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Vacant Position: Consultant – Baseline Study

Vacant Position: Consultant – Baseline Study


Summary of assignment:




The baseline information that will be collected will help in highlighting the actual WASH related problems affecting the people in Western Area Rural district as well as the underlying issues contributing to the people’s condition. This will therefore help in designing specific strategies in tackling WASH problems as well as defining the actual target areas of focus within the district. The findings will also act as a bench mark upon which we will develop our monitoring and evaluation plan to measure the impact of the activities that will be implemented by the organization.
Expected fee Attractive
Location Western Rural Area
Duration One month
Start date March 24th –April 24th 2014
Reporting to LWISL Country Director/Operations Director


Background information:

Sierra Leone is a country that has huge amount of water resources which are contained in over twenty major rivers.  Most parts of the country receive annual rainfall of more than 3000mm and generally almost all parts of the country have plenty ground water.  The annual renewable water resources in Sierra Leone’s are 160,000 million cubic meters (National WASH Policy, 2008). Despite all this huge amount of water resources in the country, at a national level there are 57% of the people in the country that have access to and use improved drinking water resource. The situation is even worse in the rural areas where only 34.3% of the population in the rural area has access to improved water resources [WHO and UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme on Water and Sanitation (JMP) 2010].  Apart from the low access to improved water sources a significant proportion of rural water supplies in Sierra Leone either fail or fall into a state of disrepair shortly after being constructed and there are many of such water sources that only function on a seasonal basis. This implies that more than 10,000 water sources in Sierra Leone are not functioning as originally intended and represents a significant failed investment in the WASH sector (Rural Water Supply and Small Towns Water Strategy, 2013).

The situation is this, despite the efforts being done by the government, NGOs and other development institutions to improve access to safe and adequate water for the people, an assessment of the rural water supply situation indicated that insufficient funding, inappropriate technology, lack of community involvement, inadequately trained personnel, and insufficient tools and equipment are some of the reasons attributing to this state of affairs (RWS, 2013). The low access to improved water source has put more burden on women and children who are usually the primary collectors in the communities. Women and children therefore end up using up a lot of their time in fetch of potable water if the facilities are not adequately available in the community. According to the SLDHS, 2008, water is mostly collected by female household members (57%) followed by girls under the age 15 (14%).

Having access to improved water source can be significantly compromised by poor access to improved or proper sanitation facilities.  According to the WASH policy document 2008, in a broad sense, the term sanitation refers to the principles and practices relating to the collection, removal or disposal of human excreta, refuse and waste water while as adequate sanitation refers to the provision and maintenance of systems or facilities of disposing of human excreta, waste water and household refuse, which is acceptable and affordable to the Sierra Leone communities.  The facilities include such things as flush or pour flush to a piped sewer system, septic tank, or pit latrine; ventilated improved pit latrine, pit latrine with slab, and composting toilet (MICS 2011).

Living Water International Sierra Leone

Living Water International-Sierra Leone program was launched in the year 2007 as part of the response to the effects of the nation’s civil war, during which many wells were destroyed. The organization has been focusing on improving access to clean and safe water to the people and enhancing the hygiene and sanitation situation for the people in the community where the organization has been working.

To improve access to clean water the organization has mainly been involved in rehabilitating nonfunctional wells and hand pumps.  Recently the organization started the drilling of new wells to ensure that even communities which do not have any well to rehabilitate will still have access to the clean water.  So far LW-SL has rehabilitated close to 400 wells and constructed three new wells.  To compliment provision of clean and safe water in reducing water borne diseases, the organization conducts improved hygiene and sanitation trainings targeting schools and communities to teach them on proper hygiene and sanitation practices.  Sanitation toilets are constructed in schools to improve sanitary facilities at the institutions. So far 22 sanitation facilities have been constructed in 20 schools.

LWI-SL has also facilitated formation of organized groups at various levels such as Child Health Clubs (CHC), Students Led Total Sanitation (SLTS), Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) and Youth groups.  By equipping these groups, LWI-SL will ensure creation of Open Defecation Free (ODF) environments in the target communities. More than Six hundred students are members of the Child Health Clubs.

Target beneficiaries include rural communities, community schools, households and rural health posts. LWI-SL partners with beneficiaries, Government, Donor Communities, Religious Leaders, Youth and NGOs operating in the water, sanitation and health (WASH) sector.

The organization uses the model of Christ in building relationships and trust in the communities as their sustainability model.  We work in partnership with the Church in carrying out discipleship activities in the activities.  Implementation of all activities is done through community structures that will be able to carry through and ensure proper utilization of the facilities.

Living Water- SL has so far been working in Port Lorko, Western Area, Tonkolili and Bombali districts.  From year 2014 the activities of LW-SL will be implemented in Western Area Rural District.  This concept note therefore acts as a guide for developing a Wash Program Area (WPA) in Western Rural District being a new operational area for LW-SL activities.


