GLOBAL COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE ON SANITATION AND HYGIENE

Summary of Meeting on August 23, 2011 in Stockholm
This document provides annotated minutes of the meeting, providing further detail to
some of the discussion points raised and reflecting one-on-one discussions / queries
in the post-meeting networking session.
1. Around 45 people (list appended) met to discuss the concept proposal for the
creation of a new global community of practice (CoP) on sanitation and Hygiene.
The meeting was divided into 3 parts:
a. Background of the meeting and the role of the WSSCC in developing a
concept proposal for a Global Community of Practice on Sanitation and
Hygiene
b. Presentation of the concept proposal for a Global CoP on Sanitation and
Hygiene
c. Discussion and feedback by participants, including suggested next steps and
recommendations
2. Background of the meeting and the role of the WSSCC in developing the
concept proposal for Global CoP on Sanitation and Hygiene
Jon Lane, Executive Director of the WSSCC, opened the meeting by welcoming
the participants and giving some information on the Water Supply and Sanitation
Collaborative Council (WSSCC) and the background of the meeting:
The WSSCC is a global membership organisation that works to improve the
lives of poor people in developing countries. WSSCC enhances collaboration
among water, sanitation and hygiene agencies and professionals and hence
contributes to the broader goals of poverty eradication, health and
environmental improvement, gender equality, and social and economic
development. With members in more than 80 countries, WSSCC has the
characteristics, legitimacy and flexibility of a non-governmental organisation.
Through
Networking
&
Knowledge
Management,
Advocacy
&
Communications and the Global Sanitation Fund, WSSCC aims to be at the
forefront of knowledge, debate and influence on water, sanitation and hygiene
(WASH) for all.
Since its beginning in the early nineteen nineties until 2006, the WSSCC has
had a number of thematic working groups which served also as global
platforms for open dialogue and debate identifying best practices and
achieving mutual understanding at the professional level.
After 2006 these working groups were basically dropped and for few years the
WSSCC was focusing exclusively on advocacy activities.
In 2010, after networking and knowledge management were taken up again
by the WSSCC, several people who were involved in these earlier thematic
working groups suggested to “revive” also the WSSCC sanitation working
group by forming some kind of global CoP.
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Presentation of the concept proposal for a Global CoP on Sanitation and Hygiene Pippa Scott presented the concept proposal that she developed over the last few months based on (a) the discussions which took place one year ago in Stockholm (see above). Democratic Governance Practice Network UNDP. Around 45 people from different organisations participated in these discussions. and (c) interviews with the group of sector professionals who offered one year ago to participate in further discussions on the development of a global CoP. A copy of the slides giving the rationale. vision and operational foundations of the suggested CoP are appended to these minutes. Knowledge for Health (Knowledge Gateway). Discussion and feedback by participants The discussion was moderated by Darren Saywell (IWA) and structured around two topics: Points of clarification and fundamental questions/reservations toward the creation of a new global CoP on Sanitation and Hygiene Organisational/thematic issues The meeting did not allow for in depth coverage of all points raised as such the following section minutes the discussion points with annotated responses to queries where appropriate. KM4DEV. Experiences and lessons learned from 2 .Consequently. 3. two meetings took place in September 2010 during the Stockholm World Water Week in order to discuss with a wide range of professionals from the sanitation sector the possible creation of a new global CoP on Sanitation and Hygiene. 4. (b) a survey which was also sent out to WSSCC members who have indicated an interest in knowledge management activities. It was agreed that possible scenarios for a potential global CoP should be developed and the WSSCC agreed to take the lead. Points of clarification and fundamental questions/reservations toward the creation of a new global CoP on Sanitation and Hygiene A range of questions and points were raised and discussed as follows: a) Do analogous global CoPs exist in other sectors one can learn from? Examples of similar global CoPs in other sectors are: Innovations for Scaling Impact (iScale). Collaborative Working Group in Solid Waste Management. In spring 2011 the WSSCC hired a consultant (Pippa Scott) to work on this and to prepare a concept proposal for a Global CoP on Sanitation and Hygiene to be presented and discussed at a side event during the Stockholm WWW 2011.

iScale have acted as advisors in the concept development process. will stimulate multiple platforms for open exchange. share practical experiences. duplication of efforts and competition leading to conflicting messages at the county level. 3 . inefficient and. The intention is to help those working in sanitation and hygiene to do their job better. o It will stimulate wider agreement on those best practices and how to plan/implement and respond to different needs in the sanitation sector. b) What problem(s) is this global CoP trying to address (problem statement)? There are two problems the global CoP aims to address: There is presently no global platform for open exchange and debate across thematic areas and on controversial issues and between professionals representing different views and interests. at worst. These are at best. In doing so the following added value is anticipated: o It will generate a better mutual understanding at the professional level across the breadth of thematic sanitation and hygiene areas. debate and reflection at the national. o it will provide a mechanism to carry best practice and learning from local to international and vice versa. detrimental to the collective goal of improving sanitation and hygiene for the millions who are un-served or underserved. The Global CoP will stimulate a process of collaborative learning. practitioners of all levels expressing a desire to learn from each other. Continuous interaction and exchange are crucial for building trust and improving collaboration in the sector. There is poor uptake of learning and best practices. regional and international level. identify best practices and link research to practice.these examples were taken into consideration when the concept proposal was developed. This is in response to. o equip those working in the sector with better knowledge of where to find the information they need and reinforce a global network for practitioners. This CoP aims to specifically address the gap in knowledge uptake between national and international levels and South-South exchange. These current knowledge and coordination gaps manifest in lack of collaboration. c) What is the added value of such a new global CoP? The added value of this global CoP fall under two processes considered as follows: Working with local and strategic partners the Global CoP. In doing so the following added value is anticipated: o embed knowledge beyond the typical outputs that are produced globally.

