Strengthening advocacy actions of South Asian CSOs to reach the SDGs

by | Sep 12, 2018 | Blogs

On 13–16 of August, the Freshwater Action Network for South-East Asia (FANSA) organised a workshop in Sri Lanka to explore how civil society in the region could continue acting together to push for progress and accountability towards the achievement of Goal 6 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). More than 40 participants were invited from eight countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka).

Sanitation and Water for All, UNICEF, End Water Poverty, IRC WASH, WSSCC and 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 looking at each country’s progress towards Goal 6, 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 marginalised in their planning for the SDGs and that civil society works with governments towards inclusive policies,
  • Raising the capacities of CSOs around SDG 6 on water and sanitation, notably for monitoring and financing,
  • Common messages are established on financing, 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 all goals, and call for integrated policies,
  • Call for accountability and effective accountability mechanisms to be in place at the national level.

FANSA, and the other CSOs who took part in the workshop, will finalise their common strategy in the coming month, and with the help of their supporting partners, start its implementation.

This will allow for FANSA to call on governments to fulfil 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.