IRSP has the following areas of expertise:
Clean drinking water is essential to human life and other life forms. Access to safe drinking water has improved steadily and substantially over the last decades in almost every part of the world. There is a clear correlation between access to safe water and GDP per capita. However, some observers have estimated that by 2025 more than half of the world population will be facing water-based vulnerability.
Keeping the importance of drinking water IRSP has developed its capacity to intervene for improved access and safe water for poor and vulnerable communities of Pakistan.
Water Quality and its Monitoring
A water safety plan is a tool for water managers to ensure high water quality and monitor the whole water supply system regardless of size and complexity. To meet the challenges IRSP has established a sophisticated water quality monitoring lab with the support of SDC â€œSwiss agency for Development and Cooperationâ€ and Oxfam GB. The laboratory has the capacity to carry out more than 250 chemical parameters and all physical and biological parameter of the drinking water.
IRSP has qualified water quality analystsâ€™ who are performing their best to maintain the water quality and its monitoring in the project areas. IRSP is regularly monitoring the water quality of different sources established by TMA and PHED like gravity schemes, tube wells, hand pumps, household wells & bores and water storage facilities in public and household vicinities in all project areas of IRSP.
Wells cleaning and disinfection
Rural Water Supply:
Almost 900 million people worldwide use unimproved sources, a threat to their health and productivity. The majority of these people live in rural areas.Â Two main challenges dominate the water supply sector: increasing coverage, and assuring sustainability. Technical, operational, and institutional aspects influence these challenges.
To increase the water supply coverage to poor and vulnerable communities; IRSP has made many interventions by involving local community, TMA and PHED and constructed many water sources to increase access to safe drinking water. IRSP constructed and rehabilitated the main water sources like gravity schemes, tube wells, hand pumps and dug wells in the project areas. IRSP successfully responded to the emergencies of Conflict and Flood of recent scenario and provided the water to the victims according to sphere minimum standards.
IRSP believes in the sustainable water supply systems and has established a mechanism of Operation and Maintenance of Water Supply Schemes in all of its interventions. The constructed and rehabilitated water supply schemes were handed over the local communities and trainings on operation and maintenance were given to the local committees with basic operation and maintenance equipment.
The simplest solution for clean drinking water comes from the sky i.e. rainwater in the rain fed areas.Â Rainwater harvesting is a viable source of usable water.
It is an affordable, sustainable way for people to enhance their water security. IRSP is in the process of designing projects in the rain fed areas of Pakistan to develop the rain harvesters to be used for drinking purposes.
Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage
Potable water is vital to well-being.Â But often water quality is sufficient and not safe to drink also due to recontamination during transport or storage.
Household water treatment and safe storage technologies are low cost yet can make a big difference to ensure that the water remains safe until it is consumed.
IRSP advocates and motivate the community for adopting household water treatment and safe storage with the promotion of healthy hygiene behaviors leads to an even greater reduction in disease transmission. IRSP is practicing different water treatment options at the point-of-use to enhance water quality, among them boiling, filtration, chemical, and solar disinfection. Safe storage refers to techniques that minimize the risk of recontamination before consumption.
The Safe sanitation is vital for people’s health, economic well-being, dignity, and local environment. Pakistan is off-track to achieve the Millennium Development Goal targets in sanitation. There are several reasons for this, notably: reticence to talk about the subject itself; lack initiative of political leadership on the subject; inconsistent ways of tackling the problem; and inadequate finance. Through its work on various sanitation-related themes, IRSP helps foster knowledge and understanding on ideas and methods which help to improve sanitation coverage. This is important because access to safe sanitation improves health, generates economic development, promotes social development, helps the environment, and is universally achievable.
IRSP works on the following themes of sanitation in Pakistan.
