Renaming and updating the WG7 in light of Agenda2030

  • CWendland
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Renaming and updating the WG7 in light of Agenda2030

Dear fans of sanitation in rural communities, WASH in schools and gender,

Belinda and I as WG leads, supported by Jan and Bella from GIZ, want to rename and update the WG7 in the light of the Agenda2030:
first to change the unattractive name (Community, rural, schools, gender) and second in order to better shape what the focus of the WG7 will be in the coming years.

New name proposed is: "Gender Equality and Sustainable WASH in Institutions"
Please see below or find attached the document explaining the new name and how it fits into the Agenda2030.

Please have a look and let us know if you agree: with the new name and with the document!
Please come also up with suggestions for WG activities that fit into this scope and you want to share or have in mind!

Enjoy reading and looking forward to hearing from you
best, Claudia



Sustainable WASH in Institutions and Gender Equality

Scope and Focus of SuSanA Working Group 7

FINAL DRAFT

1. Objectives
Working Group (WG) 7 has two goals:

a. To strengthen water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) in schools and other institutions within community structures.
To learn more about the work of WG 7 in the field of WASH in schools, see Factsheet 7a “Sustainable Sanitation for school” (2012, currently under revision).

b. The mainstreaming of gender into sanitation programmes and the involvement of men and women into sanitation projects.
To learn more about the work of WG 7 in the field of gender equality, see Factsheet 7b “Integrating a gender perspective in sustainable sanitation” (2012).


1.1. Why focus on WASH in institutions?
Basic WASH services in settings like schools, health care facilities and workplaces are critical to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets on education and health. Aligning the work of WG 7 with the SDGs, it is therefore a logical step for WG 7 to extend its focus to WASH in institutions (i.e. schools, healthcare facilities, workplaces, religious settings, prisons) with the goal of strengthening water, sanitation, and hygiene in schools and other institutions within community structures.
Doing so, WG 7 can build on its past activities in the area of WASH in schools, which as of now will remain the focus of its work. The Three Star Approach to WASH in Schools (UNICEF/GIZ 2013), for example, even though conceived and implemented long before the adoption of the Agenda 2030, addresses a number of SDGs and brings them to life in an integrated, yet simple framework.
In order to delve into other institutional settings, it is suggested that experts from the health sector are invited as observers to the next SuSanA meetings (SuSanA Anniversary, WG Meeting Minutes, 01/2017).


1.2. Why focus on gender equality?
Taking gender aspects into account is essential for sustainable sanitation and hygiene. Targets 6.1. and 6.2 (“equitable access”, “equitable sanitation and hygiene”) are prerequisites for wider improvements in gender equality (SDG 5). In turn, gender inequality becomes particularly apparent when looking at water, sanitation and hygiene issues in developing countries.
The provision of hygiene and sanitation is often considered a woman’s task. Women’s hygienic needs are often silenced or ignored: menstruation, for instance, is considered a taboo in many societies, resulting in insufficient menstrual hygiene management (MHM). Moreover, women are non- or at best underrepresented in decision-making processes regarding toilets, sanitation programs or projects which oftentimes results in female concerns with regard to sanitation practices being rarely addressed. Yet in order to achieve SDG 6 (as well as SDG 4 and 5), the needs of half the population cannot be ignored.
The goal of WG 7 is therefore the mainstreaming of gender into sanitation programs and the involvement of men and women into sanitation projects.


2. Working Group 7 in the SDG context
Working Group (WG) 7, previously entitled “Community, rural and schools (with gender and social aspects)”, has sharpened its focus to specifically address a set of targets that is spread over Sustainable Development Goals 3, 4, 5, and 6 and that is moving beyond the household level.
This adjustment is in line with both the Agenda 2030 as well as the SuSanA Vision 2030 document. Given the crucial importance of aligning the work of WG 7 with the SDGs, the adjusted scope and focus also credits the holistic approach of the SDGs with their many interlinkages.


2.1. SDG indicators: Global monitoring beyond the household level
Globally monitoring access to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, the focus to date has been on the household level. This remains in part true for SDG global indicators: Global indicator 6.2.1, for instance, limits tracking of safely managed sanitation services and basic handwashing facilities to “in the home” and “at the household level”, respectively.
The SDGs ask for universal access to WASH, health, and education. The language of SDG targets 6.1 and 6.2 referring to “universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all” and “access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all” emphasizes the importance of WASH in all settings. International consultations recommended that future monitoring should also extend to institutional settings, such as schools, health care facilities and workplaces, where lack of access to WASH has a significant impact on the health, welfare and productivity of populations.
The shift from the MDGs to the SDGs and the development of indicators shows the more holistic approach of the SDGs to achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all. Where the MDGs included only three indicators on water and sanitation, the SDGs include 11 and where the MDG indicators were monitored primarily through household surveys, SDG 6 monitoring will inevitably involve many national authorities from different sectors.
Given the extended indicators for the SDGs and given the fact that responsibility for monitoring remains primarily at the country-level, there is the need to strengthen national capacity and resources for monitoring. Increasing technical assistance in developing methodologies, in designing monitoring structures compatible with existing technical and institutional capacities, and in implementing monitoring processes is therefore part of the SuSanA Vision 2030.