Despite efforts by the government and numerous non-governmental organizations, access has not much improved since the end of the civil war in 2002, stagnating at about 50% and even declining in rural areas (Wikipedia 2011).  The country still faces significant challenge in the area of water, sanitation and hygiene. Availability of safe water and proper sanitation is a major factor affecting the health status of the population in the country.  Overall 57% of the population is using an improved water source of drinking water and about 40% of the population uses improved sanitation facilities.  According to the Baseline Study for Rural WaSH in Schools Program, 2012, it shows that approximately half of primary schools have access to improved water supply and sanitation facilities.  However, the compliance to the national standards for WASH in Schools is a big challenge. Only 9.5% of schools have improved water supply facilities up to the standards in their school compound and half of them are not functional, 4.6% of primary schools meet the national standards in sanitation facilities.  School children in 40.4% of surveyed schools practice open defecation in school.  Non-existence, unhygienic conditions of latrine and lack of privacy such as no doors are three leading causes of open defecation. (Baseline Study for Rural WASH in Schools Programme, 2012).

It is LWISL’s hope that the result of this survey will put together the appropriate facilities and also create an enabling environment to equip communities with the skills and knowledge to effectively manage these facilities and empower them to demand high-quality service from duty-bearers and; increase hygiene awareness with emphasis on behavior change by communicating key hygiene acceptable practices.  Additionally, improved access to these basic amenities, such as water and sanitation, is a boost for Pillar 3 of the Government of Sierra Leone’s Poverty Reduction Strategy in meeting basic human development goals.  Hence the need for a baseline studies for the selected district to guide the organization’s implementation strategy.

Specific Task:

On a general note, the proposed task is centered on the under mentioned objectives which could be expanded in the process of the survey.  LWISL will also rely on the consultant’s expert opinion to make some suggestions to the Operations Director of LWISL on some adjustment or addition as deemed relevant to the survey:

  • To provide institutional framework and technical support for LWISL.
  • To assess and understand safe water and sanitation coverage in public institutions and communities in western rural district.
  • To analyze attitude, knowledge, and practice of communities in the Western rural district on WaSH.
  • To recommend realistic, relevant and sustainable WaSH interventions for the WPA.
  • Identify/map and recommend other stakeholders working on WASH and their level of intervention in this district.


The survey is expected to be carried out under the supervision of the Country/Operations Director in LWISL.  This is accomplished by working with various groups such as the community stakeholders, western rural municipal council, Ministries of Health and Water Resources, schools and health centers in the survey communities using the qualitative and quantitative approach among others.  He/she is also required to provide expert advice to the implementation of the National WASH Policy as appropriate

  • Questionnaires will be administered to the selected households to obtain information on the type of toilet facility used, access and use of ground water, major source of domestic water, method of human waste disposal, whether drinking water was boiled, and the perception of possible sources of water contamination in the area.  The distance between the pit latrines used by households and the wells (in cases where they used wells) would be estimated. In the process, sanitation practices will be observed.
  • Water samples will be collected aseptically with sterile sampling bottles.
  • Extensive interviews with officials of Water Supply Division of the Ministry of Energy on the ground water policies and it impact on water use in rural communities (WR).
  • Organised focus groups/round table discussions with interested Non-Government Organisation interventions to manage water use and steps taken to control contamination will be employed.
  • An overall evaluation and identification assessment of WaSH will be carried out.


  • Briefing to the Country Director (before, during and after survey).
  • Written report.
  • Situational analysis of WaSH in the Western Rural districts.
  • Information sharing at stakeholders forum at the end of the survey.
  • Final findings/report in consultation with the Operations Director, must be able to guide LWISL WPA implementation strategy.
  • The data collected by the consultant will be analysed and findings contained in a report, and this will be validated in a workshop that will give an opportunity to bring together other interested experts and policy makers and also duty bearers and representatives from the affected communities, for proper framework of LWISL WPA Work Plan.

Time schedule:

This assignment is expected to last for maximum of four weeks staring 24th March, 2014.  A preliminary or first draft report will be required at the end of the third week before the final report which is expected to be submitted on or before 24th April, 2014 in consultation with the Operations Director.



March 24th-April 24th 2014

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4


Literature review XXXXXXX      


Initial site assessments XXXXXXX XXXXXXX    


Development of Research questions XXXXXXX      


Pre-test of questionnaires   XXXXXXX    


Backstop 3L survey   XXXXXXX    


Key Informant Interviews   XXXXXXX XXXXXX  


Focus Group Discussions     XXXXXX  


Data Analysis     XXXXXX  


Reports preparations       XXXXXX


Presentations       XXXXXX


To be suitable for this consultancy, candidate MUST possess the following background and experience as listed:

  • A Masters Degree or equivalent in social economics, engineering, natural science/environment, planning, M & E or related fields.
  • Must have at least five years progressive work experience.
  • Possess technical knowledge and insight on WASH sector and other state development partners operation in the sector in Sierra Leone.
  • Excellent facilitation, presentation and writing skills.
  • Good analytical and planning skills and ability to think strategically.
  • Experience in the use of computers and common office software packages.
  • Evidence of qualitative and quantitative survey done in the past.

Payment Terms:

The consultant will be paid in two installments, 60% at inception and 40% on the satisfactory progress of assignment as required by deliverables above.

How to apply:

Qualified candidates are requested to send in one page cover letter, CV (maximum 4 pages) to: HBanda@water.cc  no later than 7th March, 2014.


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