Agenda For Change rallies partners to strengthen WASH  systems

EXPERTS in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector have underscored the importance of increased collaboration among actors, better alignment, harmonisation and monitoring of programmes to strengthen the WASH system in Ghana, Africa , Asia and beyond.

They maintain that it is critical to better coordinate sector sectors so there is a shared growth map to what needs to be prioritised, so investors in WASH programmes have a clear idea of what the national development priority is.

These remarks were made at a regional WASH conference held by the Agenda for Change partnership in Accra last Wednesday to share learning from across Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Agenda for Change is a global collaborative platform which consists of over 20 like-minded volunteer organisations operating in different parts of the world.

The member organisations believe that collective action and collaboration are very important to be able to realise access to sustainable WASH services across the various countries.

The conference which saw the active participation of WaterAid Ghana, the IRC afforded member countries and organisations the opportunity to reflect on what programmes or initiatives had worked well in 2023 so they could do better in 2024.

Global Coordinator for Agenda for Change, Madam Bethlehem Mengistu told this paper that “the key principles we champion are better partnership, better collaboration, better harmonisation and alignment of investments in the WASH space so that we’re able to accelerate the collective achievement which is universal access where all Ghanaians have access to WASH by 2030.”
She observed that Ghana’s WASH development plan was a very good example that essentially conveys what it takes to strengthen WASH systems within the national context.
A key objective of the conference, she indicated was to be able to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of country collaborations, given the fact that Ghana is one of our key country collaborations launched in 2022.
The initiative is to team up to be able accelerate uptake on WASH systems strengthening across Africa, Asia and Latin America.
The local chapter in Ghana of Aganda for Change is made up of local organisations such as WaterAid Ghana, the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) the International Water and Sanitation Centre ( IRC) Ghana, which organisations are recognized leaders in the efforts to improve water and sanitation access in Ghana, particularly in rural areas.

These organizations have been instrumental in supporting systems strengthening at both the national and district levels, addressing critical aspects such as policy, institutional development, planning, finance, and learning.

Their ongoing work in Ghana provides a solid foundation for the Agenda for Change Platform, which seeks to leverage their resources, expertise, and networks to achieve universal access to WASH services and strengthen WASH systems in Ghana.

Country Director for IRC Ghana, Madam Vida Duti disclosed that there was a programme that is supporting with sector regulation and accountability. Efforts were also underway to work with government to assess the strength of the WASH system.

Support provided by WaterAid, IRC, and CRS will complement and enhance the ongoing efforts to regulate and ensure accountability in the WASH sector. Through collective and collaborative efforts, the Platform will be well-positioned to address the challenges of limited capacity and inadequate regulatory frameworks, ultimately contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals related to water and sanitation.

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