Day 2 - Looking back on an inspiring WASH Futures Conference 2016


Blog

From 16 to 20 May, SNV attended the international WASH Futures Conference 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. The conference focused on pathways to universal and sustained water, sanitation & hygiene. Read our advisors blogs below to get an idea of all that was discussed and concluded during the Futures conference.

Blog day 2

The second day of the WASH Futures 2016 Conference was as interesting and challenging as the previous one. Mr. Bruce Gordon (WHO) started by reminding us that the core of the SDG’s is Safely Managed WASH. This means that the way countries approach the WASH challenge will have to be reframed to meet the new criteria and indicators. The progress achieved with the MDGs is indisputable… but nonetheless, in the SDG’s context, these achievements will appear less substantial since the focus shifted. Among the points our attention was drawn to, was the many faces of inequality. For instance, whereas in the MDGs, richer populations often benefited most (and thus inequality has widen), in the SDGs countries are encouraged to target disadvantaged groups from day 1, to incrementally reduce the gaps. The second presentation, by Pak Nugroho, (National Development Planning Board – Bappenas) of Indonesia, described the process Indonesia went through in its strive to meet the MDGs. Having reach 67.14% sanitation coverage (in the first quarter of 2015), the country is now preparing to reach 100% coverage by 2015. Demand driven programmes, increased public expenditure and political commitment at national and district level were key for this success.

After the plenary session, the parallel sessions begun. 21 presentations were delivered, around 6 themes, as follows:

  • Data for Equity and Sustainability
  • Partnerships and the private sector (Potential of the informal WASH enterprises and the usefulness of systems mapping as a tool to identify them / Private water enterprises in Vietnam and the challenges of poor people to connect / Sanitation Business models in peri-urban and informal settlements in Melanesia)
  • Sustaining Access to Rural Water Supply
  • Strengthening WASH practices in Schools
  • Integrating WASH and Nutrition
  • WASH and Water Security in a Changing Climate

The afternoon period was also rich in presentations and debates, with 23 presentation delivered, for the following themes:

  • Building sector capacity
  • Urban Faecal Sludge Management, where SNV presented its experience with Regular Desludging programmes in Lampung, Indonesia; WB & WEDC presented a research on faecal sludge management in 5 cities across 3 continents, using a diagnosis tool for urban sanitation that supports projects design; and Practical Action explained the challenges and opportunities for Public-private Partnerships in the context of Bangladesh
  • Rural Sanitation at scale
  • Menstrual Hygiene in Schools
  • WASH in the Pacific: situation and trends
  • Integration challenges: monitoring emergencies and water quality

A brief summary of all the themes addressed in the parallel sessions was presented in plenary. Key stakeholders, from national Governments, NGOs and Students Community shared their insights, highlighting the importance of this type of event for sector coordination and learning and to discuss constraints and opportunities in achieving the SDGs.

 

Recordings of all the presentations and the key notes from the conference will be made available online at http://watercentre.org/services/events/wash2016.

Expert

Gabrielle Halcrow

Multi-country programme manager, Beyond the Finish Line