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IRC WASH, on behalf of the USAID Transform WASH Consortium, took over providing the secretariat for the national 'Sanitation Marketing Multi-stakeholder Platform (MSP)' from the World Bank's WSP in June 2017. This is a key opportunity to support the government and the wider sector in developing WASH markets.

With sanitation marketing interventions still at an early stage in the Ethiopian WASH sector, there is a real need to share information and experiences and use evidence about what works best to improve programming. The national Sanitation Marketing Multi-Stakeholder Platform (MSP) brings relevant actors together and creates a space for discussion and dialogue around how market-based solutions can improve sanitation. The platform is working to build the capacity of sanitation value chain actors, create an enabling business environment, and promote effective coordination at national, regional and woreda levels.

Established by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Federal Micro and Small Enterprise Development Agency (FeMSEDA) /now the Safety Net and Job Creation Agency/, the platform is supported by a secretariat. For the past 3 years, during which time the platform has steadily grown and developed its activities, the secretariat has been provided by World Bank's Water and Sanitation Program (WSP). The World Bank continue to support the government's Sanitation Marketing Business Development Initiative but have now handed over the secretariat role. Under the USAID Transform WASH activity, where IRC is leading learning and knowledge management activities, the secretariat role has been taken up by IRC with effect from June 2017. IRC also takes on the regular production of the Sani-mark newsletter which is produced by the platform to share articles on progress in sanitation marketing. This will continue to be published in two languages, English and Amharic.

The contact for the Sanitation Marketing MSP at IRC is Atnafe Beyene who will use his experience and wisdom to take forwards the activities of the platform. "IRC will try and do an equally good job as the Bank", says Atnafe, Sanitation and Hygiene Adviser at IRC. Some of the ideas he wants to support include enhancing private participation in the platform and getting the regions further involved as their sanitation marketing activities develop.

The next meeting is expected to be held in September 2017. Contact Mr. Atnafe by email or call him on +2519123144.