Information and Knowledge Management Taskforce


Up until the early 90s, Zimbabwe was a role model for the WASH sector for many developing countries.  It was in this period that the famous “Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation (PHAST) approach was developed in Zimbabwe.  A wealth of knowledge and information in the WASH sector has been generated in Zimbabwe during this “golden era of WASH” as well after the 2008 cholera emergency. This recognition has been made both nationally and internationally. The Government of Zimbabwe has now tasked the NAC with the responsibility for the Urban WASH and the Water Resources Management after the Rural WASH which it has been overseeing for the past years.

New opportunities exist in the sector today, however no comprehensive information and knowledge management mechanisms for WASH sector exist in Zimbabwe.  Consequently, information about the country’s WASH related policies, plans, laws and standards, programmes, statistics, best practices etc is scattered and not readily accessible to national, provincial, district and sub-district level structures as well as partners for effective policy and programme planning, informed decision making and public awareness.  This situation is resulting in poor sector monitoring, duplication of efforts and poor sector coordination as well as loss of sector knowledge.  To this end there is therefore a strong need to take urgent measures to develop proper WASH sector information and knowledge management mechanisms to facilitate collection, processing, organization, sharing and utilization of WASH sector information and knowledge.  The development of such a mechanism assumes special significance in the current context when the Government of Zimbabwe and development partners are expected to plan and implement major WASH emergency rehabilitation, recovery and development programmes that bring in ‘quick wins’ in the short to medium term. In this context, WASH Sector Information and Knowledge Management Task Force is established premised on the following Objectives, Terms of Reference and Composition.

Terms of Reference:

The Taskforce has to broad areas to address, that is knowledge management on one hand and information management on the other.

Knowledge Management

To provide advice and strategic direction to the Planning and Budgeting Sub-Committee of the NAC towards enhancing knowledge management for the WASH Sector in Zimbabwe.  

Specific ToRs

- Support NAC in undertaking a review and analysis of the current situation of WASH sector knowledge management in Zimbabwe
- Develop a framework for enhancing WASH Sector knowledge management (digital library)
- Support the Planning and Budgeting Sub-Committee of the NAC in preparation of funding proposals, and resource mobilization and oversee  implementation of the knowledge management framework
- Promote and facilitate collaboration and partnership between NCU, line ministries, parastatals and national and international organizations on WASH sector knowledge management

Information Management

To develop a comprehensive and sustainable Management Information System (MIS) addressing sector needs and challenges.

Specific ToRs

(i)    Establish an up-to-date inventory of all WASH facilities and strategies in the sector
(ii)    Develop and keep up to date a national database of all the WASH facilities able to:
•    Keep track of the status of WASH facilities at any given time
•    Keep an up-to-date record of all upcoming technologies under pilot
•    Assist senior management in the prioritization of districts and projects for funding purposes through production of real-time reports on sector updates
•    Produce real-time reports on state of WASH sector information management and consistently account on WASH coverage issues across all the Rural Districts, Towns and Cities.
(iii)    Identify capacity issues to maintain the system

Specific activities under these broad terms of reference will involve:
•    Current system evaluation
•    System analysis
•    System database design
•    System implementation
•    System integration & testing
•    User training

Frequency of meetings

The Task Force shall have a life span of one and half years, starting September 2010 – March 2012 and shall meet at either NCU or UNICEF every  3rd Friday of each month  before the Cluster meeting. The agenda will be circulated a week before the meeting. WASH Information and Documentation Officer of the National Coordination Unit shall act as the Secretariat to the Task Force with the District Development Fund (DDF) being the Chairman and UNICEF core-chairing. The Taskforce will report to the Planning and Budgeting Sub-Committee of the NAC and shall give constant updates in the WASH Cluster.

Members of the WASH Sector Information and knowledge Management Task Force

a.    Ministry of Water Resources  Development and Management 
b.    Ministry of Health and Child Welfare  (MoHCW)
c.    National Institute of Health Research (NIHR)
d.    Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA)
e.    District Development Fund (DDF), (Taskforce Chair)
f.    Department of Agricultural Research and Extension (AREX)
g.    Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development
h.    Ministry of Youth Development and Empowerment
i.    Department of Physical planning
j.    Harare City Health Department
k.    Ministry of Local Government 
l.    Department of Infrastructural Development  (DID)
m.    Institute of Water and Sanitation Development (IWSD)
n.    UNICEF (Co-Chair)
o.    Mvuramanzi Trust  (MMT)
p.    Oxfam GB
q.    GRM International
r.    National Coordination Unit

Meetings of the Taskforce will be supported by UNICEF during 2010.  UNICEF shall also be responsible for supporting the development and dissemination, of the WASH repository (DVDs) containing WASH related information, documents and materials.

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