Monday, 25 June 2012

Could you represent northern civil society on the SWA Steering Committee?

End Water Poverty is coordinating the process for electing a new “Northern” Civil Society Representative to sit on the SWA Steering Committee. This is a unique opportunity to make a lasting impact in ensuring safe water and adequate sanitation is available to all, with exposure to international processes and participation in major international and regional meetings/conferences and a seat at the table with high- level delegates from Government, UN, Donors and Civil Society.

Job Description

The Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) partnership has grown from strength to strength to become the leading international WASH Sector Dialogue platform. At the recent SWA High Level Meeting in Washington, an unprecedented number of Ministers of development co-operation, finance, water and sanitation, and representatives of the world’s leading water and sanitation agencies (more than 80 in all), including 45 developing country governments, came together to address planning and institutional requirements for improving access to water and sanitation.

Now is the chance for you to be a leading voice within this dialogue, as we seek to recruit a new “Northern” Civil Society Representative to sit on the SWA Steering Committee.

This is a unique, high profile position for someone with a passion for the WASH sector and excellent communication skills to become one of just three members representing civil society on this influential steering committee. You’ll be at the heart of this global partnership aiming to put sanitation and water on the global agenda with an immediate focus on achieving the MDGs in the most off-track countries.

You should have knowledge of international processes, be politically savvy, and have strong interpersonal skills with the ability to motivate people, as well as bundles of energy needed to bring about change.

The next two years promise to be action-packed, as efforts turn to ensuring the commitments made at the last High-Level Meeting are implemented and turned into concrete results.The ambition and drive behind the SWA partnership is massive. We need you to help us deliver it and ensure civil society plays its vital role in working towards universal access to water and sanitation.

How to Apply

1) Review ToR and Performance Criteria here:
2) Write an Expression of Interest (EOI)

The EOI should include answers to the following questions:

  • Why do you think the SWA Steering Committee CSO Rep role is important?
  • Why do you think you are the best person for this role?
  • If elected how would you communicate with members you represent? Use this answer to indicate any processes you would institute.
  • How do you hope the SWA Partnership will evolve over the next two years? What might be different for the WASH sector in general if SWA grows as hoped?

Please submit your EOI and attach your CV/Resume to Olivier Germain at no later than Friday 6th July 2012.

All eligible applications will be put to a vote by End Water Poverty (EWP) and Millennium Water Alliance (MWA) members. The successful candidate will be announced by 25th July.

High-Level Meeting: The view from France

Kristel Malegue is Coordinator at Coalition Eau, an alliance of 31 French NGOs committed to promoting sustainable access to water and sanitation for all and a member of End Water Poverty. Here, she shares her thoughts on the commitments made by France at the Sanitation and Water for All High Level Meeting in April 2012.

The Sanitation and Water for All High Level Meeting was an important milestone in the global campaign for safe drinking water and basic sanitation for all. As a coalition of NGOs in the water and sanitation sector, we watched proceedings closely, and waited to hear what commitments would be made by the French government.

We were pleased to hear the government reaffirm its commitment to the universal right to safe drinking water and basic sanitation, and that it would be working to strengthen international solidarity in order to implement this right. We also support the commitment to improve the effectiveness of the development instruments used by the French government. We welcome both of these pledges as a step in the right direction.

However, we observe a gap between the real needs of the sector and the resources allocated by France. In order to make real progress towards the provision of water and sanitation for all, we believe that the French government should:

1. Promote the effective implementation of the human right to water and sanitation
Whilst the UN General Assembly has recognised the right to water and sanitation as a fundamental human right, the challenge today lies in ensuring its practical implementation. France needs to promote the incorporation of the right to water and sanitation in national legislation as a fundamental right and push for the adoption of finance mechanisms for the most disadvantaged to ensure that everyone has affordable access to drinking water.

  • 2. Help finance universal access to water and sanitation, prioritising the most 
  • disadvantaged
  • Although France is the third largest provider of bilateral Official Development Assistance (ODA) for water and sanitation, it makes extensive use of loans and provides very little aid in the form of grants. This heavy reliance on loans leads to France targeting its aid towards projects requiring major investment (water supply networks and treatment plants in large urban centres) and towards financially solvent states (mostly middle-income countries). As a result, the poorest countries, namely those facing the greatest challenges as regards access to water and sanitation, and populations living in rural areas, where needs are greatest, are left on the sidelines.

    In order to uphold its commitment to focus on the most disadvantaged countries, France therefore needs to reverse the current trend and prioritise donations. Coalition Eau thus expects France to increase French bilateral aid grants for water and sanitation in the 2013 budget to a total of 100 million.

    In view of the fact that new sources of finance are required to supplement Official Development Assistance and given that commitments are behind schedule, France should introduce a financial transaction tax to meet these financial requirements. 

  • 3. Increase the effectiveness and quality of cooperation policies and instruments
    As outlined in France’s Statement of Commitments, coordination among major donors could be improved to ensure greater effectiveness. To this end, France could initiate discussions to determine ways of measuring sector aid effectiveness and to ensure improved coordination and harmonisation of the aid allocated to the most disadvantaged populations. 

    With a view to improving the effectiveness, coherence and quality of French cooperation within the water and sanitation sector, France needs to increase the effective participation of citizens in decision-making processes.

