- 2019 UNC slide deck: 2019 Civic Champions Evaluation
- 2019 MEDS Convening (poster) Cambodia
- 2020 Civic Champions Scale-Up evaluation report
In 2013-2014 WaterSHED piloted Civic Champions, a program designed to inspire and develop commune-level elected government officials committed to becoming outstanding leaders. The program simultaneously involved every level of subnational government in the process as advisors, facilitators, and advocates.
Civic Champions helps local officials develop the skills, agency, and motivation to fulfill their sanitation mandate and instigate positive change in their communities. The success of the Pilot iteration demonstrated the viability of this approach and led to a Scale-Up iteration of the program in 2015-2016 which explored ways to deliver the project at scale and to make it more cost-effective.
In only ten months, the Civic Champions 2015-16 Scale-Up iteration facilitated the adoption of improved sanitation in 15,077 households in participating communes, equivalent to a 7.5 percentage point increase in basic sanitation coverage across the communes – ultimately reversing a slowing latrines sales trend.
There are three key takeaways from the Civic Champions Scale-Up program iteration. First, participation in the program effectively built leadership capacity at all levels of subnational government. Second, the program in translating improvements in soft skills into tangible development outcomes for constituents. Third, leadership development might be the key to unlocking sustainable, inclusive, locally led development for improved sanitation outcomes and beyond.
The Civic Champions Scale-up iteration is a crucial step towards WaterSHED’s Strategic Exit. It also affirms our recommendations to institutionalize Civic Champions as a nation-wide program and for other sectors to adapt the program principles.
Please see the full evaluation report for program design and findings, and the poster and slide deck for summarized results.