Published on: 09/06/2015
Read the reflections and highlights on the session "Influencing decision makers - Finance, equity, institutional leadership" convened by IRC and partners.
Influencing decision-makers to increase sanitation prioritisation, put institutional leadership in place, effectively finance and ensure equitable service delivery is critical at the dawn of the SDGs as most countries, especially in Africa have missed the MDG target for sanitation. Session 4 of the 4th Africa Sanitation Conference held in Dakar, Senegal from May 25-27, 2015, shared and reflected on a range of advocacy approaches and it impact on decision makers.
Convened by IRC and partners under the theme, Influencing decision makers - Finance, equity, institutional leadership, session 4 highlighted initiatives from influencers and advocates; and engaged advocacy targets and civil society in an interactive panel and round table discussions.
The stakeholders agreed that the current advocacy approaches and messages are relevant but need to be further sharpened, strategically targeted across the decision chain, and geared towards building strategic alliances and partnerships with critical role for CSOs. The key messages that came out of the session included the following:
Members of the panel contended that no one single advocacy approach is preferable but a combination of integrated approaches from both local and international fronts. They called on advocates to create alliances, design and harmonise approaches to complement and build on existing approaches and tools.
They also posited that advocacy tools should be accessible, simple, clear and visual and available in local languages. They further suggested that advocates should support citizen’s voices to hold government decision makers accountable to their constituents; and that social accountability is a critical accountability and advocacy mechanism.
The round table discussions emphasized on inclusive targeting of messages; building the capacity of CSOs as anchors of the massages; and linking up target groups with agencies that are able to support the implementation of these decisions.
More than 100 organisations and governments are using elements of the life-cycle costing and still counting as a result of a successful evidence-based advocacy. Sharing on WASHCost evidence based advocacy, Dr. Catarina Fonseca of IRC outlined the five key factors that were responsible for influencing stakeholders to act on the costing of sustainable service delivery in Ghana, Mozambique, Burkina Faso and India (Andhra Pradesh).
These factors included:
Other tools and approaches were distilled with critical examination of the issues to determine what could be done better and differently to improve the current level of advocacy influence for increased prioritisation and impact.
Alana Potter of IRC, the session chair earlier on gave an overview of the three-fold session. Tim Brewer of WaterAid set the scene with live demonstration of the WASH Watch scores on sanitation prioritisation, institutional leadership and finance; Amanda Marlin of WSSCC presented on the key ingredients of success in SWA global advocacy for finance – targeting high level decision maker; and Sophie Hickling of WSP presented on the key ingredients for successful impact from evidence-based advocacy on ESI.
The session, convened by IRC, Gates Foundation, WSSCC and WSUP had the objective of distilling the key lessons and ingredients of success from different approaches to influencing decision-makers to increase sanitation prioritisation, put institutional leadership in place, effectively finance and ensure equitable services delivery.
The 4th Africa Sanitation Conference (AfricaSan 4) under the theme, “Making Sanitation for All a Reality in Africa” was held in Dakar, Senegal from May 25 - 27 2015. The overall objective was to assist African countries achieve universal access to improved sanitation and adoption of good hygiene behaviours, to improve service management across the whole value chain, eliminate open defecation and help all Africans up the sanitation ladder.
“AfricaSan4 did achieve its objective to a larger extent – it successfully launched the new pan-African, ministerial endorsed commitments; provided country peer support; tracked progress; promoted a stronger evidence-base and learning exchanges; and also advocated for improved sanitation and hygiene in Africa” - Kwabena Gyasi-Duku (MWRWH, Ghana/AMCOW)
Convened by the Government of Senegal with technical support from AMCOW and the AfricaSan International Task Force, the conference attracted a host of Africa Sanitation Ministers and over 1000 (1147) participants from government agencies, civil society, donors and development banks, multilaterals, research organizations and the private sector.