In September 2013 the Dutch WASH Alliance started with a new learning concept: the learning trajectory. A journey with 17 motivated Alliance partners to work, experiment and innovate towards the future of WASH. So how does this future look like? A future with sustainable approaches that offer water and sanitation for all! To find the right path towards this future the Learning trajectory tries to answer questions like: What are the best inclusive business models in WASH? How does a sustainable public private partnership look like? What is the future role of NGOs? How do we reach 10 million people with our sanitation programme instead of 10.000? And if we do so, who will build 2 or 3 million toilets?
By exploring the answers to these questions we aspire to find the secrets of successes and experiments with system approaches that enable to reach scale. ..do more with less. We aim to explore these issues jointly and develop ideas, concepts, and inclusive business ideas that are useful for all WASH members, so that we can help to make the Dutch WASH alliance future proof.
Last summer 17 motivated participants from Nepal, Bangladesh, Ghana and Ethiopia were selected and together with program coaches, content coaches and experts they embark on the quest for new ways to develop inclusive business models and reach scale within their projects.
At the moment we’ve just closed the first chapter: The DESIGN phase. Which was all about getting to know each other, each others work and its challenges &opportunities and to create a common ground about topics like scale, system change, public private partnerships, inclusive business models and so on. With a grand finale offline meeting in Ethiopia, where besides some extracurricular activities like soccer we looked into the different approaches (maturity line, diamond approach, shifting role of NGOs, inclusive business models) and how these relate to the projects WASH is involved with. This made us ready for the next step: the SEARCH phase. A period where we will assess all relevant knowledge and learning’s on the theme. This way we can innovate based on the most recent developments in the field, avoid pitfalls (discovered by others) and identify key success factors.
Becoming knowledgeable experts on the theme is vital to continue to the next Co-Creation phase where we will develop a new product based on all the newly acquired knowledge and the challenges we face in the field.
Jasmijn Besorak – coordinator Learning Trajectory