Community Led Total Sanitation:
Community-led total sanitation (CLTS) is an innovative way to achieve communities free from open defecation. It changes peopleâ€™s behavior by shifting mindsets â€“ to focus their desire for, and triggering them to build a sanitation system themselves. This approach was designed and implemented by Kamal Kar in Bangladesh in 2000 as a participatory answer to traditionally subsidized sanitation programs that have not succeeded in getting people to want, build, pay for, and use latrines.
This approach was pioneered by IRSP in 2004 in district Mardan of Pakistan which caught the eyes of many organization and agencies including WSP-SA. IRSP declared village Inzar Killay as the first open defecation free village of Pakistan which was visited by many external agencies and recognized IRSP struggle and way of work. Later on by implementing this approach IRSP worked in many villages and was able to make more than 200 villages in Mardan as â€œOpen Defecation Freeâ€. Continuing the hard on the approach WSP-SA supported IRSP to scale up the approach across the country and IRSP capacity was built as resource organization for building the capacity of organizations and government agencies in Pakistan on CLTS. During the last 6 years journey; IRSP built the capacity of more than 250 organizations including INGOs, NGOs, TMAs and PHED in Pakistan (KP, Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan, AJK, Gilgit Baltistan, FATA) and Afghanistan.
Construction of Emergency Latrines and Bathing Spaces:
IRSP has a vast experience to tackle the sanitation challenges of people suffering from different natural and man-made disasters. IRSP responded to conflict affected populations of KP and FATA and flood victims of KP. IRSP built thousands of VIP emergency latrines, bathing spaces with proper drainage and solid waste disposal in different camps established for displaced people by the disasters.
IRSP also has the expertise to build the household sanitary latrines for disaster affected communities during the early recovery phase of emergencies.
Sustainable Sanitation and Low Cost Technology Options:
The concept of sustainable sanitation refers to decision-making that considers health, environment, technology, finance, and sociocultural aspects.
To be sustainable, a sanitation system must be economically viable, socially acceptable, and technically and institutionally appropriate, while also protecting the environment and natural resources.
Solid Waste Management:
Effective solid waste management to reduce health risks and improve living conditions while putting people at the center of planning, implementation, and monitoring is a core concern of IRSP. The management of hospital waste was for the first time introduced by IRSP to the health department in district Mardan and an incinerator was installed in RHC Takht Bhai with support of Water Aid Pakistan. IRSP developed the sanitary protocols for the first time for sanitary workers in Pakistan and capacity of the TMA Mardan was built on the subject.
IRSP also supported 50 TMA sanitary workers by providing them the basic safety equipment. IRSP is now building its capacity on Re-use, Reduce and Recycle of solid waste and intends to implement it in one of the project areas of IRSP. IRSP has also played an important role by contributing towards National Drinking Water Policy and National Sanitation Policy in drafting and approval process. IRSP is currently involved in designing and approval process of Provincial Sanitation Policy of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa.
To keep pace with population growth sanitation and waste management in urban areas will need to vastly improve and find sustainable and flexible services models.
IRSP is closely working with Tehsil Municipal Authorities is district Mardan to cope with challenges of urban sanitation problems like solid waste management, sewerage and incineration. IRSP developed the sanitary protocols for the sanitary workers in Mardan and build their capacity on protocol and provided safety toolkits for the sanitary workers. IRPS also developed the CM urban vision which is submitted the CM for approval. IRSP is also building the capacity of TMA and PHED on component sharing model, budget advocacy and social mapping to improve their urban services.
Reducing diarrheal diseases and thereby improving health is a main objective for many water and sanitation programs. Hygiene is often referred to as the behaviors and measures which are used to break the chain of infection transmission at home and in the community.
IRSP works on the following aspects of hygiene to promote healthy behaviors:
Community Hygiene Promotion:
Assuring communities understand the importance of hygiene in reducing infectious disease is the first step in changing hygiene behaviors for the better. IRSP is using participatory processes as it is effective in encouraging behavior change. These approaches focuses hand washing, safe disposal of children’s faeces and other solid waste, household’s treatment of drinking water, and improved food hygiene. Participatory methods, such as the group process, are suitable for the community level and are designed to build peopleâ€™s self-esteem and instill a sense of responsibility and ownership for oneâ€™s decisions. IRSP is using participatory community hygiene such as Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation (PHAST), Child Hygiene and Sanitation Training (CHAST), Community Health Clubs (CHC), and WASH in Schools. By employing different methodologies, each program is based on pairing community involvement with changing behaviors related to hygiene.
