Monitoring & Evaluation: Measuring Performance & Impact

At BORDA we face the question every day: how do we know our solutions are actually solutions? How do we know that our systems work? How do we know that our work actually makes a difference?

Sustainability demands ongoing monitoring and evaluation to ensure that infrastructure keeps functioning at optimal levels and that human-centred processes continue to serve all stakeholders. Transparency demands that we have tangible proof of our successes and demonstrated learning from our failures. Most important, improvements in human health & quality of life rely on continuously evaluating impacts on the communities we serve.

For us that means evaluating the performance of our technology and evaluating the health of communities impacted by our interventions.

40 years of strict and positive evaluations

Quality management: monitoring & evaluation (M&E) for sanitation systems

Standards must be met when implementing projects and building infrastructure. To ensure this, BORDA has developed a quality management system and carries out regular monitoring and evaluations. BORDA’s monitoring includes technical as well as social and institutional parameters.

DEWATS projects are certified by experts when they meet these quality standards. Currently over 40 BORDA M&E team members in 11 countries are using BORDA’s DEWATS monitoring methodology.

BORDA has been designing and implementing DEWATS since 1989. Together with its international Basic Needs Services (BNS) network, BORDA has implemented more than 3,000 systems worldwide. To ensure successful performance of these systems, we maintain an ongoing monitoring programme:

  • 140 DEWATS monitored between April 2017 and March 2018
  • 112 additional DEWATS monitorings planned for 2018/2019

Statistics on all DEWATS implemented between 1989 and 2017 by BORDA and/or its partners are available in our DEWATS Inventory 2017 publication (4MB PDF, pp. 7-14). The statistics give an overview of:

  • number of DEWATS implemented,
  • people served,
  • amount of wastewater treated per day,
  • project types, and
  • implemented DEWATS treatment modules.

A geographical visualisation of all DEWATS sites is available via mWater, the IT platform for BORDA’s internal DEWATS M&E programme.

  • View the open-access ​BORDA global DEWATS map​.
  • Registered mWater users can extract key project information and design parameters on for each system.

More than 3,000 DEWATS systems implemented worldwide since 1989

DEWATS project type per BORDA region 2017

From our DEWATS Inventory 2017 publication: project types by BORDA region (click for larger view)

Health impact evaluation: measuring better living conditions

BORDA aims to improve of the living conditions of disadvantaged groups. The question is, how can improvement in living conditions be measured?

In development cooperation, performance-based measures have traditionally been the standard for evaluating the success of a project. For example, a community sanitation initiative might be judged by the number of toilets installed. However, counting toilets does not give information about whether the toilets are actually used and if the users’ living conditions have actually been improved.

BORDA conducts health impact evaluations (HIEs) to assess whether projects have contributed to meaningful change. At their heart, comprehensive HIEs are about defining the meaning of “improved living conditions”. By assessing multiple aspects of improvement—such as asking users if they are satisfied with the project, assessing whether communities are cleaner, determining if the incidence of diseases has decreased—BORDA can understand the impact of its projects on public health and socioeconomic development.

How can we measure improvement in living conditions?