SWA at Stockholm World Water Week

25 Aug, 2019 in Events


Sanitation and Water for all, along with its partners, is attending the World Water Week (#WWWeek). For us, Stockholm not only provides opportunities for knowledge exchange and learning, but it also helps us touch base with our partners and foster new alliances across different constituencies. This is an important time for SWA, as we are working on our 2020-2030 strategy and will meet our partners on the sidelines of WWW to get their inputs on the direction and vision of the partnership for the next 10 years. Our team will be updating this blog regularly with the latest from Stockholm.

Monday 26 August: A Day of Accountability

It's a busy morning for our team, we are bringing you behind the scenes of our afternoon session on accountability. These panellists will share their experiences and discuss the contribution that collaboration and mutual accountability is making to the broader political dialogue on catalysing progress and removing bottlenecks to achieve the SDGs. 




















2 pm: SWA session- Addressing the elephant in the room: Accountability for SDG 6 

We are excited to be joined by a multi-stakeholder panel of SWA partners, including governments, donors, civil society, private sector and research institutions from Asia, Africa and Latin America, who would reflect on the challenges and opportunities presented by the Mutual Accountability Mechanism and other national, regional and global accountability processes. Catarina de Albuquerque, CEO, SWA welcomed Hon. Cecilia Abena Dapaah, Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Ghana, and Mr Jose Luis Acero, Vice-minister for Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Housing, City and Land management, Colombia.
























Setting the stage for the session, Patrick Moriarty, IRC CEO and Angie Saleh, SWA Governance and Partnership Specialist introduced the SWA's Mutual Accountability Mechanism and why all partners need to join hands.  “SWA Commitments are challenging but key to Country’s Development Agenda”, said Hon. Cecilia Abena Dapaah, Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Government of Ghana while sharing her country's experience with SWA’s Mutual Accountability Mechanism. 

Mutual Accountability in Action: Snapshot from Ghana Experience

Mutual Accountability in Action: Country Experience from Ghana















To link Mutual accountability to the regional processes, we were joined by Mme. Helene Bragori, Director of rural sanitation, Cote d'Ivoire. Mme. Bragori described the country's experience of  Mutual Accountability in practice, wherein Government is collaborating with other stakeholders to reach out to the rural population, especially women and girls. Mr Jose Luis Acero underlined the importance of accountability even at the planning stages for the sector, "It’s there that you must create the framework for holding each other to account!" Ramisetty Murali, Convenor, FANSA highlighted how FANSA as a CSOs network, and as a constituent partner of SACOSANs, has been disseminating the information on commitments made by Governments at SACOSAN. FANSA has prepared traffic light papers to measure progress on the commitments to strengthen accountability in the regional processes. Kenneth Alfaro Alvarado from the Central America Youth for Water Network talked about his experience of participating in LatinoSAN,  and also underlined the need for creating more spaces for youth, especially in the form of intergenerational dialogues at the country and regional level. 




















In the last leg of the session, Howard Bamsey, GWP chair, established the link between national, regional, and global accountability processes. 



























We kept our session interactive with Mentimeter and we got some really interesting answers for 'What does accountability for the SDGs mean for you?' and 'What is the biggest difficulty to holding others accountable?' See the response to one of the questions below:




























Wrapping up the session, Canisius Kanangire, Executive Secretary, African Ministers' Council on Water (AMCOW) delivered the key takeaway message –"Accountability is not about making each other feel guilty it's about exchanging knowledge and accelerating learning. This is the only way we will reach SDG6 by 2030." 

4 pm: CSO: Change makers and allies with Government in reaching SDG6

This interactive session really broke down for the audience, some key questions– Who are CSOs? How are we using the word CSO? Who are they speaking on behalf of? What’s their mandate? Moderated by Independent communicator Ikenna Azuike, this session opened with Patrick Moriarty (IRC) and Snehalatha Malaka (FANSA CSO network) discussing how CSOs are bringing out the voices of the most marginalized from their communities to the policy circles. "We know WASH is inherently a multi-stakeholder sector and when CSO voices are strong and present, governments perform better,” said Snehalatha Malaka.














Next up: Panellists reflect on the question– "Should CSOs be careful in keeping their independent position to be able to hold the government accountable?" Aradhana Patnaik, Principal Secretary, Water & Sanitation, Jharkhand (India) quotes from the success of 'Swachh Bharat Mission' (Clean India Mission), "Swachh Bharat is truly a people's movement, based on 4 pillars- political will and leadership, Public funding, Partnerships (with CSOs and INGOs) and People’s participation." Brechtje Paardekoper, Senior Policy Advisor Government of the Netherlands, made a strong case for dissent in civic space, "Around the world, it's alarming that the voices of CSOs are being regulated and silenced- the civic space is shrinking. Many WASH CSOs have a tendency to want to sit at the table. In order to gain more space, they need to be also ready to leave the table." Patrick Alubbe, Kenya Water for Health Organisation, said, "Any CSO is formed out of a specific need in the community, usually, to solve a specific problem. The key role of a CSO is to hold government accountable. A CSO is governed by its mission and vision, and that’s how CSOs are independent."

Source: IRC WASH

In the brain game session, three panellists from civil society organisations were asked to present a case study on how they are reaching the most marginalised. Ramisetty Murali (MARIE, India) talked about the efforts made by CSOs in increasing household-level toilet accessibility for 8510 families belonging to the poorest and marginalized communities in Krishna District in the Southern part of India. Vincent Ouma (KEWASNET) discussed how their network is helping CSOs build capacity to hold government accountable. Herbert Kashiliah (Shahid Wamaji, Tanzania) explained how in Tanzania, pastoralists get marginalised when it comes to access to water services. Therefore, their organisation advocated and mobilized the Government to increase the water budget. 