Simply washing hands with soap breaks the transmission route of infectious diseases, which is crucial in saving lives. Washing hands with soap at critical times can reduce diarrheal incidence by 47%. Hand washing could save around 1 million lives, more than any single vaccine or medical intervention. IRSP in targeted populations; urges on Hand washing with soap (or an alternative agent such as ash) at critical times â€“ such as after contact with human excreta and before preparing and eating food â€“ is a simple and cost-effective measure to improve health. IRSP celebrates â€œGlobal Hand Washing Dayâ€ each year to promote hand washing in the communities.
Widespread ignorance of menstrual hygiene negatively impacts the well-being and dignity of adolescent girls and women, and contributes to their marginalization. Menstruation is a biological process just like defecation or urination. Maintaining hygiene during menses is important for womenâ€™s well-being, mobility, and dignity. Gender-sensitive facilities provide women with a private and safe space in which to attend to their menses with sufficient clean water and hygienic disposal receptacles that are ecologically sound.
Menstrual Hygiene Management was piloted by IRSP in Pakistan in 4 UCs of district Mardan to identify the trends of menstrual behaviors among growing girls, their parents and teachers. Another project to meet the menstrual hygiene needs of flood affected communities was implemented in district Nowshehra with support of Water Aid Pakistan. IRSP is currently involved to carry out a menstrual hygiene management study selected schools of Azad Kashmir with support of UNICEF.
Targeted Home Hygiene:
Research has shown that most of the contamination of infectious disease takes place in the home. As most people spend a considerable amount of time there, promoting home hygiene is a key health intervention. IRSP is promoting hygiene education and developing community-based projects for its dissemination to empower communities and individuals to take responsibility for their health. A total approach targeting hygiene is important: identify routes of transmission of infection at home and in the community and target hygiene measures at critical points to break the chain of transmission. IRSP considers the targeted home hygiene in all of its projects while designing and implementing the projects all over Pakistan. IRSP focuses on the family and the range of actions they need to undertake (food and water hygiene, hand washing, safe disposal of human and other waste) in order to protect themselves from infectious disease.
A livelihood simply means a personâ€™s ability to earn a living. Itâ€™s about people having a reliable source of food and income, without needing continuous help. We see our livelihoods work as a fundamental part emergency programs. In emergency contexts, our livelihoods security programs focus on rebuilding communities, their resources and infrastructure, and distributing food and shelter to meet basic survival needs. We also protect and restore peopleâ€™s means of earning an income.
During the last 3 years IRSP implemented projects with its donors to improve on-farm and non-farm activities including NFIs and FIs distribution, Cows and Poultry Distributions, Seeds and Fertilizers Distributions, Skill Development, Cash for Work, Small Entrepreneur Development, Construction and Rehabilitation of Irrigation Channels, Farm to Market road and small scale community restoration projects.
The health component of IRSP is always integrated with WASH program of IRSP however IRSP also has the capacity to implement the health projects independently. IRSP has the following areas of expertise in health:
Primary Health Care:
Primary health care, often abbreviated as PHC, is essential health care based on practical, scientifically sound and socially acceptable methods and technology that are universally accessible to individuals and families in the community through their full participation and at a cost that the community and the country can afford to maintain at every stage of their development in the spirit of self-determination. IRSP carried out 2 projects in district Mardan on primary health care with support of NCHD (National Commission of Human Development) and JSI (Johnson and Snow Inc.).
IRSP carried out 2 projects on the subject to create among the general public and female sex workers to prevent themselves from HIV and other STDs.
