The WASH Alliance comes together


From the first till the fifth of October 2012 the Country Coordinator Workshop Week took place here in the Netherlands. Country Coordinators from Bangladesh, Benin, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Nepal and Uganda flew in to share their experiences with each other and with other people involved in the work of the WASH Alliance. It was a week full of discussions, presentations, Dutch traditional games and team building.

The week started in Driebergen with a focus on the Multi-Stakeholder Approach (MSA). This approach was introduced in last years’ workshop week. The Country Coordinators started with sharing successes and challenges of both the Country Alliances and using a MSA. Many Country Alliances were officially launched in their countries over the last year by organizing events where the work of the alliance was presented. Next to that, a lot of joint activities have been organized to strategize and harmonize the work of the alliance partners. Still there are some challenges identified. In many countries it is troublesome to work with the many alliance partners due to time restrains and trust issues. Others indicated it was difficult to work with all stakeholders involved in the WASH sector, like the government or the private sector.

Prosper Sapathy, Straton Habyalimana and Hanny Maas
Prosper Sapathy, Straton Habyalimana and Hanny Maas

During the week these -and other- challenges were addressed by sharing best practices of other Country Coordinators, but also by discussions with the Country Leads, Thematic Partners and the WASH Secretariat. For instance Valentin Post of WASTE came by to share his experiences with the FINISH project, a Public-Private Partnership.

On Thursday the whole group moved to The Hague where PME was discussed. During lunch the Directors of the Dutch Alliance members were invited, so the Country Coordinators could have a conversation with them while enjoying a sandwich ‚Äòkroket‚Äô. In the evening there was room for drinks, a walking dinner and Dutch traditional games. Especially ‘koek happen’ and the ‚Äòsjoelbak‚Äô were very popular and instigated the competitiveness of the Country Coordinators.

'Koekhappen', an old Dutch game
‘Koekhappen’, an old Dutch game

The week ended in Haarlem where the communication strategy was presented, the question box was emptied and discussed and the plans on linking and learning were introduced.

It was a very informative week, where everyone had the chance to ask questions, share stories, get inspired, have fun, build trust and enjoy each other’s company.

Photos from the team week can be viewed here.

Margo Bakker, Intern Dutch WASH Alliance