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Learning and Experience sharing meeting on the Capacity Building activities conducted under NVF Project

[ May 20, 2022 ]

Learning and Experience sharing meeting on the capacity building activities conducted under NVF

was organized by Freshwater Action Network South Asia (FANSA) on May 20, 2022 through virtual platform. The main objective of the meeting was to know lesson learnt, key issues and experiences of each country while conducting capacity building activities under NVF project.

The Regional Convenor of FANSA, Ms. Lajana Manandhar formally started the meeting with her welcome remarks highlighting the meeting agenda. She also introduced the resource persons Mr. Kabir Das Rajbhandari, Ms. Soodha Shrestha and Mr.Prakash Amatya who were invited for their inputs, feedbacks, ideas on how FANSA should be moving ahead to hear the unheard, to promote marginalized communities and vulnerable groups in mainstream development activities.

Followed by the welcome remarks were the briefing from the FANSA National Chapters focusing on the capacity building activities that have been carried out in different countries.

All the National Convenors and the representatives from the FANSA National chapter briefly shared about the capacity building activities along with their key learnings and way forward.

After the presentation from the FANSA National Chapters, there were the input and feedback sessions from the resource persons.

Ms. Soodha Shrestha (Resource Person, UN Habitat) - highlighted three areas; Inclusive access to water and sanitation in policies, Information System and Regulation. She shared that in Nepal they have been focusing on assessing the current policies whether it really speaks of sanitation services or only water supply. Similarly, advocating on equal priority of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in policies. She said, to reach the unreached people, policies should focus on those community people who really need those services. Furthermore, shared how government services are unfair as in richer communities’ government is providing free services of sewerage and drainage, but the poor communities are paying more and are struggling more to have access to those services.

Another area she highlighted was information system at city level where it is disaggregated to all the aspects of the communities so that municipal authorities or the support system can have the evidence-based plan.

Likewise, she emphasized the importance of regulatory system of developed policies. Regulatory framework and regulatory mandate are very vital issue that we need to address because when we talk about in the context of Nepal there are lots of policies and services mandated to the local government but when it comes to regulating there is no define protocol who is accountable to mandate those services. Further she added, need of capacity enhancement of local government in terms of strengthening institution.

Lastly, she shared UN habitat have developed Climate Proofing Tool Kit which is guiding the whole project cycle to look from the climate lens. Second Resource person, Mr. Prakash Amatya talked on Protecting the rights of Sanitation Workers. He shared his opportunity to closely understand the public toilets interventions while visiting the Dhaka. He said that most of the country's' policy makers, investors are more interested in the infrastructure and technology. Infrastructure has been limelight and interest of the interventions. In line with this he adds, sanitation workers are always in shadow due to caste-based system like sanitation tasks has been specified to certain communities. If we look at their livelihood, income, why they are not able to overcome their situation all relates to level of education, exposure and the guiding policies, regulation and laws which led them access to the finance, health and medical facilities and access to their rights.

Furthermore, he said that the labor law has failed to in cooperate the sanitation workers as equal as other worker. They simply need dignity of their work that is missing in whole picture how we can work together to give them dignity. He added, it's not about having interaction and capacity building workshop or providing them some safety equipment but the overall mindset or intervention need to be changed to uplift livelihood of sanitation workers. And also, he said sanitation needs to be looked as 3D- Dirty, Disgusting and Dangerous.

Lastly, he said it's time to act, to come forward and look into the perspective of these sanitation worker so how their habitat can be enhanced, how their education level could be further strengthened and how their access to finance along with medical can be more sensitized. Another Resource person Mr. Kabir Das Rajbhandari said that before we bring CSOs together, first we all need to understand what are the existing gaps from the multidimensional sector, if we look at current NVF interventions we look at all these 5 key themes we need to identify the gaps so that we could accelerate the realization of these gaps from different interventions; may be from the policy interventions, from financing aspects, resources allocations, barriers from service sides or from user own perspective to get access to finance for getting the services or reaching the services. We need to understand the strategies to enhance their capacity just not by orienting them, also by making them in well position. He emphasized how crucial to have monitoring mechanism to improve the services.

He also highlighted establishment of information system to provide baseline for research, studies and to identify the gaps. And, MIS mechanism helped to generate evidence this is help us to exercise the local resources including, financial resources, capacity resources to a more different dimension that can lead to result-oriented services or actions. Further, he said that Planning mechanisms are not just essential for advocating the issues but also help to achieve the targets and commitments. In addition to, shares 3 different dimension of resource allocation i.e. allocation, dispersion and utilization. He said it need to look from inclusive perspective.

Lastly, he said that monitoring mechanism is not just the responsibility of central but also the responsibility of community side. The meeting was concluded with the vote of thanks from the Regional Coordinator Ms. Snehelatha Mekala and closing remarks from the Regional Convenor

Total of 23 representatives from South Asian countries which includes Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri-lanka participated in the virtual meeting.