Marvelous news! Today was announced that former Dutch minister of development, Lilianne Ploumen, is awarded the Machiavelli prize for SheDecides, a by her initiated movement. A well-deserved winner, we agee. SheDecides initiative helps women in developing countries who cannot provide in their need of birth control. The sudden stop on financing organisations that provide them with anticonception, access to safe abortions or sexual education was caused by reinstating the Global Gag Rule under president Trump. This US decision, would contribute to the big increase in unwanted and unsafe pregnancies and maternal mortality in the coming three years.
Access to affordable water is a human right. There has been increasing discussions about Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) since it was adopted by world leaders two years ago, aiming to end all forms of poverty. From multinational corporations to small and medium-sized companies, everyone is talking about their initiatives in tackling global issues. You might wonder, what are the problems really?
Human Rights Day is celebrated annually across the world on 10 December every year. At Simavi, we are dedicated to achieving our vision – a healthy life for all. Therefore, we would like to share five aspects of human rights that we actively work to protect through our programmes.
On November 23, Simavi’s WASH programme officer, Selma Hilgersom, will be attending The International Society for Neglected Tropical Diseases conference (ISNTD Water 2017) in London. She is there on behalf of Sightsavers and Simavi to give a joint presentation focusing on innovative approaches to preventing neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), specifically trachoma. Selma gives a sneak preview of her presentation.
Have you ever thought about how many times you have to go to the toilet in a day? Probably not, as it is just like all other basic instincts: when you are hungry, you eat; when you are thirsty, you fetch for water; and when nature calls, you go to the toilet. Simple as that. However, the truth is that 2.4 billion people in the world – one in three – do not have a decent toilet. Actually, more people have a mobile phone than a toilet.
At Simavi, taking responsibility for demonstrating the impact of our work has always been one of the main drivers to achieve our goal: a healthy life for all. In the past few years, we have developed a comprehensive theory of change as the ultimate principle to ensure that we empower behavioural change widely and effectively. But in practice, how do we measure the effectiveness of our work? This is where evidence informed programming comes in.
From October 16-20, the 2017 Water and Health Conference takes place at Chapel Hill in the United States. The conference, organised by The Water Institute at UNC, considers drinking water supply, sanitation, hygiene and water resources in both the developing and developed worlds with a strong public health emphasis. Simavi is present to share our expertise and experience.
Journalist Paula Kragten is founder of and driving force behind Period, the online magazine about the menstrual cycle. She is author of the book ‘Beautiful red is not ugly’ and co-host of the Bloody Sunday Afternoon on October 8, as part of the Sustainable Week Utrecht. Simavi asked her three questions. Bottom line: why is menstrual awareness important in the Netherlands?
As the Trump administration continues to impose drastic cuts in funding for reproductive health programmes and family planning, the support for populist movements continues to grow around the world. This political shift is particularly worrying for the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) community as populism prioritises national self-interest over international cooperation and development aid. Simavi believes this will undermine the achievements (and attainment) of the Sustainable Development Goals, influence decisions taken at UN level and impact future funding.
Susanne Shatanawi is programme officer WASH at Simavi and responsible for managing WASH programmes in Indonesia and Nepal. She is an expert on technical and social aspects of WASH with a focus on strengthening the capacity of local stakeholders and community empowerment. She visited Stockholm World Water Week to give a poster presentation about wastewater treatment plants in Nepal.
Together with IRC, Water.org and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Simavi developed a position paper on how to finance WASH and reducing inequities. How much do you know about solutions that can increase funds for the WASH sector, while at the same time reduce inequities? Test your knowledge with IRC’s fun quiz.
Simavi’s Senior WASH programme officer, Tim Sutton, will be attending the World Water Week in Stockholm. The annual event is hosted by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), and the theme this year is “Water and Waste - Reduce and Reuse”. In a series of two blogs we will capture his expectations, views and reflections before and after the event.
Sanne Thijssen is the Sexual and Reproductive and Health Rights (SRHR) Youth ambassador of the Netherlands. Since September 2016, she is raising the voice of youth, to ensure better access to SRHR information and services. We talked to Sanne about her work and views.
We are delighted to announce that Simavi has been granted Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The ECOSOC grants special consultative status to CSOs like Simavi whose programmes are of direct relevance to the aims and purpose of the United Nations. Our new status grants us access to UN bodies and will allow us to engage decision-makers at the highest global level.
The 40th WEDC International Conference will take place on July 24 – 28 at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom. The WEDC is a comprehensive and interactive learning event that provides continued professional development for water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector professionals. This year’s theme is ‘Local Action with International Cooperation to Improve and Sustain Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Services’.
Simavi’s Programme Manager SRHR, Marlijn Lelieveld, and SRHR Public Affairs Officer, Morillio Williams, attended the 2017 High Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Developement in New York. On July 19 the HLPF 2017 came to an end. We reflect on this week with Marlijn and Morilllio.