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Published on: 26/02/2019

A WASH systems symposium? Yes

Explain? Well it's a conference about systems

Why not just call it a conference? Because systems symposium sounds better, its alliterative

Hmm. If you say so. Look, let's just move on.

OK, fine. Systems, so is that about technology and pipes and big engineering? I'm glad you asked, because no, it isn't, not in this context.

Right, well what is it about then? Well a system is everything required to make Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) safe and sustainable. IRC says that there are 9 building blocks that are needed in order to create a functioning system.

A building block? Are we building things now? No. Stop being so literal. You can call it a building block, or a window, or elements, and there might be 9 or 8 or 5 depending on who you're talking to.

Sounds like everyone has a different definition. Well, yes and no. There is broad agreement on what is needed to provide universal access, but how you define the things that are required is where there is some difference.

So why are we hosting a conference about this? If everyone is in broad agreement, can't we just let them get on with it? The point of the SYMPOSIUM...

Fine, sorry, symposium. Yes, the point of the symposium is to offer the opportunity for those working in systems approaches to share knowledge with other practitioners and wider with those who might be interested in the approach but who don't know enough about how to start implementing it.

Hmm, so who's invited? Well, its #notjust4nerds, there are a huge number of actors coming, from donors including bi-laterals, multi-laterals and foundations to NGOs, local and national governments, academics, private sector, country ministers, mayors and commissioners

Oh, ok, and is it all going to be death by PowerPoint for days in a dark conference room? No! There will be expert presenters from both the WASH sector and beyond in short plenary slots and then there are side sessions in five different themes exploring lessons and challenges from a large number of countries and contexts. Plus we have some gaming and interactive sessions to keep things moving. 

Well now it's sounding a bit more interesting. A bit!?

OK, OK, a lot. So how do I find out more? Well, you can see the programme overview. And don't forget to register, the symposium takes place from the 12-14 March 2019

Do say: Tell me more about your building blocks

Don't say: System, isn't that the top part of a toilet?

Join us in making strong WASH systems a reality. Register for All systems go!


At IRC we have strong opinions and we value honest and frank discussion, so you won't be surprised to hear that not all the opinions on this site represent our official policy.

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