2.2. Achieving the SDGs through holistic approaches
Looking beyond the household level becomes essential to achieve the Agenda 2030 marked by various interlinkages between the different SDGs. For instance, there are clear interlinkages between SDG 4 (“Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”), SDG 5 (“Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”) and SDG 6. Lower incidence of sanitation related diseases, means fewer lost school days. Similarly, poor menstrual hygiene management in schools and at home prevents the full participation of girls in education and consequently gender equality and women’s and girl’s empowerment.
SDG 17 calls for a stronger commitment to partnerships and collaborations in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. This has also been acknowledged by SuSanA and the SuSanA Vision 2030 document. As is stated in the SuSanA Vision 2030, the many linkages between sanitation and targets across all SDGs offer new opportunities for SuSanA to reach out to and cooperate with other sectors. WASH in schools is one example of such a multi-sector approach and can serve as role model for the successful cooperation with other sectors.



Claudia Wendland
WECF - Water and Sanitation Specialist
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  • arno
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Re: Renaming and updating the WG7 in light of Agenda2030

Claudia
Have given this a little thought.

"Sustainable WASH in Institutions and Gender Equality" is OK but removing the all important key word "schools" has major drawbacks. The question is, do people commonly use the search terms "WASH in institutions"? Using a quasi-generic word to cover schools, hospitals, health care centres, workplaces, etc. waters down the name of the WG somewhat.

If I had to choose a slightly better formulation it would be:

"Sustainable WASH in schools, institutions and in Gender Equality"

The "in" gender equality is an important distinction. This is implied grammatically in the title but it benefits from being pointed out. If we are however not referring to "sustainable WASH in gender equality", then the title needs further rewording.

It would be nice to have a broader word than "gender" to also encompass ethnic and racial minorities, poor people, handicapped and the elderly. The term gender often creates a narrower female-centric focus and in many ways fails to cover the broader needs people have in sustainable WASH. What about a more pro-active approach like empowerment or elevation of marginalised or vulnerable people - ie social empowerment?

Any votes for "Sustainable WASH in schools, institutions and in social empowerment"?

Regards

Arno Rosemarin PhD
Stockholm Environment Institute
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  • CWendland
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Re: Renaming and updating the WG7 in light of Agenda2030

Thank you, Arno,

I agree with your concern on excluding WASH in Schools.

When it comes to gender, I would like to point out the specific differences between women and men:
on one hand biologically that relates to delivering babies and MHM and
on the other hand the gender roles that relate to the uneven division of household tasks, unsafe and unsustainable WASH falls more likely on women´s shoulders.
Other vulnerable groups are important of course but it will become too broad

Claudia

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  • conniebenjamin
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Re: Renaming and updating the WG7 in light of Agenda2030

Hi Claudia,

Along with Arno I worry about only including Gender and leaving out other social inequalities and vulnerabilities such as disability, ethnic minorities, the very poorest etc. I have a few reasons behind this concern:

1. If not included in this WG which seems to me to be the most natural fit, I think we risk SuSanA neglecting these other dimensions of social inequality.
2. Gender is not neatly separable from these other dimensions of inequality. To only focus on gender without recognising the significant and unique challenges faced, for example, by those who are both women and disabled, is to risk neglecting some of the most vulnerable groups in society. In order to 'leave no woman behind', looking at disability, ageing, poverty, sexuality, ethnic group etc., and how these impact women and girls is crucial. From this point of view I think including other dimensions of social inequality in WG7 makes a lot of sense.

And further as a separate point, the term 'gender' has great scope, not only to focus on women and girls, but to look at engagement of men and boys in WASH, and to go 'beyond the binary'* of male and female and think about those who are transgender, third gender, or non-binary. The sector is just beginning to think about gender in this broader sense, I think there is potential here for SuSanA to join the trailblazers! I hope this broader sense of gender will be reflected in the WG revamp.

Best,
Connie

*A link to a WaterAid blog post on this subject 'be washmatters.wateraid.org/blog/sanitation...ng-beyond-the-binary - Waterlines paper on topic also upcoming in April.

Connie Benjamin
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WaterAid
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  • muench
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Re: Renaming and updating the WG7 in light of Agenda2030

Very interesting discussion! For those who are still new to SuSanA, if you are wondering what is WG7, then please see here on the SuSanA website: www.susana.org/en/working-groups/community-rural-and-schools
WG stands for Working Group and we have 13 such working groups. You can all edit your SuSanA user profile to choose which WG you want to be connected to (and e.g. receive rare e-mails from their moderated mailing lists).

I think it is a good idea to refocus the working groups as the need arises. I think in this case the thread title of "renaming and updating" is a bit misleading. It should perhaps rather be "changing the focus of WG 7", shouldn't it?