    It is also important that these commitments and their implementation are strictly monitored and evaluated using specific and inclusive information, monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.

    You can read more about Coalition Eau at our website:

    Monday, 18 June 2012

    Thirst for change!

    Sarah Hagger-Holt is Campaigns Writer at CAFOD, one of the member organisations of End Water Poverty, Here, she tells us about the success of their recent Thirst for change campaign.

    Prime Minister David Cameron could be left in no doubt about the need for urgent action on water and sanitation, after receiving over 60,000 actions – including postcards, emails, personal prayers and messages on water droplets – as part of CAFOD's Thirst for change campaign which ended in May 2012. 

    These actions showed the UK government that CAFOD supporters care about the water and sanitation crisis.

    “I received a huge amount of correspondence from CAFOD supporters, particularly from school children,” Andrew Mitchell writes in a letter to CAFOD Director Chris Bain. “It is really encouraging to know that young people in the UK care so deeply about the problems facing others in the world... It is truly shocking that even today over 780 million people do not have access to clean water and 2.5 billion people do not have proper sanitation. These statistics led to my decision to double the already ambitious commitment on water and sanitation that we made last year.” 

    David Cameron missed a crucial opportunity at the G8 to raise the water and sanitation crisis with other leaders,” says Head of Campaigns Clare Lyons. “At the summit there were no new commitments that would help end water poverty once and for all. But, in April, four months into the Thirst for change campaign, the UK government announced increased support to benefit over 60 million people -the equivalent of the entire UK population- over the next three years. The actions of CAFOD supporters lent weight and influence around this issue at a vital time, and mean that we can keep pressing the government to go further and faster on this issue and on other root causes of poverty.” Photo gallery and film from the Thirst for change hand-in

    The actions of CAFOD supporters added strength to a growing and powerful global movement.

    “We’d like to congratulate CAFOD supporters on taking action to end the water and sanitation crisis in solidarity with hundreds of thousands of campaigners around the world” says Sarah Blakemore from End Water Poverty. “This remarkable show of support brought attention to the issue at a critical time in the run up to a historic meeting in Washington DC, where both developed and developing country leaders made new pledges to lift tens of millions more people out of water poverty.” Read more about this meeting here.

    Wednesday, 13 June 2012

    New video: 'Success at the Sanitation and Water for all High Level Meeting'

    Watch End Water Poverty's new video celebrating the commitments made at the Sanitation and Water for All High Level Meeting and calling on world leaders to keep their promises!

    A great new video has been produced to celebrate the success of the historic Sanitation and Water for All High Level Meeting in April 2012! This video shows just some of the pledges made by both developing and donor countries at the meeting in Washington, D.C!

    You can see all of the statements of commitments made by countries at this crucial meeting here.

    What do you think of the commitments made by your country? Let us know!

    End Water Poverty welcomes the commitments made but emphasises that there is still a funding shortfall if countries are to reach these ambitious targets and get water and sanitation to those most in need.

    Rudy Amenga-Etego, from the African Civil Society Network on Water and Sanitation (ANEW) who represented civil society at meeting said: “We’re pleased to see ambitious commitments being made to get water and sanitation to our citizens. We now need to see new funding, clear plans and better targeting to make sure these promises can be kept.”

    Friday, 8 June 2012

    New Election Toolkit launched: vote for change!

    Georgi York, the Campaigns, Web and Social Media Intern at End Water Poverty, has exciting news about a new Election Toolkit.

    Here at End Water Poverty we have produced a shiny new toolkit to help you to campaign for sanitation and water during elections. The toolkit offers a comprehensive guide to planning, developing, and executing an effective strategy to make politicians sit up and take notice of water and sanitation issues in your country.

    The global water and sanitation crisis continues to affect billions of people – almost 40 per cent of the world’s population lacks safe water and adequate sanitation. Overcoming this crisis is possible, but those in power need to commit to prioritising WASH. Elections represent an excellent opportunity to secure guarantees from decision makers to do so. Politicians need your vote to get elected, so elections are a great time to push water and sanitation demands up the political agenda.

    The toolkit covers all aspects of a successful election campaign, including:

    • Identifying potential targets

    • Ways of influencing your chosen targets

    • Creating coalitions to strengthen your campaign

    • Developing your campaign message

    • Methods of campaigning, from rallies to digital activism

    • Following up on pledges after the election

    Even if no election has been called in your country, you can start planning your strategy and actions now in order to make your campaign as effective as possible.

    As every country is different, the toolkit is not a blueprint but a collection of ideas and case studies to inspire and support you in utilising an election to make real gains in water and sanitation provision. It’s worth checking your national rules and regulations on elections, for example regarding holding rallies or offering a fair balance between candidates.

    The toolkit draws on the experience of End Water Poverty members to help you create your own election campaign, and one of the case studies outlined is Liberia. The Liberia CSOs WASH Network ran a hugely successful campaign which saw electoral candidates pledge to address water and sanitation issues. The pledge cards used generated significant media coverage for WASH issues and meant that the politicians’ promises could be followed up afterwards.

    As Prince Kreplah, Chairman of the Liberia CSOs WASH Network has stated, “candidates tend to know some of the issues, but are often more vague on what the solutions are and what they should be promoting, so this provides campaigners with a chance to both educate and influence key decision makers”.

    Download the new Election Toolkit here, and start your election campaign for water and sanitation today!