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!

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