Education is universally recognized as a fundamental building block for human development and one of the strongest instruments for reducing poverty. Education is key to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and is a powerful driver for development of individuals and societyâ€”improving health, gender equality, peace, and stability. IRSP implemented Universal Primary Education with support of NCHD in KP, FATA and Punjab to achieve the objectives of Universal Primary Education. IRSP also implemented the Adult Literacy Program with the same donor in the same geographical areas. IRSP also carried out project with National Education Foundation to support the excluded and vulnerable student to get involved them in the education by supporting them through monthly scholarships.
Social Accountability and Transparency of the public bodies/institutions
Social accountability is an approach towards building accountability that relies on civic engagement, i.e. in which it is ordinary citizens and/or civil society organizations who participate directly or indirectly in exacting accountability.
Keeping in view the importance of social accountability IRSP is currently implementing 2 projects i.e. one with â€œThe Asian Foundationâ€ with title of â€œDemocratic Governance Programâ€ and another with CIDA with the title of â€œCommunication for Effective Social Services Deliveryâ€.
The DGP is designed to work for in placing in effective, transparent and accountable system of government that enables Pakistan to meet the crucial and sensitive challenges of the present scenario. During the project IRSP is working to develop the Constituency Relation Groups in the targeted constituencies, Monitor the performance of public institutions and to report the events of political and electoral violence, education and resolution at the district level.
The CESSD project ensures the active participation of â€œparent teachersâ€™ councilâ€ to improve the quality of education in the schools. It also works on public forums of the education department and community to ensure the quality of education in the school.
IRSP firmly believes that developing the skills and competence of the organizations and public institutions in the field of water, sanitation and hygiene can multiply the impact of interventions which IRSP as an organization is implementing in one or few districts of its project areas.Â During the past 3 years IRSP has developed its capacity as Resource organization for â€œCLTSâ€, Hygiene Promotion, Water Quality Analysis, Water Quality Monitoring and Water Sources cleaning & Disinfections in emergencies. IRSP has well trained persons who are effectively carrying out the capacity building in the mentioned areas. IRSP has built the capacity of more than 250 INGO, NGOs, CSOs, CBOs, TMAs and PHED in across Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Internal Monitoring System
Effective Monitoring & Evaluation of community development programs can improve management, accountability, participation, trust, learning, efficiency and development impacts. Monitoring is as much about building relationships, trust and mutual learning as it is about collecting and reporting data. Wide participation in monitoring is critical because diverse stakeholder groups are working towards overlapping but not precisely the same goals. IRSP has developed an internal monitoring system to effectively implement the project. The PMER section is responsible to develop different monitoring formats on the basis of LFA of the project through which the data is collected from the field. The monitoring report is generated which is shared with different programs on different intervals. The progress review meetings and desk review is also carried out on regular basis to ensure better project implementation.
IRSP Key Achievements:
- Piloted CLTS approach in Pakistan
- Piloted Menstrual Hygiene Management in Pakistan
- Worked on CLTS at grassroots and declares 200 villages as ODF
- Built the capacity of 250 organizations and Public Service Providers on CLTS in Pakistan and Afghanistan
- Built the capacity of 20 organizations on Water Quality, Water Quality Monitoring, Water Source cleaning and disinfection
- Worked as Working Group Member for Drafting National Drinking Water Policy and National Sanitation Policy
- Working as Member of the Working Group for drafting and approval of Provincial Sanitation Policy of KPK
- Responded to disasters and facilitated 700,000 populations for WASH and livelihood in district Mardan, Swabi, Buner, Nowshehra and Charsadda
IRSP International Exposure
Most of the IRSP management has extensive experience and exposure within South Asia on different water, sanitation, hygiene and related governance and accountability issues. IRSP staff has participated in the following training/events:
- Many international figures of Humanities sectors from UK, Ireland. Africa & USA visited IRSPâ€™s work for relief of IDPs in Mardan & Buner.
