“Accountability for Sustainability” in the Asia-Pacific region

Two members of the “Accountability for Sustainability” team at SIWI supported the UNICEF training workshop on the Enabling Environment for WASH organised in March 2016 in Bangkok. UNICEF WASH professionals from Country Offices in Asia and the Pacific learnt about core WASH governance functions, including regulation and accountability, and how to strengthen government’s capacity to create the enabling environment for service delivery.

This programme is a partnership with Unicef

Strong national enabling environments for WASH are critical for services to deliver reliable and lasting results. The overall social, cultural, demographic, economic and policy environment external to the sector can facilitate or hinder access to services. But these areas are typically beyond immediate influence of WASH national and international actors. Instead, actions to support the enabling environment for sustainable WASH services should target the governance environment itself for intervention, aiming at the range of functions that support and encourage actors in the sector to take actions and generate country ownership. The Accountability for Sustainability team summarized these ideas in a Conceptual Framework that forms the basis of a series of trainings of UNICEF WASH professionals.

SIWI was invited to take an active part in the two trainings already organised. After Dakar in September 2015, a second workshop was held in Bangkok in March 2016. This time, the workshop addressed 12 professionals from 8 different UNICEF Country Offices of the Asia-Pacific region.

In the session on Accountability and Regulation, participants were provided with opportunities to challenge their assumptions on WASH actors and functions and their entanglements within the service delivery framework. The content component of the module (based on the Accountability for Sustainability Concept Note) was applied and lively discussed in problem-solving activities where participants could explore the resources and solutions available in the Reference Guide for Programming .

Several participants showed interest in the support made available to them through the “Accountability for Sustainability” partnership between SIWI and UNICEF.