To wrap up the session, Erma Uytewaal (IRC) raised a battle cry for collaboration, effective campaigning and space for dissent. 

Check out the twitter moments for the day, here.


Tuesday 27 August: On Agenda- Finance and Nutrition

We started early today, with Catarina de Albuquerque attending the UNICEF Breakfast meeting, addressing the challenges highlighted by the latest WHO/UNICEF JMP report– 'Progress on household drinking water, sanitation and hygiene 2000-2017: Special focus on inequalities'.
















11 am: A WASH-Nutrition Reality Check: Perspectives and a Pakistan Case

The session, co-convened by SWA, discusses the latest evidence of WASH and Nutrition, with special focus on the country case in Pakistan, and showcasing snapshots and perspectives from different actors and stakeholders like USAID, Max Foundation.

During the panel discussion, Kate Medlicott said, WASH and Nutrition needs to be programmed and monitored together– "they are complementary not competing for interventions." Farhan Sami from World Bank, Pakistan presented the country case study, wherein Government has made a federal framework for stunting and all provinces have stunting facing projects/programs. Joke le Poole from Max Foundation gave a snapshot of their healthy village approach to tackle stunting in Bangladesh. Calling for a focus shift from service to governance and finance, USAID’s Lisa Schechtman stresses upon the journey for self-reliance as the way to achieve sustainability. 

Catarina de Albuquerque: Evidence is crucial, to program differently for the sector. Multi-stakeholder collaboration is indispensable. SWA partners need table commitments regarding nutrition.


4 pm: Monitoring public financial flows and influencing pro-poor budgets

What does it mean for CSOs to find out how much money is allocated? How it is being used? How could CSOs build accountability relationship with the duty bearers to see money is used efficiently? These are some of the questions that panellists engaged with, in this session. Organisations from Bangladesh, India and Kenya presented on the key moments for budget decision-making, allocations to water supply and sanitation and funding flows, and how to provide voice and space to the most marginalized.

Zobair Hassan, Director of research, evaluation & monitoring from Development Organisation for the Rural Poor (DORP) described the impact of using budget monitoring process at the local government level in Bangladesh. Sareen Adilla (WIN associated consultant) brings to the fore the public participation in budget planning in Kenya. Stressing the need for capacity building for CSOs, Trisha Agarwala from New Delhi think tank, Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability said, "More budget groups for public finance and more CSOs being able to look into budgets, are much needed to advocate for the WASH sector in India".

Before we wrap up for the day, here's a look at what SWA would be doing next Spring in Washington DC.

Check out the twitter moments for the day, here.

Wednesday 28 August: GLAAS launch and SWA Strategy Consultation

At 9 am today, we attended the release of the 2019 UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-water (GLAAS). The UN-Water GLAAS report provides policy- and decision-makers at all levels with a reliable, easily accessible, comprehensive and global analysis.

10 years of SWA and GLAAS: Don't miss out on this article by SWA CEO, Catarina de Albuquerque.


10 am: SWA Strategy Consultation Meeting on the sidelines of World Water Week

We were excited to be joined by over 50 practitioners in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector for the SWA Strategy 2020-2030 consultation meeting. WWW presented us with the opportunity to reach out to people even outside the SWA partnership. 


This evening, our CEO Catarina de Albuquerque did a Facebook live interview for UN-Water, conducted by a youth reporter. Click on the picture below to listen to what she said about the recently released GLAAS report.


Its Movie Night! We are watching "Chasing Poop" to discuss 'urgent solutions for addressing faecal water contamination' with Laetitia Badolo (Niyel), Christophe le Jallé (PS-Eau) and Ruthie Rosenberg (Sanergy). Join our viewing party by clicking on the picture.

Thursday 29 August: Rapid fire: Sessions and partner meetings

It's a rainy day in Stockholm, but we are ready for another day of interesting discussions at World Water Week. We hope you are following us on twitter and facebook

9 am: How can intergenerational dialogue facilitate youth inclusion in decision making?

To learn more about the inclusion of Youth in water governance, we attended a youth session making a case for intergenerational dialogues- with youth representatives from Central Asia, Central Europe and Central Africa. 

Season of Strategies: We had a busy afternoon with SWA's External Support Agency (ESA) partner– WSSCC.  In the strategy development consultation member workshop, we discussed how to contribute to the direction and content of WSSCC’s new strategic plan for 2021-2025. 


What's happening outside the sessions at World Water Week? 

This evening, we thought of taking the camera outside the session. Here's bringing you a picture from women-centred art (top-left) shaping up at World Water Week. We also visited SWA's research and learning partner WaterAid's exhibition– The Water Effect (top-right). This exhibition features work by acclaimed Mexican artist Victoria Villasana highlighting the impact of clean water on communities around the world. The Tele2 arena was always busy with vibrant booth scene, which kept the conversation going even outside the sessions.

Friday 30 August: It's a wrap!

Thank you SIWI for a rich week talking WASH systems and inequalities in the sector. This all women's SWA team enjoyed every moment!

(left) Source: WSSCC












That's a wrap from Stockholm, let's keep the conversation going on our Twitter and Facebook. #SWAinAction