- 3 Staff members of IRSP were trained on CLTS by Mr. Kamal Kar in Himachal Perdesh India in 2006
- 4 Staff members of IRSP were trained on CLTS in Raj Shahi District of Bangladesh in 2008
- Delegations from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Peru (South America), Australia and Nepal visited IRSP field area (Open Defecation Free villages) for experience sharing
- UNICEF Regional Chief (Nepal) visited ODF villages in Mardan
- IRSP trained TEAR Fund of Afghanistan on CLTS
- IRSP participated and contributed in SACOSAN Conferences in Pakistan, and India
- IRSP sent Local Govt. and Elected Representative to India and Bangladesh with support of WSP-SA and UNICEF
- IRSP staff attended Gender, Water and Equity Workshops in India and Nepal
- IRSP staff attended different trainings events on Budget Advocacy and Social Accountability in Bangladesh
- IRSP Participated in World Water Forum at Turkey in 2009
- International Delegation of Journalist visited ODF villages of Mardan
Financial Management System:
The details about financial system are available in the SOP of IRSP. Changes in a system can be more frequently than a manual can be republished. Thus, the financial staff also uses their professional training, experience and feels free to raise queries. The guiding principles are accuracy, clarity, transparency and documentation. Any action or decision that is doubtful or could be misinterpreted should be bought to the Senior Management Committee. IRSP keeps its financial records on a system called Financial Management Information system. IRSPâ€™s FMIS is a multi-user Information system in which each authorized user has his own domain. IRSP has a qualified team of professionals to manage its funds effectively.
There is an annual budgeting process that culminates in the Board of Directors meeting approving a budget for an ensuing financial year starting from Jan 1st and ends on Dec 31st. Staff has the responsibility to act prudently and only allow expenses that are compulsory and necessary for smooth running of IRSP business. Fraud and corruption are always unacceptable.
Fundamental Principles Of Accounting:
There are five fundamental accounting concepts that IRSP follows in the preparation of its accounts:
- Going concern Concept
- Accruals or matching concepts
- Consistency concept
- Prudence concept
- Substance over form concept
Accruals or matching concept:
This means that we try to match expenditures to when the activity happened, as opposed to when payments were made. So at the end of the financial year we will make accruals for payments due but not paid yet. This means that expenditure in the previous and the subsequent year will accurately be reflected as per activities.
This means that we will treat similar transactions in a consistent way. The most important aspect of IRSP is that we should code transactions to the account code that best represents the activity undertaken, rather than the account code that holds the budget.
This means that if we are uncertain about how to treat a transaction we take the most prudent approach. For instance we would record only physical infrastructure schemes against fund expenditure plus work in progress and commitments with community members under this concept
All financial transactions and procedures are liable to Audit. Therefore all the transactions and decisions should be documented and the documentation filled in such a manner so that it can be readily retrieved. All the staff and volunteers must have to cooperate unreservedly with both the Internal and External Auditors.
In IRSP the Internal audit is conducted by an Internal Audit Committee nominated by Board of Directors. A committee is comprised of an experience person from Finance, Program and Audit. Internal Audit, therefore, may review all the aspects of risk management and internal control throughout IRSP.
Internal Audit therefore may review, query, or comment on any financial operation, transaction or decision though this is only part of their brief.
The External Auditors of IRSP are appointed by the Board of Directors for a period of one year. Currently our external Auditors are M/S Shahid Hussain & Co, Member of charted accountants of Pakistan, certified General accounting of Canada and certified public Accountant of America USA . The functions includes reviewing each year financial transactions and processes to form an opinion on whether â€œthe financial statements are true and fair view of the state of affairsâ€ of IRSP. This is a legal requirement in Pakistan to have this external Audit. An adverse opinion could lead to serious consequences.
IRSP is currently member of the following Networks:
- FAFEN (Free And Fair Election Network)
- FANSA Pakistan (Freshwater Action Network South Asia)
- WSSCC (Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council)
- Community Development Network Pakistan