connections between water service providers and consumers.
Consumers now have a better way to register their complaints about their water service, thanks to the Muminabad Water Service Providers’ Advisory Board established by the Consumer Union Association of Tajikistan. The water service provider has improved follow-up and problem solving, and this in turn has bolstered the consumers’ trust in the water provider.
The enhanced transparency has already produced a measurable result: Within two months of the establishment of the Advisory Board, the water service provider saw its service fee collection rise from 70% to 85% — enabling further service improvements and investments. “Among other improvements, the raised willingness of drinking water users to pay the water supply service fees in a timely manner is a significant one. Our project builds on this experience and continues to develop the relationship between service providers and consumers,” said Madina Aliberdieva, project manager at Oxfam in Tajikistan.
This approach exemplifies the power of partnerships, the key driver behind the Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA), which supports civil society and government efforts to work together to solve critical governance challenges in developing countries.
In Tajik districts like Muminabad, the GPSA is supporting Oxfam in Tajikistan and its partner, the Consumer Union Association of Tajikistan to help improve social accountability in water supply and sanitation through the development of service quality standards and citizen participation in monitoring those standards.
“The GPSA grant complements the ongoing World Bank operation for improvements to clean water supply in Tajikistan and builds upon our relationships with the public sector agencies involved,” said Pier Mantovani, lead water and sanitation specialist, who also supervises the GPSA project. The project will also focus on increasing women’s roles in new water and sanitation initiatives in the country.
GPSA has established a network of well over 200 Global Partners – which include civil society organizations (CSOs), academia, foundations, multilaterals, and private sector – across sectors and issues, in order to create a collaborative environment in which citizen feedback is used to solve fundamental problems in service delivery and to strengthen public institutions’ performance.