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National Technical, Planning and Advisory Team in the Water and Sanitation Sector (TPAT) Communication Adviser

The TPAT is a three year technical assistance project (started in July 2011) to assist the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) in order to:
  • Facilitate the implementation by PWA of the Sector Reform processes.
  • Update water supply, sanitation and water resources management strategies towards more effective infrastructure development, improved service provision, and sustainable resource management.
  • Develop PWA’s capacity for implementation of water supply, sanitation and water resources management strategies, action plans and programs.
The TPAT project is an integral part of the Action Plan for Reform for the water sector in Palestine and only one of several interrelated projects. The Institutional Water Sector Review (2010-11) has given the main direction to the further reform and its related projects like the TPAT (2011-14), the Legislative Review (2011-12) and the Organizational Development (2011-2012) project. The TPAT project is based on the concept of collaboration and partnership between the TPAT team and the PWA. In addition, for those activities that relate to or impact other stakeholder organizations, the following additional specific arrangements have been made:
  • Expanded task teams to include the main stakeholders (inner circle) and
  • A group of other stakeholders are participating in seminars, workshops to discuss draft outputs (outer circle).

In 2009, the Cabinet of Ministers of the Palestinian Authority endorsed an “Action plan for reform” of the Palestinian Water sector. The Palestinian Water Authority, (PWA), and a Reform Steering Committee, (RSC), leads this reform process. Since 2011, a Capacity Building project, the Technical, Planning and Advisory Team, (TPAT), is supporting PWA and the RSC in their work to develop and implement the reform. The TPAT team includes foreign expertise/advisers in the fields of Water Resources, Water Supply, Wastewater, Institutional, Legal, Financial-Economical, Capacity building and Communication.

Some of the main issue for the Water Sector Reform is to establish strong, capable and sustainable institutions with clearly defined roles and responsibilities and to improve water supply and sanitation strategies, policies, investment programs, project designs and the implementation of projects. Effective and professional Internal and External communication is crucial for these and other reform issues.

Due to a delay of the final Reform program, PWA is currently in a transitional period, performing their regular duties and also preparing for the changes that the Sector Reform is expected to lead. Focus for the TPAT Communication support so far has been on identifying communication gaps and needs, forming a PWA Communication team and providing on-job-training for communication staff, developing a PWA Communication Policy, Strategy and Action Plan and introducing routines for the planning, implementation and coordination of PWA regular communication activities. A Communication plan the Water Sector Reform has been developed, and can be implemented when the reform is ready to be launched.

In the first two years of the TPAT project, the international Communication adviser has spent, on average, three weeks every three months, on site at PWA in Ramallah, with regular visits to PWA in Gaza. Intermission activities, to be carried out by the Communication team, are prepared by the end of each mission. To further support the communication team at PWA, PWA decided to assign a local (Palestinian) Communication Adviser to work with PWA to implement the communication plans, developing PWA communication, initially with a focus on supporting the implementation of the Communication activities outlined in the PWA Communication Action plan for Autumn 2013/Spring 2014.

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