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Impressions from Day 2 of the Pan Africa workshop

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Participants were divided into 4 groups to discuss the different expectations that were pulled from all the participants during the first day of the meeting.

The expectations were grouped as follows:

  • Natural Leaders
  • Sanitation Marketing
  • Children and SLTS
  • Scaling Up

Natural Leaders
I happened to be part of the natural leaders group whose discussion revolved around formation of natural leaders networks. Malawi as a country shared that at present it has two natural leaders’ networks in its program areas of Lilongwe. Malawi further shared that in its other program area though there is no formal natural leaders network, informally the natural leaders are able to initiate and do follow up to triggered communities on their own.
The major questions that were asked by the group included:

  • Development and working of natural leaders networks
  • Issues to do with leadership in the networks.

This question was further examined if such issues of leadership could create some form of power struggles. The discussions around the natural leaders also focused on the integration or interface between different development structures within the village/community set up and the different roles played by natural leaders.

The group also discussed the degree to which incentives can be offered to hardworking natural leaders. The case in point was Sierra Leone where some active natural leaders were given bicycles to help them in monitoring OD areas and also aid the villages in the attainment of ODF. In some countries natural leaders are given IEC materials, T-shirts and in some case cell phones or airtime so that natural leaders can easily communicate with district health authorities and/or the organizations they are working with.

The discussions further evolved into different roles that can be played by natural leaders for example they could be advocates for sanitation marketing while the rightful authorities help them to register to make their network into a legal entity because this will help to further define their roles.

Sanitation Marketing
Some participants wanted to learn on what it is and how better it could be applied to their respective countries. Jan Willem from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation shared his experience in Cambodia on Sanitation Marketing. He indicated that the innovation was not popular the first time it was introduced. Back then their organization was working on creating demand for the products and at the same time they had to be cheap and that the community members had to appreciate the need for having one, this meant that the locally available products on the markets had to be checked. In the long run after thorough research, a cheap and affordable design was produced. The price was a standard $27 for the whole set of an Easy Latrine. Information regarding SanMark and Easy Latrines can be obtained online (search ‘Cambodian EasyLatrines’)

Participants also had a take on School Led Total Sanitation (SLTS). The discussions here were centered around the role of children in the approach, their participation vs. protection mechanisms as they implement the program, examples were given regarding a drunkard who could easily turn violent on children. The need for participation for schools and surrounding communities was emphasized, as well as the monitoring and evaluation components in the approach to measure progress.

Scaling Up
During the discussions to address the expectations surrounding scaling up of the CLTS program, members discussed the need to consider one or more of the following factors in order to conduct a successful scaling up program;

  • Resource mobilization
  • Consideration for human resource especially the ones that have CLTS capacity
    Coordination in terms of:
  • Scaling up
  • Resource leveraging (looking at different stakeholders and their roles)
  • Uniform and harmonized data collection

Additional Discussion Points

  • Other topics discussed during this day included the need to use other NGO’s during the verification and certification of ODF villages.
  • There is also need for Plan CO’s, PU’s PA’s to invite other NGO’s to participate or attend capacity building trainings.
  • The use of sanitation maps to locate problematic areas at country level, so that efforts are concentrated in such areas.
  • Media should be regularly engaged to help in sensitizing the public about sanitation issues. This has already started in Malawi. CO’s were also encouraged to invite media to CLTS TOTs so that they are conversant with the whole process.

Dan Kapatuka, Assistant Program Area Manager (Pan African CLTS Coordinator), Plan Malawi

Date: 1 March 2012