Do I understand right that you would want to move away from its focus on rural and community sanitation (this included CLTS as well)? I don't have a problem with that, but would be then add those two components to another WG, e.g. to the one on behavior change (WG 13)?

I like the points that Arno and Connie made about gender being perhaps too narrow, and equity or social enequality being a better term; I would support that. It is all intertwined of course. And I like the reminders that there could be a move away from the binary concept of gender in the future; this could have all sorts of interested implications and might free us up as a human race (stop putting people into boxes, let everyone be how the are, whether this way or another).

Regards,
Elisabeth

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  • Florian
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Re: Renaming and updating the WG7 in light of Agenda2030

Hi,

When naming the institutions topic, why not follow the JMP's terminology: "Schools and health care facilities".

As for the other question, I agree that it would be better to include all dimensions of inequlity and not focus on gender alone.

If the purpose of the renaming is to better align with the agenda 2030, this would certainly be appropriate. The SDG's formulations are clear in this: " achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all " and "access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations".

Also in practice, whether it is an NGO running a project, a community improving their situation, or a government providing services, all types of inequalities need to be addressed combined.

Both topics, "WASH in schools and health care facilities", and "equitable access to sanitation and hygiene for all" are quite large and would merit their own working group, I guess...

Regards, Florian


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  • inajurga
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Re: Renaming and updating the WG7 in light of Agenda2030

Hello everyone,

as a member of WG7, I welcome the suggestions to align it with SDGs agenda and show the contribution.
Initially the WG topics have been really broad already, so good to think how to better align and maybe re-adjust the topics in the WGs if required.

I am very fine with someting along the line "Ensuring sustainable WASH in schools and institutions, eqality and inclusion."

I felt the "community" part is quite big - If there is a potential other WG where CLTS, participatory approaches, etc.. can be integrated, i wouldn't mind to leave this out.

@Florian adresses an important point: all types of inequalities need to be addressed combined. So while it will be good to have an own WG on (gender) equality & Inclusion shouldn't we as WG 7 member see if all other working groups and their publications could have a box / paragraph how (gender) equality and inclusion matters and how it is adressed?


(P.S. somewhat the formating didn't work for me )

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  • scottchen
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Re: Renaming and updating the WG7 in light of Agenda2030

Claudia:
Sustainable WASH and Gender Equality in Institutions, is better, I think.
SDGs should be the first priority for all countries.
best wishes
Scott

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  • BelindaA
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Re: Renaming and updating the WG7 in light of Agenda2030

Dear Claudia and all,

It's nice to read the various opinions and ideas. I agree that the title should be aligned to the SDG Agenda and therefore makes the proposed title of ' Sustainable WASH in Institutions and Gender Equality' relevant and ideal. However I do concur with the points that often communities are not thought of as institutions and this might confuse some. Also it would be good to explicitly state the issues related to equity. Therefore, perhaps in addition to the official 'title' we have another tagline , ' Leave No One Behind- in communities, schools and other institutions'. This would appear on the paper, website, etc..

Just a thought!

Belinda Abraham

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Career profile: WASH Specialist, over 15 years in Eastern and Southern Africa, South East Asia, primarily working for UNICEF.
Key areas of interest: WASH in Schools, WASH Communication and Community-based Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion
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  • conniebenjamin
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Re: Renaming and updating the WG7 in light of Agenda2030

Hi all,

Has the new framing of Working Group 7 been finalised yet?

Quick question: is this working group intended to be about Gender as a standalone topic, and also about institutions, or is it specifically about institutions, highlighting the gendered aspects of working with institutions? I am a little confused about which it is, as I think are some others in this thread.

Either way, I support the broadening of 'gender' to cover other dimensions of social inequality and inclusion. I like the tagline Belinda suggested as a name of the group. RWSN (another network) has a working group called 'Leave No One Behind', which shows clear alignment with the SDGs and covers all aspects of inclusion.

Best,
Connie

Connie Benjamin
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  • shobana
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Re: Renaming and updating the WG7 in light of Agenda2030

Hi Connie and all,

I like the question you have raised and would like to add some food for thought.

'Gender' would fit the user perspective and the word 'Institutions' is more or less describing the set up. What would the word 'institution' encompass? Only health care facilities, schools and universities or is it a more wider term? Is the focus of WG 7 user based or setting based or both? When we take a look at the other working groups we have clear boundary limits e.g. Wg 6 cities
Also, Elisabeth has raised the question of communities and rural areas. If we take a look at JMP data, although rural sanitation has improved greatly , the number is still low (50.3%) when compared to urban access (80.2%) data.worldbank.org/indicator/SH.STA.ACSN.RU
CLTS or any other community sanitation might fit well under WG 13 but the WG may not focus completely on rural sanitation.

On the other hand, when it comes to user specific names, should we cater to the most pressing issues within gender equality or be more inclusive and address all inequalities by using the term 'equalism and non-discrimination in WASH'. Leaving No One Behind could be added as a tagline.

Best,
Shobana

Shobana Srinivasan
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