The second High Level Meeting of the Sanitation and Water for All partnership, which took place in April 2012, provided a valuable opportunity for learning about government decision-making with respect to WaSH. The SWA High Level Meetings are gatherings of Finance Ministers (sometimes represented by senior civil servants – Permanent Secretaries, Directors etc), with Ministers of Development Cooperation. The partnership thus provides an opportunity to engage with high-level decision makers; in the case of senior civil servants, those who are seeking to raise the political profile of water, sanitation and hygiene within their governments, to ensure adequate financing of the sector, and to bring about concrete results on the ground.
In 2013, the Water Institute and UNC’s Global Research Institute hosted civil servants from the Ministry of Finance in six African countries (Nigeria, The Gambia, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Liberia and South Sudan) to learn about WaSH decision making, particularly in Ministries of Finance. Our work with these government staffers helped to identify a perceived weakness of the WaSH sector as a hurdle to securing investment, particularly in regards to fragmentation, a lack of descriptive data, weak adsorptive capacity, a poor record of sustainability, and inability to track and demonstrate progress.
The meeting was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It provided insights into decision making within Finance Ministries that are already being made use of within the SWA partnership. The results of the meeting are summarized in a policy brief, which was designed specifically for submission to the Sanitation and Water for All Steering Committee.
Water Institute And Affiliated Researchers
Jamie Bartram – Principal Investigator
Clarissa Brocklehurst, UNC CGI Fellow – Project Lead
Mike Fisher – Post-doctoral Researcher