Join the Sanitation Marketing Community of Practice

Welcome to the Sanitation Marketing Community of Practice!

Are you a WASH practitioner currently working on Sanitation Marketing activities? Do you find yourself struggling to find others you can talk to about the practical issues you face – like how to work with a marketing agency, support a small business or design a new low-cost product? Are you thinking about starting a sanitation marketing program, but don’t know where to start?

Why a Sanitation Marketing Community of Practice?

As you know 2.5 billion people still lack access to basic sanitation and this has devastating impacts on the lives and health of people and communities.  At this rate the sanitation target of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) may not be met until 2026, making it one of the most off-track targets in many countries of the world. To address this sanitation crisis, it is now clear that programs focused on latrine construction will not be enough. New approaches like Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) have proven that communities can be motivated to change their sanitation situation – but that the first step is triggering behaviour change.

Over the past few years, many of us have started experimenting with another demand-driven approach, Sanitation Marketing (SanMark). While there is not yet broad consensus on what SanMark is, most practitioners agree that the approach aims to increase household demand for sanitation while simultaneously improving private sector capacity to supply sanitation products and services. Many of us have ‘learned by doing’ SanMark – and early experience is promising.

Although interest in and experience with SanMark is growing, the approach is still relatively new. Programmatic guidance and tools are emerging, but much more can be done to open up the dialogue and link on-ground practitioners together to share and discuss the issues we face.

How can we continue learning and connecting to each other?

WaterAid Australia and the Australian-based WASH Reference Group will be launching a series of activities that aim to bring SanMark practitioners together to help one another improve the design, implementation and evaluation of SanMark activities. This isn’t just about theory. We want to contribute to a peer-to-peer learning environment where practical lessons and experiences are shared.

To get things started, we plan to organise:
•    A series of field practitioner-focused webinars on Sanitation Marketing between September and December 2012.
•    A web-based platform where practitioners can share their field experiences, assist each other with key challenges, get help from the ‘experts’, access key resources, and debate and discuss the issues we face.
•    Support three hands-on training workshops on Sanitation Marketing with leading practitioners and experts in key regional locations (South East Asia in February 2013, Sub-Saharan Africa in March 2013 and the Pacific in April 2013).
•    Conduct a wrap-up workshop in Australia on what we have learnt in May 2013.

We hope that what emerges is a strong network of practitioners and a platform for discussion about what is working and what is not.

Let’s get started!

To get the ball rolling, we are conducting a practitioner needs survey to better understand what you want to learn, and what learning tools and peer training opportunities will be most useful and relevant to your work.

**Please take a moment to fill in the survey below. It should only take about 5 minutes to complete**

Here is a link to the survey:

We will be collecting your responses to the survey between 6th – 22nd August 2012.

Thanks for your participation.  Your response will help shape the Community of Practice. Please feel free to pass this message on to your colleagues – especially those who are working at field level. And watch this space for more news about how to get involved!

About Us:
The WASH Reference Group is an Australian-based community of practice comprising 25 organisations working on water, sanitation and hygiene promotion in developing countries, including NGOs, research organisations and the Australian water industry. The Sanitation Marketing Community of Practice is a WASH Reference Group initiative supported by the AusAid Innovations Fund and managed by WaterAid Australia.

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