Simavi has a twofold aim for its advocacy efforts in the field of WASH: 1) we lobby for better targeted and sustainable financing for WASH, 2) we advocate the inclusion of WASH in schools and health centres in the post-2015 development agenda.
Better targeted and sustainable financing for WASH
57% of donor commitments go towards large systems for water supply and sanitation (OECD, 2014). Much WASH aid remains in the capital or other cities, sometimes because WASH service delivery is used for electoral reasons. Communities in rural areas are often neglected. Harmonisation of donor countries is important to ensure sustainable financing streams towards less developed countries and effective development cooperation.
Inclusion of WASH in schools and health centres in the post-2015 development agenda
Within the United Nations, countries are negotiating the follow-up to the Millennium Development Goals, which will finish at the end of 2015. They will be followed by the Sustainable Development Goals, which will form an important global policy framework until 2030. The Open Working Group has proposed a separate goal for water and sanitation (goal 6), but without WASH in schools and health centres. Since these facilities are an important step towards basic health for all, we are advocating for the inclusion of these facilities in the post-2015 development agenda.
Simavi advocates for vulnerable communities to receive access to water, sanitation and hygiene services. We do this at three levels: the first, and most important, is at local and national level. For example, through budget tracking or citizen report cards we enable local communities to raise their voices towards the authorities responsible for delivering WASH services.
The second level is global. Simavi is an active member of End Water Poverty, a global campaigning coalition of 270 CSOs working to end the water and sanitation crisis. Simavi plays an active role in the task teams about Europe and the Sustainable Development Goals. Simavi is also the CSO focal point for Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) in the Netherlands. SWA is an influential global partnership working towards universal access to WASH. It has over 90 partners including developing countries, donors, CSOs, research and learning institutions, and sector partners. They work together to increase political prioritisation of WASH at global level and to strengthen national government-led planning processes.
The third level is advocacy in the Netherlands. Simavi has regular meetings with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs to keep the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation accountable for her SWA commitments. Through our chairmanship of the policy-working group of the NGO-platform within the Netherlands Water Partnership, we advocate for better targeting and sustainable financing for WASH in the national parliament.