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More than 64 participants joined a webinar last month on Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Local Government organised by the Civil Society Water Sanitation & Hygiene Fund. Topic of discussion was the leading role for local government in water and sanitation provision. Harold Lockwood, director of Aguaconsult, was one of the presenters.

Harold Lockwood, director of Aguaconsult and Mark Harper, Program Manager for the Welthungerhilfe presented a webinar on the topic Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Local Government Working Together for Sustainable WASH Services. More than 64 participants joined them online from around the globe, to learn and discuss the leading role for local government in water and sanitation provision. The webinar was the lead in to a week-long workshop sponsored by the Australian Aid agency DFAT in Zimbabwe for CSOs and local government staff, organised by the Civil Society Water Sanitation & Hygiene Fund.

Harold Lockwood explored some of the issues behind local level WASH governance and how this translates into improved provision of basic services. He introduced key concepts, common challenges, and stimulated discussion from the real-life experiences of field staff and managers of civil society organisations and local government personnel working daily in these contexts. Lockwood emphasized the need for civil society organisations to better align with local government as the mandated entities responsible for ensuring WASH services as a key step in supporting long-term capacity and eventually an exit strategy for external aid.

Mark Harper presented a case study from Zimbabwe on the Sustainable SERVICES for EVERYONE beyond the LIFETIME of the project at a FAIR price, or SELF project. In his daily life he witnessed how difficult it can be to make this theory practice. Zimbabwe suffered ten years of economic decline up to 2009 and since then there has been very slow recovery. The local government's ability to deliver services has decreased and consequently aid agencies including the UN, GIZ and CSOs have come in to support the rehabilitation of water, sanitation and hygiene delivery.

You can now watch the webinar recording with slides, and questions and answers following the two presentations in the link below.