Interview with Virginia Kamowa

The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC)

22 Mar, 2016 in

What has changed for your organization since the 17 Sustainable Development Goals were agreed in September?

The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) works towards realization of a vision of a world where everyone has access to adequate sanitation and hygiene at scale and ensuring equality and nondiscrimination in the process. WSSCC offers governments and various non-State actors a range of resources to attain the SDG targets on hygiene, sanitation, and water supply.

We are currently developing our 2017-2020 strategy in consultation with our key stakeholders, partners and members, embracing the SDG principles of consultation and partnerships.  We are committed to working with national partners to facilitate locally generated responses to the SDGs and partners’ linkages with relevant stakeholders and processes (for example SWA High Level Processes) towards effective achievement of Goal 6.

In recognition of the interlinked nature of the SDG goals, targets and indicators, we realize that addressing sanitation and hygiene is a powerful entry point to unlock multiple outcomes related to poverty reduction, health, nutrition, education, equality, women’s empowerment and sustainable economic growth. We therefore also extended our partnerships to non-WASH partners, whose core mandates are impacted by achievement of WASH targets. These partners include UN Women, for example.

How do you think a global partnership like SWA can contribute to achieving Goal 6 and the WaSH related targets?

The strength of SWA lies in its broad multi stakeholder partnership base which are at national, regional and international levels. Of course, harmonizing the efforts of a broad range of partners can be challenging. It is therefore important that partnerships like SWA promote dialogue and work hard to strengthen coordination among partners to achieve a shared vision. Having strong partners at country level is an additional asset as they are directly connected to where activities contributing towards goal 6 make real impact.  SWA plays an important role in ensuring high level commitments are translated into action at the national level and holding governments accountable to the commitments they made.  SWA can make a similar contribution around Goal 6. The mechanism could be well employed to support follow-up on commitments that decision makers sign up to around the SDGs, promoting accountability and ensuring that effective implementation translated in to reaching the hardest to reach.

What would be, in your opinion, the role of the External Support Agencies constituency in this challenge?

External Support Agencies have a role of ensuring dialogue among partners to unlock local potential for aligning Goal 6 and related targets that are relevant for its achievement. They play a catalytic role that promotes financial and other commitment towards implementation of and follow up for Goal 6 as well as provision of technical support essential for effective implementation of Goal 6 and related targets. This would include paying special attention to the hardest to reach including, women, girls, the disabled, the elderly and other marginalized groups.