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Always learning

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We began the day reviewing the institutional factors that are key for scaling up capacity building, amongst which are government commitment and support to creating an enabling environment as well as partnerships between the stakeholders. In their country groups, participants discussed practical steps for capacity building at scale what was new for them from the previous day’s discussion as well as what is relevant to their contexts and what they would still like to know more about. 
We identified lots of new ideas from the learning event; in particular we learned that some countries have:
• a policy and budget for capacity building within the sector
• monitoring indicators for capacity building as well as benchmarking
• training programme for supply chain strengthening such as promoting entrepreneurs’ training and networks (peer-to-peer training)
• quality assurance for capacity building
• taken advantage of technologies such as e-learning (WEDC/WSP course on rural sanitation at scale)
• developed a curriculum for capacity building  
• promoted cross sectoral learning 

All these ideas are of relevance to the countries attending the workshop but participants wanted to know more about: gender and capacity building; sustainability of capacity building (refresher training and staff turnover) and aspects of scaling up sanitation like financing schemes.

Learning from Thailand’s experience

Presentation by Pariyada  Chokewinyoo (a Senior Technical Officer in the Ministry of Public Health) on Thailand’s experience with sanitation and hygiene. Thailand’s sanitation campaign began with a “Hookworm Eradication Project” in 1918, focused on promoting pit latrines and later this project became the “Village Health and Sanitation Project” in 1960 to combat water and food-borne diseases. The “Village Health and Sanitation Project” subsequently expanded to “Rural Sanitation Development Program”, nation-wide. We heard that key to Thailands success has been national commitment to sanitation, backed by a policy on sanitation programmes; clear responsibility for implementation in a single government agency; partnerships and alliances; capacity building through training; investment; appropriate technologies; monitoring and supervision.

Sharing experience on hygiene promotion

In the afternoon we had a market place on hygiene promotion within the region– with stands, presentations, posters, videos and visual aids such as posters, photographs and so on.  Timor Leste reported a campaign they have been running for handwashing with soap based around the slogan ‘Show your love with clean hands’; formative research showed that mothers didn’t feel they needed to wash their hands if they did not see, feel, or smell dirt. The campaign aimed to get mothers to wash their hands at 5 critical points in the day even if they didn’t think their hands were dirty. The pilot has shown success in increasing handwashing with soap after contact with faeces e.g. observed handwashign with soap after defecation was 4% in the baseline and 31% after the intervention. The campaign will be scale up across Timor Leste in February 2014.   The PAOT approach from Vietnam was also show-cased. PAOT is Participatory Action Oriented Transformation, and it promotes practal households improvements that households can make. The approach identifies good local practices and promotes these within communities for instance by using photographs. PAOT links water and sanitation with the living conditions of the family and focuses on doing through step-wise improvements. PAOT focuses on the strengths of each household and also aims to strengthen communities by improving relationships between households.
A number of awards were made for participant contributions including for best learning from failure and most innovative new thinking as well as highest potential for country adaptation.  The event closed with reflection on learning objectives and actions, which can be summed up as keep your commitment and learning.

Date: 19 December 2013
Papua New Guinea,
Timor Leste (East Timor),