Asia: leadership for sanitation needed at both central and local level

The responsibility for sanitation in Asia is fragmented over different agencies, and in most cases the priority given to sanitation is low. Therefore more leadership and political will is needed to make sure that organisational structures function, that plans with good intentions become a reality on the ground and that resources go to the right places. While leadership for sanitation is needed at all levels, it’s most urgent at sub national level, in districts and provinces, because it’s there where the actions take place.

This is the outcome of an email discussion [1] of the WASH Asia Dgroup platform held from 9 August to 9 September 2011. The discussion was moderated by the SNV Asia knowledge network and IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre, and involved 120 WASH practitioners from 5 different countries in Asia.

After the Dgroup discussion, a regional workshop [2] was organised around the same topic in Surkhet, Nepal, from, 13 to 17 September 2011, followed two days later by a discussion meeting [3]  co-organised by  the Ministry of Physical Planning and Works (MPPW) of Nepal.

Table on Leadership Roles from the Asia Workshop report

The Dgroup discussion is the third on rural sanitation and hygiene. The first discussed “Performance Monitoring of Sanitation and Hygiene Behaviour Change” [4] and the second was about “Rural Sanitation Supply Chains and Finance” [5]. All topics are learning components of the Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All (SSH4A) programme in Nepal, Bhutan, Laos, Viet Nam and Cambodia. This programme is funded by the bilateral aid agencies of Australia (AusAID), the United Kingdom (DFID) and The Netherlands (DGIS) and private donors. SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, IRC and local partners in the five countries are implementing the SSH4A programme, which is running from 2008 to 2015.

[1]  Governance for rural sanitation and hygiene : overall summary of Dgroup discussion : 9th of August- 9th of September 2011. Read full summary

[2] Asia Workshop Governance for Rural Sanitation and Hygiene : Surkhet, Nepal,  September 13 – 17, 2011 : workshop report. Read full report

[3] Main points of the discussion programme ‘Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All’. Read full report

[4] Summary of the D-group discussion on performance monitoring. Read full summary

[5] Summary of the Dgroup discussion “Rural Sanitation Supply Chains and Finance”. Read the full summary

To find out more about the Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All (SSH4A) programme go to: www.irc.nl/ssh4a

Related news: Asia: Accelerated and sustainable progress in sanitation and hygiene is within our reach, E-Source, 05 Oct 2011

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