Earlier this week, ten SWA civil society national focal points for Africa attended AfricaSan alongside the CSO representative for Africa on the SWA Steering Committee, George Chaima, and the SWA Advisor, Jennifer Williams. It was a great opportunity to bring together the reps, and for the national focal points to share experiences and challenges in engaging with SWA at national level, as well as opportunity to discuss how to better engage with SWA at the national, regional and global levels. Action plans improving communications and sharing of learning between the national focal points were developed, in addition to work plans to help with future advocacy and monitoring work in-country.
The conference also provided an opportunity for the civil society national focal points to meet with government and donor national SWA focal points from their country, with the aim of improving coordination and collaboration between them.
In July of this year, just over one year from setting the High Level Meeting commitments, a global progress report will be released by SWA. This will examine the extent to which different countries are on track to meet their commitments, as well as to identify bottlenecks to progress. The release of this report will be a good occasion for conversations with decision-makers about country progress towards commitments and urgent actions necessary to achieve them by 2016.
During Wednesday’s SWA sessions at AfricaSan, the different government, donor and CSO focal points were able to work together to plan multi-stakeholder in-country advocacy around the SWA commitments and the release of the global report. The aim was that the government, donor and civil society focal points work together to reach and influence high-level decision makers to step up efforts to achieve the commitments made at the High Level Meeting in 2014, rather than advocating separately in ‘silos’. These multi-stakeholder plans should help partners to better advocate with a united voice. The plans will hopefully also improve collaboration and communication between the CSO focal points and their government and donor counterparts.
Read the blogs below from the SWA civil society national focal points on their insights from AfricaSan 4:
- Hanan Muddathir, Founder & Chairperson of Environmental Initiative Organization for Sustainable Development: AfricaSan-1st day Envl blog
- Rehema Aanyu, Liaison and Networking Officer, Uganda Water and Sanitation NGO Network (UWASNET): UWASNET AfricaSan blog