The Regional Workshop for Eastern and Southern Africa was held from 31 October to 4 November 2016 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and brought together 25 participants from 7 organisations from Ethiopia, Mozambique and South Sudan. The overall goal of the workshop was to foster knowledge sharing, present good practices and lessons learnt and strengthen cooperation between participants and project teams.
The first day was dedicated to sharing of good practices addressing project teams, country representatives and programme coordinators. The following days were dedicated to deepening two technical topics: 1) increasing the sustainability of school interventions, and 2) sustainability of water systems. The discussion between the different project teams made clear that they all face similar problems regarding operation and management (O&M) and sustainability of WASH infrastructure. Jointly, the teams reached the conclusion that involving a private operator in the O&M of WASH infrastructure, together with generating demand for either improved sanitation or safe water services can improve sustainability considerably.
The field trip provided an interesting insight into one project site of HEKS in Modjo, where bone char is used for defluoridation, which is very important in the Riff Valley, where naturally high fluoride levels pose significant health risks.
On the last day an external expert delivered an input on how videos can be used to capture the voice of beneficiaries (participative video). This input was greatly appreciated by participants who have shown interest to use this approach for evaluation or to capture good practices. Overall, the workshop was very successful and the goals were met with a mix of interactive activities and presentations by the facilitators and participants, which resulted in active participation and lively discussions.
The third regional workshop in Asia took place from 14 to 17 November 2016 in Bardiya, Nepal. Once more, the regional workshop has provided an inspiring platform of exchange for the regional teams across Nepal and Bangladesh. The teams presented their good practices and lessons learned drawn from Consortium projects in the form of innovative videos and posters, which created an enthusiastic atmosphere of mutual learning and collaboration. The workshop has also been successful at clarifying specific technical issues related to water quality, handwashing and functionality of public latrines. For example, to improve water quality at point of use, the participants came to the following conclusion: The projects need to:
- follow the Water Safety Plan concept
- ensure the use of household water treatment systems such as filters
- induce behavior change at household level and provide private taps.
Furthermore, the teams could benefit from expert advice given by Olivier Magnin (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Global Program Water) and Manohara Khadka (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation country office Nepal), who participated at the whole workshop, and Ursula Schmid (Program Coordinator Nepal, Consortium Focal Point Swiss Red Cross), who attended the workshop during 3 days. An input on SDGs and Integrated Water Resource Management from an invited external expert of the Institute for Social and Environmental Transition in Nepal was very much appreciated by the participants and ended in enriching discussions among the participants.
On the third day, the teams visited the Joint Emerging Town Project, which aims at improving access to water and environmental sanitation in the town of Katarniya in Nepal’s Bardiya district. For planning purposes, joint action plans were developed for the year 2017 at intra- and inter-country levels. To conclude, the teams evaluated advantages and disadvantages of working as a Consortium in the Asia Region which will be evaluated in an internal review of the Consortium.
The second regional workshop in Asia took place from 23 to 27 of November 2015 in Kathmandu, Nepal. The workshop has been very successful in terms of further strengthening the mutual cooperation and collaboration among the regional projects. The process and methodologies used in conducting the workshop, solely aimed at recognizing and inspiring Consortium partners to share their best practices and lessons learnt with each other. In Consortium projects, cross-learning of best practices and innovations stand at the heart and all projects enthusiastically participated and shared those in respective sessions.
The workshop was also very successful in clarifying various issues and challenges that projects were facing, such as; measuring water quality at point of use, monitoring hand washing at households, school latrine standards and WASH service sustainability, etc. The technical sessions provided common solutions and understanding on the mentioned issues. It was agreed that field-based staff responsible for project implementation will be trained to adhere to the agreed methods and procedures. Additionally, joint action plans were developed for the year 2016 at intra- and inter-country levels.
The second regional workshop in Francophone Africa was held from 12 to 15 October 2015 in Sokode, Togo. It was an opportunity for all projects of the group to come together to share experiences, learn from each other and improve the quality of their interventions. Through presentations, movies, group work and a field visit, 26 participants from 6 different countries (Mali, Niger, Togo, Benin, Madagascar, Switzerland) have shared their experiences and knowledge.
The overall objective of the meeting was to promote knowledge sharing. The specific objectives were to:
- Share best practices and lessons learned in order to improve the implementation of projects and scale up successful approaches.
