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The National Technical Reference Framework for Potable Water and Sanitation to harmonise and regulate the sector


 Putting the reference framework into practice

Though the reference framework is operational as of now, the next steps are crucial for it to be put into practice properly in the future:

1) Dissemination will allow a large proportion of actors, and DINEPA agents in particular, to find out about the reference framework, how it was drawn up, how to use it on a day-to-day basis and to draft specifications. This dissemination should be the responsibility of sector training institutions as Haiti does not yet have a National School for the water and sanitation profession.

2) The choice of a technical reference framework rather than standards is based on the idea that the reference framework can be adapted and updated regularly to remain faithful to the reality on the ground in Haiti. For example, it should possible to adapt it to new products which become available on the Haitian market, new national strategies based on the needs of the population or even lessons learned from projects implemented in Haiti.

The technical reference framework is an important tool to regulate the water and sanitation sector. It helps to reinforce DINEPA institutionally and improve know-how in the sector. In order for it to be effective, all the partners of the DINEPA need to use it, find out how it works, give their feedback about it, … promote it. This DINEPA project is ambitious and innovative. It will be presented at several international conferences, including the African Water Association Congress in Abidjan in 2014.


"The implementation of this reference framework will allow Haiti to gain a degree of independence. It will oblige actors to use common materials, tools, know-how and procedures to produce goods and services which can be revised, corrected and renovated based on the same directives and using materials which will be compatible in the future. It will allow professionals from the water and sanitation sector to receive initial and continuing training based on this reference framework. It is therefore an essential tool for building the capacity of the Haitian state which is being put in place."

Jean-Marc Berland, IOW and DINEPA expert


The approach that the DINEPA has undertaken is both innovative and ambitious. The successful completion of the project within the assigned deadline and with the approval of water and sanitation organisations really needs to be applauded in terms of the Directorate’s effective steering. However, the steps to come will not be that easy. The reference framework has been published, and has been validated by the DINEPA, the IOW and UNICEF, but the challenge now is for water and sanitation organizations – both the Haitian authorities and international aid organizations - to become familiar with it and use it. Feedback from field actors will mean that DINEPA is able to ensure that the reference framework remains faithful to the realities of Haiti. The national technical reference framework for water and sanitation needs to become a real reference for works and studies, for development programmes, and also for higher education and professional training. This is how numerous countries have made progress in their technical demands.

The tool exists – it is now a question of learning to use it…

Oliver VIEU