Simavi is not only a donor and also something special to me. In my ten-years of multi-donors working life Simavi is exception because many opportunities provided to the small partner organisations like my organisation for learning and growing up to take big challenges those are really needed to address for the people to be healthy life.
This year, 2019 the organisation organised a Summit where I was a participant and amazed to see the learning opportunities with more than 8 different countries people. As a young professional working in WASH sector in Bangladesh, I found that the summit provided a platform for all voices to step up to the table, ensuring the sector is more innovative and inclusive in its approach to achieve SDG6: universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene for all.
WASH is a part of issues discussed with among participants vastly and estimated that it remains an overarching goal for many WASH researchers and implementers. That is, how can we create enabling environments to not only provide access, but change overall WASH norms? Sessions through out the summit pointed to shift our works more ambitious approaches developed by Simavi that go beyond the current status quo. Here are some understandings bellow by myself throughout the summit.
Collaboration and Partnership:
Strengthening partnership and collaboration is one of the key factors to ensure WASH programming is locally accessible, affordable and adaptable. The close partnerships among different stakeholders e.g. research institutions, local / national governments and private organisations is key requirements for easy access to transformative WASH services to meet SDG 6 target. Public-private partnership, new financing mechanism and organisational networks are needed for the SDG6 leverages. By these ways of collaboration, each partner not only accountable to each other and also can know their progress towards SDG targets as well.
The importance of partnerships and organisations capacity assessment were highlighted in the plenary sessions. The sessions focused on planning, coordination, financing, monitoring and impact measurement. The integration of WASH with core country system scales beyond project based approaches and ensures sustainability. Government must take ownership to install a strong system at the country level to achieve universal access to WASH. Collaborative decision-making process with accountability mechanisms will ultimately lead to more sustainable, transparent and transformative solutions.
Moving Towards New Concept:
Before going to the summit, I always thought the summit perhaps brings different experiences and knowledges into one conversation and the organiser wants to spread this information at all levels. If we want to get and / or ensure universal WASH services we must first create enabling environment for interactions those experiences and knowledges, the summit was full of free space for everyone sharing, hold each other accountable by see your dream to your country group into a work and brainstorm new by a session on how your organisation wants to involve with Simavi in future. Summit like this allow multi-countries WASH experiences at all levels to be included in the conversation, bringing science, policy, and implementation actors into one space.
Reflecting on less successful success:
Every activities of a project must be identified its impact through chain results process. Less successful success was a major theme throughout the summit and MEAL personnel elaborated every steps of an activity measurement and was taking feedback from the participants. For example, how we count the society is getting benefits from affordable WASH services and what steps we should select to measure those. A group work we did and personally I saw the social benefits in terms of monetary value. The discussions highlighted on the factors those are making less progress and ways how to remove or minimise those. The brief discussion emphasized the need for greater advocacy within the community, stronger governance and greater frequency in delivering behavior change messages.