On the 14-16 August the Freshwater Action Network for South-East Asia (FANSA) organized in Sri-Lanka a workshop that looked at how civil society in the region could continue acting together to push for progress and accountability towards the achievement of the SDG6 on water and sanitation. More than 40 participants were invited from 8 countries (Pakistan, Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Maldives, Bhutan, Sri-Lanka, Afghanistan).
Sanitation and Water for All, UNICEF, End Water Poverty, WSSCC, WaterAid supported the meeting to look at how they could further engage with civil society and have a common agenda.
The meeting was successful in understanding where each country was at in terms of the SDG6, finding common bottlenecks and issues, and looking at what could be the role of civil society to take things forward.
A common strategy was drafted which focused on priority actions such as:
- Insuring that governments integrate and target the most marginalized in their planning for the SDGs and that Civil Society works with governments towards inclusive policies,
- Raising the capacities of CSOs around the SDG6 on water and sanitation, notably around monitoring, finance, and linkages with other SDGs,
- Common messages are established on finance, and training is provided on how to follow up on budgets and tracking public finances,
- Mapping and creating linkages with other SDGS, to allow for a holistic vision of the SDGs, and call for integrated policies,
- Call for accountability and effective accountability mechanisms to be in place at national level.
FANSA, and the other CSOs part of the workshop, will finalize their common strategy in the coming month, and with the help of their supporting partners start implementing.
This will allow for FANSA to call on governments to fulfill their commitments. The strategy is aligned with the SACOSAN VII commitments and will serve to define what will be the role of CSOs to insure the commitments are implemented.