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WASH Learning Theme 4

Governments, politics and systems change

Understanding of different forms of engagement with government and other stakeholders to ensure sustainable services for all.

Selected speakers Gábor L. Szántó

Gábor Szántó_edited.jpg
Coordinator of the Ghana WASH Window programme and senior advisor for international WASH initiatives at the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, a department of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate. He has over twenty years of experience in the water, wastewater and (organic) waste sectors. Since 2001, he has been involved in practice-oriented and academic research projects aiming at the development of emission-poor, economically sustainable waste treatment processes.
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How are local and national governments making change? Explore how governments are leading change in water, sanitation and hygiene systems, the role of partners and civil society in change and the potential of information as a driving force.

Government engagement works differently in different contexts. We will ground insights in local realities and provide examples across regions - Latin America, Africa and Asia, of engagement with government and other stakeholders with a goal of achieving SDG 6.

Day 1
Together stronger – all systems are connected

We open with our symposium’s purpose. Experts, changemakers and decision-makers assemble to explore how connecting across boundaries and promoting systems leadership can help us achieve social justice and improved national systems.

W4.1 Strengthening WASH systems - approaches, successes, and lessons learned

Time: 11:30

Location: Antarctica, World Forum

WASH systems are complex but strengthening them through system-level engagement will result in an equitable and more sustainable acceleration towards SDG 6. The session will provide insights from enabling environment programming, ranging from “all-system” to targeted approaches working on specific building blocks like human resources, capacity development, institutional arrangements, and monitoring and evaluation. 

Organisers, contributors and presenters
Nicole Klaesener-Metzner, UNICEF ROSA

Carolien van der Voorden, USAID WASHPaLS 2 Project

Abilio Cuamba, SNV, UKAID

Gezahegn Boru, Ruchika Shiva, IRC

Kate Harawa, Water For People

W4.2 An analysis of strengthening systems and enhancing collective action to achieve universal basic WASH services

Time: 13:45

Location: Central America, World Forum

System strengthening and achieving universal WASH access requires collaboration with partners and communities, a unique blend of demand and supply creation for intervention. Join us to learn from four World Vision International teams from the Southern Africa and Latin America Regions on how they are working to achieve universal coverage. 

Organisers, contributors and presenters

Channing Carney-Filmore, World Vision

Tupac Mejía, World Vision

Jessy Samuyachi, World Vision

Maybin Ng'ámbi, World Vision

Panganani Eric Njolomole, World Vision

Alice Muhimpundu, World Vision

W4.3 Young people, jobs and lifelong learning for WASH professionals

Time: 13:45

Location: Amazon, World Forum

Systems are only as strong as the people that run them. However, the WASH sector has massive capacity gaps. This lively session brings together WASH professionals, employers and training specialists to discuss the career pathways in WASH. Can the WASH sector take a more structured approach to professional development?

Organisers, contributors and presenters

Dr. Aline Saraiva-Okello

Sean Furey, Skat Foundation

Meleesa Naughton, RWSN/ Skat Foundation

Temple Oraeki, Network Of Water Rights Initiative

Kerstin Danert, Ask for Water GmbH

Eileen Dyer Jarnholt, Global Water Center

Maren Heuvels, SuSanA

Jeske Verhoeven, IRC

Alec Shannon, Agenda for Change

Christoph Lüthi, Eawag

Alison Parker, Cranfield / Water WISER Doctoral Center

Mary Wambugu, Cranfield / Water WISER Doctoral Center

Lesha Witmer, Women for Water Partnership

W4.4 Partnership with government and customer service for all

Time: 15:30

Location: Yangtze 2, World Forum

Engage in peer-to-peer discussions on government-led WASH processes, systems strengthening and customer service management. Learn from experts, share experiences, and gain insights into the value and techniques of engaging with users and government to build networks and collective action to advance sustainable WASH systems. 

Organisers, contributors and presenters

Marty Kearns, Netcentric Campaigns /

Turea Wickham, World Vision

Ivan Palma, Water For People

Day 2
Strengthening all systems – building resilience with water, sanitation and hygiene

Our systems journey continues as we explore and promote the role of resilient national water and sanitation systems, and the change agenda required to deliver them. Explore how water and sanitation can galvanise the development of wider public services. 

