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Published on: 25/04/2013

The platform is aimed at promoting regional WASH sector dialogue and learning through reflective sharing of ideas, experiences and best practices in the sector.

The platform will adopt the learning alliance approach to promote vibrant sector discourse at the local level, with the aim of contributing to the shared vision of a knowledge-driven sector that provides improved and sustainable WASH services delivery. It has been identified that one of the important ways to support change is to bring together people with a stake in the outcome and engage them in joint learning, planning and action. This is called a multi-stakeholder process and that is what the learning alliance concept intends to achieve.

The event at the Volta Region is being facilitated by the regional office of the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA), the government agency responsible for facilitating and regulating the rural water sector in Ghana, in collaboration with some sector organizations based in the region.

Speaking at the first multi-stakeholder meeting, Mr. Henry Ampah Johnson, chairman for the occasion and the Deputy Regional Director of CWSA-Volta Region, who delivered the welcome address on behalf of the Regional Director, expressed his personal excitement and that of the agency for the idea of setting up the platform in the region.

He said “CWSA being the agency responsible for facilitating and regulating rural water and sanitation delivery in Ghana, we are excited at the ‘birth’ of a WASH learning platform in the region which will, on regular basis bring together sector stakeholders to share innovations, lessons learnt and experiences, cross fertilize ideas for the betterment of service delivery in the region and the betterment of the sector as a whole”.

He observed that a lot of useful knowledge, innovations and products which could have caused positive changes in the WASH sector in the past had no conduits of reaching others because of poor coordination, collaboration and the lack of a learning platform to share and therefore these disappeared with the innovators on the completion of their projects.

He hoped all stakeholders will show commitments towards the establishment of the platform to help make it sustainable. He reiterated the total commitment of the CWSA to the platform and also requested other sector stakeholders who are not yet part to come onboard.

Mr. Ampah particularly acknowledged Triple-S, Plan Ghana, Environmental Health and Sanitation Department of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and Adsen Consult as forerunners, who initiated the process of forming this regional learning platform for WASH stakeholders in the region. He was grateful for their effort and urged them to keep up the good works for the betterment of the sector.

Mr. Abubakari Wumbei of the Resource Centre Network (RCN) Ghana, in a presentation, took participants through knowledge management, and the learning alliance approach. Participants were put in groups for group activities. One of such activities was to identify the strengths and weaknesses in the region for the learning platform and come up with a vision statement for the platform.

At the end of the session participants unanimously agreed that it was necessary for the establishment of a Learning Alliance platform in the Volta Region. They pledged their commitment and support to the formation and sustainability of the platform.

To show commitment to the process therefore, a 10-member core group, made up of representatives from different organisations, was nominated and inaugurated to coordinate and facilitate activities of the platform.  This committee will coordinate activities of the platform. They will meet on regular basis to take decisions on how to sustain activities.

It is the expectation that the process will eventually help bridge the gap between people at the regional level with responsibility for service provision and support on one hand and the national policy makers on the other. This will ensure that decisions and conclusions at the regional level will feed into general policy making at the national level. 

Compiled by:

Victor Narteh Otum

DCO- IRC Ghana

April 25, 2013.

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