Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 1020-4989
EDER, Clara; SCHOOLEY, Janine; FULLERTON, Judith and MURGUIA, Jose. Assessing impact and sustainability of health, water, and sanitation interventions in Bolivia six years post-project. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2012, vol.32, n.1, pp. 43-48. ISSN 1020-4989. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892012000700007.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact and sustainability of health, water, and sanitation interventions in Bolivia six years post-project. METHODS: A mixed-method (qualitative-quantitative) study was conducted in 14 rural intervention and control communities in Bolivia in November 2008, six years after the completion of interventions designed to improve knowledge and practices related to maternal and child health and nutrition, community water systems, and household water and sanitation facilities. The degree to which participants had sustained the community and household practices promoted by the interventions was a particular focus. Community site visits were made to evaluate the status (functional condition) and sustainability (state of maintenance and repair) of community and household water and sanitation infrastructure. Key informant interviews and focus group discussions were conducted to assess knowledge and practices, and perceptions about the value of the interventions to the community. RESULTS: Six years post-project, participants remained committed to sustaining the practices promoted in the interventions. The average rating for the functional condition of community water systems was 42% higher than the average rating in control communities. In addition, more than two-thirds of households continued to practice selected maternal and child health behaviors promoted by the interventions (compared to less than half of the households in the control communities). Communities that received integrated investments (development and health) seemed to sustain the practices promoted in the interventions better than communities that received assistance in only one of the two sectors. CONCLUSIONS: Infrastructure for community water systems and household water and sanitation facilities was better built and maintained, and selected maternal and child health behaviors practiced more frequently, in intervention communities versus control communities.
Keywords : Water supply; sanitation; house sanitation; community development; health education; technical cooperation; community networks; infrastructure projects; Bolivia.