Freshwater Action Network
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Citizens’ voices need to be heard more strongly to achieve sanitation and water for all

ANEW's Executive Secretary, Yiga Baker, shares his reflections form the SWA Partnership Meeting. 

(Originally posted on the Sanitation and Water for All blog) 
After the first day of discussions at the SWA Partnership Meeting, it was clear to me that there is a great deal to be done to get the participants to an equal level of understanding on what SWA is all about. However, the background papers provided about the envisaged new SWA Framework ignited a good discussion and this will evolve in to a good framework for engagement in the future.

Lessons on successes and what needs to be done

There are lessons to be shared especially on what has been achieved. The only clarity we have is that we need to define the partnership, what it is, what it is trying to achieve and how it can be achieved.

We must involve the people to make impact

I have had discussions with the civil society groups represented here and one of the things that seems to be coming out is that if we want to have impact in the sector with whatever initiative put forward, it is important to take citizens’ voices in to account. What are they suggesting? If you are talking about monitoring, how can they get involved and what mechanism do you use to be sure that you listen to their voices?
And, in terms of planning (which is a central focus of this particular aspect and coordination), we still need to focus on being able to bring the voices of the people from the ground. We need to share feedback from all of these processes such as the high level meetings with them and we need to ensure that there is back and forth sharing of information.

My main takeaway from the meeting

What is very clear to me is that there is still a need for some more work for Sanitation and Water for All partnership to take root at the country level among the different key players. So the model that is taking place at the high level political process should move strongly to the national levels.

Embedding SWA dialogue within existing national WASH Meetings

Great blog from Baker. Agree that if SWA is to succeed and achieve its vision of Sanitation and Water for All, the partnership dialogue, processes and activities need to be rooted at national and sub-national level.  For this, the call is not to encourage parallel structures at national level to focus on SWA and HLM commitments but to embed the SWA dialogue and monitoring of HLM commitments within existing WASH Sector meetings such as Joint Sector Reviews and WASH Coordination Meetings.

You can also read my brief blog on the SWA Partnership Meeting at

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