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Research and learning are set to become important elements in national planning and monitoring of sanitation and water services. That is, at least, the aim of the Research and Learning (R&L) constituency of the Sanitation and Water for All global partnership (SWA), which meets face-to-face for the first time at the SWA Partnership Meeting in South Africa.

Research and learning are set to become important elements in national planning and monitoring of sanitation and water services. That is, at least, the aim of the Research and Learning (R&L) constituency of the Sanitation and Water for All global partnership (SWA).

The R&L constituency will meet face-to-face for the first time at the SWA Partnership Meeting, which takes place from 12-14 November 2012 in South Africa [1]. The constituency includes ten international knowledge and research institutes [2]. Erma Uytewaal of the IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre represents the R&L constituency on the SWA steering committee.

Constituency members have submitted suggestions on how research and learning could assist SWA activities in political dialogue, country support and sector monitoring [3]. IRC recently published a framework for WASH sector learning [4].

One suggested approach is to use social network analysis and political economy analysis for providing evidence towards how SWA targets its interventions. Another is to analyse and learn from Chinese, Indian and Brazilian experiences in expanding access to water, sanitation and hygiene.

The R&L Constituency would also like to support countries get access to specialist knowledge and tools on sector monitoring. This is in line with initiatives like the JMP Post-2015 global monitoring working groups [4] and the 2013 IRC Symposium on monitoring [6].

After their meeting, the R&L Constituency expect to have agreed on a common agenda and a first list of activities that they can propose to the SWA steering committee.

[1] SWA Partnership Meeting: www.sanitationandwaterforall.org/partnershipmeeting.html

[2] See the SWA partners page: www.sanitationandwaterforall.org/partners.html

[3] Preparatory note for the SWA-R&L constituency meeting, 14 Nov 2012. Available at: <http://www.irc.nl/page/75423>

[4] IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre, The Hague, NL, 2012. WASH sector learning : continuous improvement for services that last. [online] The Hague, The Netherlands: IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre.  Available at: <http://www.irc.nl/page/75135

[5] JMP - Post 2015 Monitoring:  www.wssinfo.org/post-2015-monitoring

[6] IRC Symposium 2013: Monitoring Sustainable WASH Service Delivery: www.irc.nl/page/72969

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