How can CSOs get involved?

There are many ways in which CSOs can engage with the SWA Partnership at both the global and national levels: Firstly, find out if your country is a member of the Sanitation and Water for All Partnership here. If your country is not a member of the Partnership and you think that it should be, please contact the SWA CSO Advisor - Heloise Chicou to discuss this further and find out more.

If your country is a member of the SWA Partnership, you can engage by:

1. Call on your government to step up efforts to work with civil society for the implementation the SDGs, and the ways they can strengthen the governance and participatory approaches. CSOs can push governments to be included in the negotiations process towards the SDGs.  You have to be stakeholders, the High Level Political Dialogue is an opportunity for your advocacy and the civil society voice to be heard.

Get involved by finding out if your country has a national focal point.  These focal points will already be engaged in the national process and can help you to get involved.

  • If your country is a member of the SWA Partnership but does not have a CSO focal point, there will still be a government focal point and a development partner focal point. Introduce yourself to them and maintain regular communication to make sure civil society voices are heard in the multi-stakeholder dialogues. Contact the SWA CSO Advisor for more information.
  • Each region (Africa, Asia, Latin America and Northern countries (Europe, United States and Australasia) also has a CSO representative who sits on the SWA Steering Committee to provide inputs and influence the direction of the Partnership. Find out more about the CSO representative for your region here.

2. High Level Meetings: In addition to participating in the dialogue during the preparatory phase for the biennial Water and Sanitation Ministers' Meetings, the civil society constituency is represented at the meetings themselves by nominated representatives.  These representatives speak on behalf of the whole constituency (not their individual organisation/network or country) and voice key messages prepared in advance through consultations coordinated by CSO Focal Points at national and regional levels. You can get involved by taking part in these consultation processes to ensure your organisation’s voice is heard.

Push your government to take part to the High Level Political Dialogue: The High Level Meetings are planned to be held on the 19th and 20th of April 2017 in Washington D.C. A SWA Ministerial Meeting and Finance Ministers Meeting are planned:  Ministers responsible for sanitation, water and hygiene but also Finance Ministers will come together, along with heads of development agencies, and senior representatives of civil society, the private sector and research and learning institutions, to plan their approach to meeting the water and sanitation-related targets of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Make sure your Finance Minister and your Minister for sanitation, water and hygiene know about these crucial meetings and encourage them to take part! Find out if your country has started to develop its SDG plans yet and make sure citizens’ voices are heard in the process.

3. Be proactive in the preparation process of the High Level Meetings: push the government to listen to the civil society advocacy.
Adapt and develop your advocacy message to the context of the High Level Meetings. Push your government to include your message in their strategic plan to achieve the SDGs. Claim for a transparent preparation process for the HLM.
Require a detailed feedback from the decisions made at the HLM and ask the strategic plan to implement these decisions.

Find out if your country took some commitments in the past and keep track about their actions and new decisions within the 2017 High Level Meetings.

Find out more information about how you can engage your government in the High Level Political Dialogue through the High Level Meetings in the dedicated PowerPoint CSOs preparation guide for the HLM. Please note that there are CSOs SWA national focal point who coordinate the SWA CSOs actions at national level. To launch any actions at the national level, you should consult the list of national focal point and get in touch with yours.

For support in developing advocacy strategies and communication materials around the SWA commitments, email EWP at

There are a number of ways in which CSOs can take part in this including:

  • Taking part in Annual Joint Sector Reviews and regular WASH Sector Meetings to ensure that SWA processes are embedded in national level review mechanisms.
  • Planning and implementing campaigns to raise awareness of commitments made and keep up pressure on decision makers to keep them. Mobilise communities, the media and the public at large in your country to hold your government to account on their WASH commitments. Design and implement a WASH Campaign, inspired by the EWP Election Toolkit, to hold your leaders to account for their commitments during crucial election times.
  • Monitor and review your government's SWA and other major WASH commitments by updating and using WASHwatch.
  • Where possible, carry out budget tracking of your national and sector budgets to check if financial commitments are being kept and engage your decision makers in discussions about stepping up efforts to achieve these.

4. Partnership Meetings: Take part in and/or engage in consultations ahead of the SWA Partnership Meetings.

There will be many opportunities to engage with the SWA Partnership between now and the next SWA High Level Meeting in 2017 so please do join our Google Group for regular updates. Email the SWA CSO Advisor to join now!