Systems strengthening as the next gamechanger for sanitation

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  • paresh
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  • Budding WASH researcher, especially interested in governance, public policy, finance, politics and social justice. Architect, Urban & Regional planner by training, Ex. C-WAS, India.I am a patient person :)
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Re: Systems strengthening as the next gamechanger for sanitation

Sharing this related piece by Hannah Crichton-Smith, a senior advisor at Water Aid. The piece focuses on the organisation's work in strengthening systems, which can help understand the meaning of the term 'systems thinking', the use of which is very nebulous in my understanding.  The work the author highlights are 
  • Analysing barriers 
  • working in partnerships with local stakeholders 
  • demonstrating models that can be replicated 
  • Strengthening institutions 
  • empowering communities 
  • advocating and campaigning
  • Continuous learning and adaptation 
From the piece, I understand that "systems thinking" refers to a comprehensive understanding of the complexities involved in providing WASH services to everyone. Rather than viewing the issue in isolation or focusing solely on specific aspects like infrastructure, systems thinking involves considering the interconnected factors, including policy and governance, financial resources, infrastructure development, cultural norms, community involvement, and climate resilience influence the availability, accessibility, and sustainability of WASH services. 
It involves recognizing that the provision of WASH services consists of many components, including policy and governance, financial resources, infrastructure development, cultural norms, community involvement, and climate resilience. Systems thinking acknowledges that these components are interconnected and that changes in one area can affect the entire system. It also recognises the dynamic nature of the problem and solutions need to adapt to the changing circumstances. That is,  systems thinking involves understanding the entire ecosystem of factors that contribute to or hinder the provision of WASH services and working holistically to address them to achieve sustainable and universal access to services.

Please feel free to populate this thread with articles and/or your experience/ opinion that make the term 'systems' less nebulous.

Regards
paresh
Paresh Chhajed-Picha
Researcher at Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay, India
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  • ElaineMercer
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  • Communications and Networking Officer for the Sanitation Learning Hub, Institute of Development Studies, in the UK.
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Systems strengthening as the next gamechanger for sanitation

Hi all, 

Systems strengthening is essential to sanitation progress.

In her blog ' Systems strengthening as the next gamechanger for sanitation ', Ann Thomas (UNICEF) presents key areas to build on:

💡Innovative sanitation policy
📣Leveraging collective action
✍️Monitoring indirect results
🌦️Climate-resilient sanitation

Have a read and share your thoughts on the issue!

Many thanks
Elaine 
Elaine Mercer
Communications and Networking Officer
The Sanitation Learning Hub
The Institute of Development Studies
sanitationlearninghub.org/

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