W4.5 Data and monitoring: strengthening systems for achieving safely managed sanitation services

Time: 11:30

Location: Central America, World Forum

A granular and spatial understanding of populations lacking sanitation access is necessary to achieve universal sanitation. This session will specifically focus on ways to improve data on safely managed sanitation services and better use this data to facilitate targeted and effective actions.

Organisers, contributors and presenters

Dr. Rachel Peletz, Aquaya Institute

Rick Johnston, World Health Organization (WHO)

W4.10 SDG 6.2 is only attainable with rights and dignity for sanitation workers

Time: 11:30

Location: Amazon, World Forum

Come brainstorm ideas to support sanitation workers! Every country needs a healthy, professional, and motivated sanitation workforce to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6.2. Sanitation workers provide an essential public service and are a key piece in the systems needed to deliver safely managed sanitation services, but often do so at the cost of their dignity, health, and living conditions. 

Organisers, contributors and presenters

Andrés Hueso González, WaterAid

Mary James Gill, Center for Law & Justice

Sanya Anthony Mwara, Shinyanga Municipal Council

Kelebogile Khunou, Socio-Economic Rights Institute (SERI)

Khumbulani Maphosa, Matabeleland Institute For Human Rights

W4.6 Rights, inclusion and regulation for system strengthening

Time: 13:45

Location: Yangtze 2, World Forum

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals demands a strong focus on gender equality, disability, social inclusion and rights to ensure better outcomes for all. Using practical examples, this session will challenge participants to consider how, beyond equitable service access, WASH systems can be transformative through changing social norms, decision-making power and rights-holder participation.

Organisers, contributors and presenters

Fraser Goff, WaterAid

Kristie Urich, World Vision

Liza Rivera, Water For People

Nadira Khawaja, SNV

Bethany Caruso, Emory University

Morris Chidavaenzi, World Vision

Tupac Mejia, World Vision

Peter Karanja, World Vision / Vision Fund

W4.7 Experiences connecting WASH and IWRM through public-private partnerships

Time: 13:45

Location: Yangtze 1, World Forum

The Ghana WASH Window and the Sustainable Water Fund programmes share a decade-long experience in drinking water, sanitation, agro-water and IWRM service delivery. The other presenters will then discuss key features of public-private partnerships and connectivity issues on serving low-income households, small and medium-sized enterprises, and smallholders in developing regions.

Organisers, contributors and presenters

Michiel Slotema, Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO)

Gábor Szántó, Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO)

Tika Meijer Y Bodisco Massink, Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO)

Floor Crispijn, Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO)

Ella Lammers, Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO)

Vida Duti, IRC

Diederik Verzill, PwC

W4.8 The integration debate

Time: 15:30

Location: King Willem Alexander, World Forum

“To integrate, or not to integrate”, is the question we hope to find answers to in this debate. Integration of basic WASH services and other closely connected sectors is a widely spoken concept. However, the verdict on integration remains unclear. Find out more at the debate. 

Organisers, contributors and presenters

Abishek Narayan, Eawag

Marisa Boller, Eawag

Angela Huston, IRC

Christoph Lüthi, Eawag

Antoinette Kome, SNV

Mulumba Jane Nabunnya, IRC

Darren Seywell, DAI

Eng. Joseph Oriono Eyatu, Ministry of Water and Environment, Directorate of Water Development, Uganda

Day 3
Taking action as systems leaders

We'll synthesise insights from the first two days, agree on actions and put you in the driving seat. With help from our Wisdom Council, you’ll take part in Action Assemblies and a final plenary to help define a post-event agenda while –hopefully – committing to your role in it. 

W4.9 Consolidation of the thinking

Time: 8:30

Location: South America, World Forum

Come join the gallery walk as we synthesise the pertinent discussions from the 6 sessions.

Organisers, contributors and presenters

Horacio Quembo, United Purpose

Gezahegn Boru, IRC

Betelhem Gebeyehu Hailegiorgis, IRC

Eileen Dyer Jarnholt, Global Water Center

Yvonne Lugali, Water For People

Mian Hameedullah, Welthungerhilfe

Alex Grumbley, SNV

Jessy Samuyachi, World Vision

Adam Torrey, The Water Project

Alison Parker, Cranfield / Water WISER Doctoral Center

Priyank Verma, CARE

Alok Kumar Majumder, Simavi

Katy Sill

Xanthe Polaine, Newcastle University

Manuela Sambo

Will Tillett, United Purpose

Helena Skember

Renjitha Maniyil Haridasan, Water WISER

Explore the rest of our programme

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