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4000 children die every day from diarrhoea caused by unclean water and poor sanitation.

End Water Poverty and Freshwater Action Network planning meeting report!

In December 2011, End Water Poverty (EWP) joined forces with Freshwater Action Network (FAN Global) for the first time, to facilitate an international advocacy planning meeting for water and sanitation activists.

Working hard at the international planning meeting!
Hard at work at the planning meeting!

Campaigners from Africa, Europe, the US, South Asia, Central and South America and Mexico came together to consider how planning around shared objectives could enable us all to understand each other’s plans and strengthen those opportunities where we come together to influence water and sanitation policy towards 2015. 

The meeting was a huge success - productive, hard work and also a great deal of fun! There were over 40 participants from 18 countries giving us a truly global perspective to the planning process. Added to the EWP and FAN members were international partner WSSCC and INGO supporters including WaterAid, Tearfund, World Vision and Oxfam.

The meeting began with some great ‘speed presentations’ about water and sanitation campaigning in nine countries which were filmed and can be seen here.

Four Advocacy Themes 

Most of the planning during the meeting was done in four parallel groups, based on the strategic advocacy aims of EWP and FAN Global. These were: the human right to water and sanitation, climate change and IWRM, finance and accountability, and health and other sectors.

Each team worked through their collective aims, campaign targets, potential activities and allies, and considered the tactics and resources needed for a global advocacy action plan, linking local and global processes and campaigning opportunities. Once presented back to the whole group, the teams conducted their first task team meetings and are now working on coordinating the delivery of these plans during the next year, supported by the Global Secretariats of Freshwater Action Network and End Water Poverty. 


 Finance and Accountability (supported by End Water Poverty)

Objective: ‘More and smarter money, better tracked for improved results.’

 Key opportunities: national election campaigns and follow-up, MDG Review Summit 2013, World Water Day and World Toilet Day 2012 and 2013, SWA High Level Meetings in 2012 and 2014, AfricaSan and SacoSan, and national processes.

 Action plan:

  • Election campaign resources to be written by campaigners, produced and promoted based on existing good practice and using messages about financing and targeting.
  • ‘Keep your promises’ (working title) campaign to be launched in 2012 and use several opportunities World Toilet Day in 2012 and World Water Day 2013 for national actions and build up global mass action (eg a HUGE petition) for the MDG Review and position sanitation and water finance messages very high in the MDG progress debate. Also much better use and promotion of WASH Watch information website for civil society sector monitoring at national level.
  • Post 2015 debate – facilitate civil society dialogues during 2012 ready to launch results and take very active role in the post-2015 debate in 2013 and beyond.

 Climate Change (supported by FAN Global)

Objective – to ensure that climate change adaptation planning and actions at global, national and local levels include community-based adaptation approaches to water resources.

 Action Plan: 2012: Identify successful adaptation approaches and map affected communities in selected countries, receive input from community consultations and identify opportunities for advocacy – bring local voices to the global level.

 2013: Publish research – visual presentations, commission pilot schemes in a number of countries, mobilize funds to develop the programme, develop mechanisms to document community needs and feedback to the community the responses from the global community

 2014-15: Review achievements from pilot schemes and develop concrete proposals and share learning with governments for replication in more countries

 Human Right to Water and Sanitation HRWS (supported by FAN Global)

Objective: Countries develop roadmap for adopting human right based national action plan on water and sanitation (following 2010 global recognition of the human right to water and sanitation by the UN General Assembly and UN Human Rights Council).

 Key opportunities: World Water Forum 6 2012; Rio + 20 2012; UN General Assembly Sept 2012; Regional conferences (AfricaSan, SACOSAN, LatinoSan and Africa Water Week), MDG Review Summit 2013; human right to water and sanitation on ‘Post 2015’ framework

 Plan of Action:

  • Raise awareness and expand networking base (environment, lawyers, academics, human rights organisations) to various stakeholders to increase mass support
  • Organise CSO forum at WWF6 to understand critical issues implementation issues
  • Develop indicators on realisation of national action plans as CSO contributions to current global dialogue on development of WASH rights indicators.
  • National level mobilization, training and capacity building programmes
  • Engage CSO WASH networks in UN Universal Periodic Review processes

Advocacy with health and other sectors (supported by End Water Poverty)

Objective: By 2015 WASH issues and approaches are integrated into policies and programmes for nutrition and health.

Key opportunity: World Health Assembly, Geneva, May 2013

Action plan:

  • Develop a briefing note around the 2011 WHA resolution in advance of WHA in 2012
  • Develop a scorecard for monitoring the World Health Assembly Resolution from the 64th WHA in 2011 – involve X countries – and use this for advocacy in 2013.
  • Networking and alliance building -- Form alliances with NGOs, Medical associations, health coalitions and aim to meet in 2012 to deliver key messages and identify key targets attending the WHA. 
  • Aim to build multi sector task forces on WASH and health at national level and target ministers of health and finance, donors and parliamentarians
  • Institution focused campaigning around World Health Day – April 2013 and 2014

To see all the tweets from the three day meeting plus videos and photos, please take a look at our storify page!