From 6-9 May 2019, the Royal Government of Bhutan’s Ministry of Health will be hosting SNV’s first WASH learning event for the year 2019. Titled, WASH in Rural Health Care Facilities, this learning event is being organised as part of SNV’s Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All (SSH4A) Programme, which aims to improve rural population access to sanitation and hygiene, and is implemented in partnership with government agencies across Asia and Africa.
I call on people everywhere to support action for WASH in all health care facilities. This is essential to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.” – António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General
Fifty (50) participants working in rural sanitation and hygiene from Asia and Africa are expected to convene for the learning event. This event will facilitate in-depth discussions amongst SNV’s teams and government partners in Nepal, Bhutan, Lao PDR, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia, and professionals from development organisations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), WaterAid Australia and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).
Supported jointly by the Australian Government (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, DFAT) as part of its Water for Women Fund, the United Kingdom (Department for International Development, DFID), and SNV – the learning event’s objectives are to:
- Learn from different health care and WASH sector organisation contexts, and ongoing initiatives in improving WASH in health care facilities (HCFs).
- Exchange ideas and deepen understanding of the opportunities and priorities to improve WASH in HCFs from intermediate levels, as well as the different roles involved in realising these.
- Develop strategies to contribute to ongoing quality improvement processes in HCFs from a WASH perspective.
- Start thinking about area-wide integrated waste management/ waste streams and how these link to WASH in HCFs.
This four-day face-to-face learning event will comprise of a mix of lectures, group work and break-out sessions, and a field trip that will bring the subject of WASH in HCFs – in the Bhutan context – closer to participants. Throughout, participants will also reflect on the key points arising from a three-week e-group discussion on rural sanitation moderated by SNV.
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 Learning events are integral features in the learning and adaptive programming cycles of SNV. Through joined-up thinking and an inter-disciplinary process of exchange and dialogue, learning events do not only ensure that our work remains relevant to changing times and contexts, these activities also widen the scope for multi-stakeholder influencing of and buy in to our approaches.
 The April 2018 and May 2017 learning events, held in Ethiopia and Indonesia respectively, precede the Bhutan learning event. Participants during the April 2018 learning event discussed scale, sustainability and new frontiers in rural sanitation and hygiene in the context of the SDGs. During the May 2017 learning event, participants honed in on the question of universal access (and who comprise the last mile). Read staff account of their participation during the Ethopia learning event's field trip, and key highlights of the discussion during the Indonesia event.
On banner photo: During a world cafe session, SNV staff and partners in government and development organisations explored various best practices in scaling up rural sanitation approaches, in the context of Tanzania (SNV learning event 2018, Catching the SDGs: scale, sustainability and new frontiers in rural sanitation and hygiene, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia).