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.