Thursday, 12 July 2012

Vote now for the 'northern' representative on the SWA steering committee!

End Water Poverty is coordinating the process to elect a representative of 'northern' civil society to the SWA steering committee. The SWA steering committee oversees and guides the work of the SWA partnership and is made up of representatives from each constituency: developing countries, donors and civil society.

This is a key strategic position and as the SWA partnership goes from strength to strength it is essential that we have the right level of representation in the process. The deadline is Friday 20th July and each 'northern' civil society member is entitled to one vote per organisation.

Below is the list of candidates and some information about how they would communicate with civil society members if elected. To vote click here and rank the candidates from 1 to 3, with number 1 being your preferred candidate.

Thilo Panzerbieter

Thilo Panzerbieter is a civil engineer, who has worked as an expert in the WASH sector for the past 10 years. He began his career as a capacity building coach for a range of NGOs “on the ground” in Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe. As founder and director of the German Toilet Organization (non-for-profit NGO), he devised and managed the main awareness raising and advocacy campaign of the International Year of Sanitation (“Sanitation is Dignity”), in collaboration with UN-Water. In the past years, he united the German NGOs in the “German WASH-Network” to coordinate and strengthen their advocacy efforts and tie them into EWP. He is familiar with facilitation methods for finding joint network positions, is experienced in political lobbying and is skilled at presenting the collective ideas of networks in a high-level environment. Thilo Panzerbieter is the chair of the German WASH-Network and an End Water Poverty Steering Committee member.

If elected, how would you communicate with civil society members?

"Representing a large group of CSO members from Europe and North America – from EWP to MWA as well as other national networks – demands swift, but precise flow of information. I fully understand the importance of getting a detailed understanding of the different perspectives of the wide range of CSOs, in order to assist in correctly merging their sometimes varying views into joint demands with punch. In order to sufficiently coordinate with all northern members, I would initiate calls before upcoming meetings and events. During these calls care should be taken collect the opinions of all – even from more reserved individuals/organisations. In some cases bilateral communication can be useful to prepare or follow-up such skype or telephone conferences. In the end, a transparent documentation of all results is important for maintaining everyone’s trust and involvement. Whenever possible, personal meetings should be attempted (e.g. at conferences where many members happen to be present, like the World Water Week), as nothing is more effective for establishing trust than meeting in person.
During and after high level external meetings (e.g. the SWA Meetings), the network should decide, if (and who) should receive my “unpolished” notes directly after/during such occasions for immediate use. A short report of the key outcomes and observations should be completed and circulated to all CSO members in a timely manner after each meeting.
As one of the shapers and the representative of a national network, I have been a speaker at multiple large conferences and take pleasure in accepting the responsibility of effectively carrying messages to the relevant decision makers or forums and mirroring results back into the network."

Dennis Warner

Dr. Dennis B. Warner is a Senior Technical Advisor for water supply, sanitation and water resources development with Catholic Relief Services. He has over forty years experience in international development, working on problems of water supply, sanitation, environmental health and emergency relief assistance. As a member of the CRS Program Quality Support Department since 2004, Dr Warner has headed up the development of regional water and sanitation strategies; the strengthening of technical staff resources at the headquarters, regional and country levels; the participation of CRS in coalitions and partnerships with other development organizations; the involvement of CRS in water-related international emergencies and disasters; and the promotion of a water program area within CRS. Raised in the Chicago area, he studied history and engineering at the University of Illinois and Stanford University, and received a Ph.D. in civil engineering from the latter. Dr. Warner has lived in Tanzania, Uganda, Switzerland and France and has held positions with the Peace Corps, University of Dar es Salaam, Duke University, World Health Organization, several engineering consulting firms, World Bank and USAID. Dr. Warner is a Member of Pax Christi, the international Catholic peace movement, and in 2000 served as representative of Pax Christi International to the United Nations in Geneva. Dr. Warner is currently a board member of Pax Christi Metro DC, Falls Church Historical Commission and the Holy Land Christians Society.

If elected, how would you communicate with civil society members?

"Informal communication can be done through networking, participation in water and sanitation events, media publications, technical postings and websites. It also can be carried out through formal methods, such as webinars, listserves, and meetings. Many of these methods can be undertaken by the SC for the use and benefits of its members. The specific methods that will be selected for maintaining communication with the sector generally and CSO stakeholders in particular will be based on discussions between all SC representatives. The two methods that are likely to be the most useful, at least initially, are webinars on topics of special interest to SWA members and interactive blogs to focus attention on critical issues."

Sue Yardley

Sue Yardley is Senior Policy Officer on water and sanitation at Tearfund. Through this role she has been involved in the development of Sanitation and Water for All and currently sits its Country Processes task team. She has over 6 years experience in international development, which has been largely focused on water and sanitation. Her current position encompasses both UK and global-focused advocacy on water and sanitation and through this she has developed a comprehensive understanding of the key issues that need addressing and how Sanitation and Water for All can help with this. She is also co-Chair of the UK Water Network and sits on the End Water Poverty Steering Committee.

If elected, how would you communicate with civil society members?

"I look forward to discussing the steering committee agenda with interested civil society members prior to each meeting, agreeing key interventions and points for me to raise. I would take my own notes, in addition to the formal minutes to share within one day of each steering committee meeting. I would also be happy to have a follow up call to discuss any implications, next steps and more informal feedback points. I would ensure that I build good working relationships with the two other civil society representatives so that our comments can be complementary and more effective. It would be important for all three representatives to join the discussion prior to each steering committee meeting. As the civil society membership of SWA has now expanded outside of EWP, I will also ensure that the representation and feedback mechanism is inclusive to allow for this."

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