Madagascar earns big turnout for WSSCC strategy consultation

Date: 26th July 2016

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By David Trouba, Programme Manager – Advocacy and Communications, WSSCC

In the WSSCC context, Madagascar knows how to do things well, and to do them big:

  • Since 2010 the GSF-supported programme (‘Fonds d’Appui pour l’Assainissement’ (FAA)’) has enabled 1.64 million people in 22 districts to live in open defecation free environments, and 3.6, and 3 million to have safe, fly-proof latrines;
  • For more than 10 years, the WSSCC-affiliated Diorano WASH Coalition has functioned as a model multi-stakeholder professional network and knowledge exchange platform for hundreds of members down to the district level.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the recent national WSSCC Strategy Consultation, held 13 July in Antananarivo, was the best-attended to date, with some 80 professionals representing a wide range of the country’s WASH professional society.

Opening session panelists led by the Secretary General in the Ministry of WASH, Madam Joséphine Angèle Ravelojaona Rasoanandrasana. Credit: WSSCC

Opening session panelists led by the Secretary General in the Ministry of WASH, Madam Joséphine Angèle Ravelojaona Rasoanandrasana. Credit: WSSCC

A full day of presentations from the Government, WSSCC’s National Coordinator, and the GSF Programme Director in Madagascar, together with small group discussions, yielded a result similar to that of the other 16 national consultations taking place: general endorsement of six propositions vital to WSSCC’s work from 2017 and beyond.

Again, these propositions – agreed upon by WSSCC’s 16 National Coordinators in early June, and resulting in great part from 8 months of research, surveying and other data gathering by WSSCC – are:

For the period 2017-2020, and on the basis of existing financial and human resources:

  1. WSSCC should work in peri-urban environments.
  2. GSF should expand its work within, but not beyond, the existing countries where it works.
  3. WSSCC should be a platform for a grassroots movement for sanitation & hygiene.
  4. WSSCC should learn systematically from its practice and share lessons across the sector; and collaborate to enable sector learning hubs at national levels to develop.
  5. WSSCC should strengthen WASH governance in the countries where it works, ensuring accountability, participation (of the poorest, most excluded) and contributing to system strengthening.
  6. WSSCC should promote the principles and practices of equality, universal access and non-discrimination in the WASH sector.

Similar to other National Consultations, however, there were suggest “tweaks” and additions by the gathered participants designed to make the propositions most appropriate to the local context and supportive of the Government’s own ambitions and priorities in water supply, sanitation and hygiene in the new Sustainable Development Goals era.

 

Meeting participants complete a stakeholder mapping of WASH interventions in Madagascar. Credit: WSSCC

Meeting participants complete a stakeholder mapping of WASH interventions in Madagascar. Credit: WSSCC

For Madagascar, these included: continue work on achieving open defecation free status in rural areas, with handwashing and hygiene programming in focus, but support where possible the Government’s efforts on water supply, solid waste management, and integrated water resources management; serve as a strong financial resource support partner (directly and in helping to identify new financial flows); accelerate work on Menstrual Hygiene Management; align efforts with other development partners including UNICEF, WaterAid, PSI, the World Bank, and others; and support sector coordination (while not usurping the Government’s coordination mandate) as well as efforts to improve monitoring and evaluation, knowledge management, sustainability and cross-sector collaboration (i.e. nutrition, health).

These thoughts were also conveyed by Madam Joséphine Angèle Ravelojaona Rasoanandrasana, Secretary General in the Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. The SG opened the workshop with a declaration in which she confirmed the ministry’s commitment to assume the leadership of the WASH sector and the will to set a new national action plan for WASH, the “Wash Sectorial Programme” and after lunch, her Minister, the Honourable Roland Ravatomanga, called for an acceleration in engagement.

“We must speed up the pace and work together to achieve our goals, which are the same as the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Minister Ravatomanga. “Coordination of all players in the sector, and other sectors, should mean coordination around the necessary actions to be taken for water supply, sanitation and hygiene.”

Honourable Roland Ravatomanga, Minister of Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene in Madagascar, is declared a WASH Champion.

Honourable Roland Ravatomanga, Minister of Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene in Madagascar, is declared a WASH Champion. Credit: WSSCC

The Minister also called for a series of regional consultations to complete the “Wash Sectorial Programme” by the end of 2016. He also emphasized the importance of other ministries in the work. In addition to the WASH Ministry, others at the meeting included the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Decentralisation, and Ministry of Education.

WSSCC’s long-serving National Coordinator, Jean Herivelo Rakotondrainibe, praised the Minister by saying “God has given us a great leader in Minister Ravatomanga; and while the inputs in the sector by different stakeholders have been good, with real accomplishments, we can all do more.” As a token of appreciation for the his work, the Minister was presented a WASH Champion plaque, and Dave Trouba, Manager for Advocacy and Communication at WSSCC and a member of the Senior Management Team, declared the Minister to be an Honourable Member of WSSCC.

The workshop also included a mapping session of stakeholder interventions throughout Madagascar. The event was closed by Joséa Ratsirarson, formerly Country Director of Medical Care Development International(MCDI), the Executing Agency of FAA but now serving as Secretary General in the Ministry of Health.

“We all have high ambitions in the National Development Plan, and in working together across sectors to achieve WASH goals,” Ratsirarson said. “The Ministry of Health is committed to the effort.”

WSSCC National Coordinator, Jean Herivelo Rakotondrainibe, describes WSSCC’s history and contributions to date in the WASH sector in Madagascar. Credit: WSSCC

WSSCC National Coordinator, Jean Herivelo Rakotondrainibe, describes WSSCC’s history and contributions to date in the WASH sector in Madagascar. Credit: WSSCC

The meeting was expertly emceed by longtime WSSCC member and WaterAid Country Director Lovy Rasolofomanana. Rija Lalanirina Fanomeza, the Programme Director for FAA, gave an update on the progress of the programme as well as steered several working group discussions. Together with Michèle Rasamison Andriambahiny, chair of the Programme Coordinating Mechanism, as well as representatives from several sub-grantees, including NGO Miarintsoa, and also representatives from the Natural Leaders/Community Consultants, the FAA was strongly represented during the day.

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