- Address specific topics, technical issues and challenges faced by projects and find appropriate solutions.
- Plan joint activities (training courses, workshops, publications, etc.) including advocacy and the development of political dialogue.
- Present, discuss and improve the expertise on the Consortium procedures and tools.
The "Poster Session" allowed each project to present the approaches, results, lessons learned and good practices. Experiences with innovative approaches and technologies such as the ecological garden, the involvement of private investors in the management of water networks, sanitation marketing and the adaptation of pastoral wells were shared.
During the activity "Advice Market / World Café", the project teams addressed problems like "How to maintain a village open defecation free (ODF)?" or "How to sustain the "Wata" equipment functional and how to promote the use of chlorine?". Among others, the establishments of water committees and trainings for motivated technicians were discussed.
The field visit allowed the participants to get to know the work done by the Red Cross and on the last day, the participants reflected on the future collaboration between the project teams. Exchange visits were planed and a road map for the next year was developed.
The Regional Workshop for Eastern and Southern Africa was held from 21-24 September 2015 in Pemba, Mozambique and brought together Consortium partners from Ethiopia, Mozambique and South Sudan. The main objectives of the workshop were to:
- Share good practices and lessons learnt in order to improve project practices and scale up successful approaches;
- Address (common) specific topics, technical questions and project challenges and find solutions (e.g. water quality testing, financial sustainability of water schemes, hygiene promotion);
- Plan joint activities (e.g. trainings, workshops, and publications) including advocacy and policy development;
- Present, discuss and enhance know-how about the Consortium procedures and tools (i.e. planning, implementation, monitoring & reporting and evaluation).
The workshop was a mix of interactive activities and presentations by the facilitators and participants, which resulted in active participation and lively discussions between the 21 participants. During a World Café session each project team was asked to identify the three main technical and/or knowledge gabs in their respective project. They then "received" visits from two different "consultancy teams" (other project teams), who would give advice on the questions asked. In an other session, success factors and bottlenecks to good and efficient hygiene promotion were discussed. Recommendations, such as to guarantee continued training/follow-up and to involve teachers and local leaders/government from the start were mentioned and discussed.
Water quality testing was another specific topic addressed during the workshop. One of the key findings on two presented case studies from Ethiopia was, that even though safe water was provided at the source, the water quality testing showed high levels of contamination of the water at point of use. This session not only had the objective of discussing why water quality testing at household level/at the point of use should be done, but also how it could be done. The main testing methods were explained and also demonstrated, and the workshop participants tested water samples by themselves.
During a field visit day, the hole group visited the HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation ORATTA project in Metoro and met relevant stakeholders of the small town water system and sanitation and hygiene promotion activities. They visited latrines, talked with the community about the use of their latrines and asked questions regarding financial sustainability to the private operator, who runs the water system.
The Regional Workshop in Asia, hold from 24-27 November 2014 in Rangpur, Bangladesh, aimed to support increased networking, mutual learning and enhanced spirit of togetherness among member projects in the region.
The following topics were addressed in different workshop sessions (presentations, plenary discussions and group works):
- Opening session (introduction and expectations)
- Consortium phase-II (with focus on Phase-II log frame)
- Monitoring and Reporting
- Baseline surveys
- Knowledge management
- Field visit program
- Upscaling sanitation (including Govt. policies on WASH–Bangladesh and Nepal)
- Advocacy & Policy influencing
- Planning joint activities
- Joint small town project, Nepal
An inception workshop for Eastern and Southern Africa was held from 12-16 October 2014 in Shashemene, Ethiopia. The main objective was to bring all Consortium partners in the region together to develop synergies through knowledge transfer, communication and cooperation between participants and projects, at country, regional and interregional level. It also served to review the lessons learnt from Phase 1 and present the new Phase 2 programme of the Consortium. The workshop included a field visit to the Kofale water supply system.
The inception workshop can be seen as a positive and good experience for all participants, building a strong foundation to drive planned actions, joint activities and served as a great opportunity for team building.
The regional workshop in Francophone Africa was held from 7-10 October 2014 in Bamako, Mali. It has allowed 20 participants from 7 Consortium organisations and 6 different countries to get to know all Consortium projects in Francophone Africa and the expertise of all member organisation. The areas of collaboration could have been identified and it has been agreed to develop a communication strategy, which will facilitate exchanges at all levels (internal, between consortium members and externally with other partners) within the next month.