How to get involved

How can CSOs get involved?

There are many ways in which CSOs can engage with the SWA Partnership at both the global and national levels:

Firstly, find out if your country is a member of the Sanitation and Water for All Partnership here.

If your country is not a member of the Partnership and you think that it should be, please contact the SWA CSO Advisor - Heloise Chicou to discuss this further and find out more.

If your country is a member of the SWA Partnership, you can engage by:

1. Taking part in the country-level commitments preparation process:  Prior to the biennial Water and Sanitation Ministers' Meetings, country commitments are developed through multi-stakeholder dialogue at the national level. During this dialogue, all sector stakeholders are brought together to jointly review bottlenecks to reaching everyone with water and sanitation services, prepare coordinated plans and budgets to tackle these bottlenecks and prepare commitments for the next two years. This dialogue is a major opportunity for CSOs to influence and shape governments’ WASH commitments and plans.

  • Get involved by finding out if your country has a national focal point.  These focal points will already be engaged in the national process and can help you to get involved. You can also use the map below to see the ways in which CSOs are already engaging in SWA and find out the details of the nominated CSO focal points.
  • If your country is a member of the SWA Partnership but does not have a CSO focal point, there will still be a government focal point and a development partner focal point. Introduce yourself to them and maintain regular communication to make sure civil society voices are heard in the multi-stakeholder dialogues. Contact the SWA CSO Advisor for more information.

2. High Level Meetings: In addition to participating in the dialogue during the preparatory phase for the biennial Water and Sanitation Ministers' Meetings, the civil society constituency is represented at the meetings themselves by nominated representatives.  These representatives speak on behalf of the whole constituency (not their individual organisation/network or country) and voice key messages prepared in advance through consultations coordinated by CSO Focal Points at national and regional levels. You can get involved by taking part in these consultation processes to ensure your organisation’s voice is heard.

The first Water and Sanitation Ministers' Meeting will take place in Addis Ababa in March 2016. If you would like to be kept up to date with upcoming consultation processes and other SWA news, please contact the SWA CSO Advisor to be added to the SWA CSO Google Group or contact your regional SWA CSO representative.

3. Tracking and monitoring of commitments: Tracking of commitments to check that they are being implemented and holding governments to account for this is a key role for CSOs in the Partnership. It is crucial that the decision makers attending the High Level Water and Sanitation Ministers' Meetings do not make empty promises, but that they keep these promises to actually improve services for the citizens that they are accountable to. There are a number of ways in which CSOs can take part in this including:

  • Taking part in Annual Joint Sector Reviews and regular WASH Sector Meetings to ensure that SWA processes and commitments are embedded in national level review mechanisms.
  • Planning and implementing campaigns to raise awareness of commitments made and keep up pressure on decision makers to keep them. Mobilise communities, the media and the public at large in your country to hold your government to account on their WASH commitments.
  • Taking part in any national SWA dialogues and interacting with governments and development partners to monitor the HLM commitments. It is recommended by SWA that the monitoring process is led by the government and is as inclusive as possible bringing in all relevant Ministries (especially the Finance Ministry), development partners, donors and civil society networks. If the monitoring process is not as inclusive as you think it should be, lobby your government and any key development partners in your country to call on them to include civil society in this process.
  • Keep the pressure on your government to deliver on their SWA commitments by developing and using your false. Use this briefing to remind decision makers of the commitments that they have made and call on them to step up efforts to achieving these. Distribute this briefing in any meetings with politicians and parliamentarians, and at national level meetings such as Joint Sector Reviews.
  • Monitor and review your government's SWA and other major WASH commitments by updating and using WASH
  • Where possible, carry out budget tracking of your national and sector budgets to check if financial commitments are being kept and engage your decision makers in discussions about stepping up efforts to achieve these.
  • Link up with the your regional WASH Network - ANEW (for Africa), FANSA (for South Asia), EWP (Global), MWA (Global) - to find out more about SWA opportunities and events.
  • Design and implement a WASH Campaign, inspired by the EWP Election Toolkit, to hold your leaders to account for their commitments during crucial election times. 

4. Partnership Meetings: Take part in and/or engage in consultations ahead of the SWA Partnership Meetings.

There will be many opportunities to engage with the SWA Partnership between now and the next SWA High Level Meeting in 2017 so please do join our Google Group for regular updates. Email the SWA CSO Advisor to join now!