Ronald Kubasu, WASH Advisor in Kenya, shares some key highlights from the Asia Regional Learning Event where participants from seven countries (Cambodia, Bhutan, Nepal, Indonesia, Vietnam, Uganda, and Kenya) and global guests (IRC, SNV) have come together to share experiences regarding sustainable sanitation services.
On day two of the Asia Regional Learning Event "Thinking beyond the finish line: Sustainable sanitation services for all" the participants went on field visits to the various sites where SNV in Cambodia is implementing sanitation interventions. The participants were divided into four teams that visited different districts in Cambodia with each group focussing on separate assignments. The field visit exercise provided additional insights into the promising approaches SNV employs in the implementation of the Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All programme in Cambodia. This also enabled the participants from other counties to learn and appreciate the context under which the programme is being implemented. Particularly impressive was the high level of commitment demonstrated by the officials of the Ministry for Rural Development (MRD) of the Cambodian government that is responsible for rural sanitation.
One of the groups had the opportunity to visit the Kong Pisey district in the Kampong Speu province, which is one of the ten districts that are piloting the Sanitation Decentralization process. The decentralization programme and support is a pilot intervention that is steered by the World Bank Water and Sanitation Programme (WSP) in collaboration with the MRD, the National Committee for Sub-National Democratic Development (NCDD), the Ministry of Finance and SNV (responsible for Technical Assistance (TA) to the programme).
The participants got to understand and internalize the decentralization for sanitation service delivery and the progress that has been achieved in the ongoing piloting process. Although it is still in its initial phases, decentralization of sanitation service delivery to the sub-national level governments at the district and commune levels seem to be yielding some positive results in the communities. There is a high sense of ownership and renewed commitment by the leadership at both the District Sanitation Committees and the Commune Steering Committees.
The field visit also provided an opportunity for the SNV Cambodia team to learn from the experiences from participants from other counties, which formed a crucial part in helping improve on the implementation of their sanitation programmes. Officials of the hosting districts also learned from and were inspired by the visiting teams. Each group's reports where then presented and discussed during a plenary session that also included WSP, WSSCC and MRD representatives.
See also the blog post of day 1 of the Asia Regional Learning Event.