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Preconditions, processes and structures: Interorganisational collaboration in the provision of post-disaster water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services

Emergency water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) interventions are critical to avoid transmission of infectious diseases and limit susceptibility to disease-bearing vectors. Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) play a critical role in developing WASH programs, working with government organisations (GOs), specifically during the post-disaster phase, whether during recovery or reconstruction periods. Developing effective collaboration between GOs and NGOs can form a well-focused relationship leading to effective outcomes. Lack of collaboration may result in negative outcomes, including significant infrastructure destruction, loss of life and property, and lack of access to WASH service. The aim of the paper is to identify the factors influencing collaboration between GOs and NGOs to provide WASH services in the post-disaster phase. The research methodology is underpinned by qualitative approach using data collected using semi-structured interviews. The result obtained from analysing data from thirty interviewees support the preconditions, processes, and structural factors of collaboration.

The findings suggest that the increasing complexity of disasters and the lack of capacity of GOs alone to manage these disasters have created interdependency between GO and NGOs. Moreover, good relationship history and a shared vison between GOs and NGOs are key preconditions for effective collaboration. The structures for effective GO-NGO collaboration require good coordination, good legislation, and an administrative system with legitimised coordinators/administrators, backed up by clear descriptions of the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders. The processes relating to planning, developing mutual understanding, communication, and cooperation is key for collaboration between GOs and NGOs. Furthermore, the findings identified trust and power as the mediator factors integrating with the precondition, process, and structure variables for GO-NGO collaboration for the effective delivery of public services in times of crisis.

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