Main Activities of the Collaborative Council
The Collaborative Council`s work, at national, regional and global levels, is part of the IAP. It is described in detail in a separate document entitled " The Collaborative Council`s Long-Term Plan and Budget”, and summarised here.
Advocacy and Mobilisation
Advocacy is now the main component of the Collaborative Council`s work. It will occupy the most time and energy both of its members and its Secretariat. This is a fundamental change from the Collaborative Council`s previous work programmes, which concentrated mainly on applied research. The Collaborative Council will therefore start by developing an advocacy and communication strategy, working with market-leading communication professionals.
The central aims are to advocate adoption of the principles contained in Vision 21 and to mobilise organisations to achieve its targets. The Collaborative Council is well placed to take a global lead in sector advocacy, building on the high media coverage of the launch of Vision 21 in The Hague in March 2000 and of the Fifth Global Forum, and on its growing track record in electronic networking and information dissemination. The Collaborative Council`s members and their agencies have wide knowledge about different aspects of water supply, sanitation and hygiene promotion. We will now pool our resources and jointly push hard to mobilise other organisations to meet the water supply, sanitation and hygiene needs of the poor.
Advocacy topics will vary from country to country and organisation to organisation. However, for impact and consistency, the Collaborative Council will emphasise four major subjects for its advocacy work at all levels. They are:
- Hygiene promotion
- Environmental sanitation
- Institutional and management reform in water supply and sanitation
- Community-based approaches to water supply and sanitation
Monitoring the progress and impact of Vision 21 will be an important activity for the Collaborative Council, because its independent and impartial status within the water supply and sanitation sector gives it legitimacy to monitor that sector. It does this, not by duplicating the data-collection work of other agencies, but by analysing and publicising the data that other agencies produce. This analysis can provide feedback for review of action programmes, and important material for advocacy work.
Monitoring is therefore a core activity for the Collaborative Council While the goal of improved coverage of safe water supply remains a key objective and will be one of the most important indicators for monitoring, the Collaborative Council sees safe water as an entry point for sanitation and hygiene in order to create maximum impact on health, education and sustainable development for the poor. For example, safe water close to schools, with improved sanitation, will also help boost the attendance of children, especially girls.
The Collaborative Council`s main action points on monitoring are:
- Define, test and validate a core set of indicators for measuring Vision 21 implementation
- Build consensus on methodologies for data collection which can ensure that analysis and reporting reflects the core points of Vision 21
- Encourage the analysis, use and accessibility of generated information, using both electronic and printed dissemination
- Feed monitoring and assessment results regularly into advocacy campaigns, ensuring consistency in statistics and forecasts.
The ultimate success of the IAP to achieve Vision 21 will depend on the work of people and agencies in the countries in which the unserved people live. It will require individual Collaborative Council members to adopt Vision 21 as their creed and to promote its aim and core points in all their work. But those individual actions will be more productive when coordinated and supported through national, regional and thematic networks. The Collaborative Council will actively manage and support such networks, as it has done in the past.
National and Regional Networks
The regional sessions during the Fifth Global Forum produced draft plans for the work of the Collaborative Council`s existing and new national and regional networks. Those plans form an integral part of the Collaborative Council`s Long-Term Plan and are listed in detail in that separate document.
The Collaborative Council`s Secretariat will support those national and regional networks by:
- helping its members to focus the work of those networks on the four priority subjects of hygiene promotion, environmental sanitation, institutional and management reform, and community-based approaches
- encouraging collaboration with other agencies active at the national and regional levels
- paying special attention to regions where Collaborative Council representation has not yet become well established
- Reporting periodically on innovative ideas that may be replicated elsewhere.
The thematic discussion sessions at the Fifth Global Forum indicated the usefulness of many networks on particular subjects. Some of these thematic networks (e.g. the Collaborative Council`s Working Group on Institutional and Management Options, the Sanitation Connection, the Gender and Water Alliance, the network on Services to the Urban Poor, and the Streams of Knowledge network of resource centers) already exist, others were proposed. The Collaborative Council welcomes these and similar ideas and will support these thematic networks by:
- concentrating its own human and financial resources on a small number of networks related to the four priority subjects of hygiene promotion, environmental sanitation, institutional and management reform, and community-based approaches
- Helping to disseminate the results of the thematic networks` activities.