local and/or thematic CoPs and networks. where emphasis was placed on the value of reinforcing messages across a range of platforms and the value in the process of accruing knowledge as a mechanism of learning.d) How will it relate to existing CoPs and networks in the sector such as SuSanA? The global CoP is not intended to compete with the many existing regional. The CoP will be officially launched at the WSSCC Global Forum in Mumbai which is a forum specifically targeting global practitioners in sanitation and hygiene. acting to link discussion and exchanges across the breadth of thematic areas in sanitation and hygiene.anglophone or multi-lingual? English is likely to be the common language at the international level but using simple communication tools the Global CoP will provide a framework that can accommodate different languages at the national and regional level. b) How to make sure that more experts from the South can get involved? WSSCC‟s membership has an extended outreach to practitioners from the South. f) Why is the WSSCC the appropriate institutional anchoring of such a global platform for open exchange and debate in the water and hygiene sector? The WSSCC as a global membership organisation with members representing all segments of the sanitation and hygiene sector provides a neutral space in which individuals and organisations can network and share ideas. A recognised and ongoing challenge will be to link this global CoP with the many existing CoPs and networks in a problem-solving oriented way. It aims to be complimentary. One of the activities of the global CoP will be to link existing groups of interest and support nascent ones where needed. Comments were raised on not being too averse to duplication. The proposal is for CoP membership to include WSSCC members from the start allowing for far reaching early dissemination to practitioners of the South. This neutrality of the WSSCC is widely recognised. In the same way other networks or organisational membership groups can be included. a) Language issue . 4 . Organisational and thematic issues During the limited time which was left to discuss specific organisational and thematic issues several points were mentioned which need special consideration.

These are detailed in the communication strategy of the CoP Proposal.c) How to make efficient use of the information and results? Dissemination was raised in the discussion as an important activity of the CoP. This process will start at the WSSCC Global Forum in Mumbai with a wide base of global practitioners identifying questions and themes of relevance to their work. f) Terms of participant engagement Some predetermined terms of participant engagement can help build the trust between community members and facilitate frank and honest exchange. The fundamental terms of engagement are proposed as sanitation and hygiene community members to engage and share without „flying the flag‟ of their respective organisations and adopt a stance of „intellectual honesty‟. The incentives lie in the benefit of being able to draw upon that collective global knowledge-base of experience. The Global CoP is seeking to facilitate collaborative learning where the process of learning is as important as the outcome in terms of building a shared pool or resources and knowledge-base (i. Dissemination of information needs to be through multiple communication pathways as no one communication platform suits all. Some terms of engagement will remain constant and others will be defined appropriate to specific CoP activities. d) How will this link international to national and regional level? National and regional groups will be encouraged. The CoP is intended to stimulate conversation at the international. regional and national level. e) The topics and issues to be dealt with and discussed within the global CoP should be chosen continuously using a bottom-up approach and responding mainly to the needs of the practitioners in the field. g) Where and what are the incentives for sharing knowledge? This is an important point as CoPs will only function as long as participants see benefit. Evidently organisations would need to support their staff in this type of engagement and the community would work collectively to identify the acceptable level and value of this exchange. The communication strategy for the global CoP is based upon the underlying principle of ease of access and uptake of information. knowledge and best practice. 5 . Experience from previous Global CoPs suggests that to link these different levels requires a clear mechanism – this is proposed in by the CoP managing the global conversation with clear communication tools.e. practice). Also important is to recognise sharing knowledge in a safe environment or face-to-face differs from sharing knowledge in a formal manner.

It was prepared by Roland Schertenleib. 1 The steward group will comprise of 6-8 sector professionals with a balance of profiles to include CoP experience. The next steps will be: to launch the global CoP and continue the discussion on organisational issues during the WSSCC Global Forum on Sanitation and Hygiene 9th14th October 2011 in Mumbai to form the core steward group to guide the strategic direction and operational planning of the CoP1. For specific CoP activities.org. Conclusion and next steps The discussion showed that there is a certain amount of enthusiasm as well as a certain amount of concerns related to the creation of a new global community of practice on sanitation and hygiene. For further details please contact Pippa Scott shcopadmin@wsscc. 6 . This is further detailed in the CoP concept document. The steward group will be formed based on suitability to desired profiles. additional stewards of local or co-convening organisations can rotate in to support the core group.5. to begin the „practice‟ of learning and sharing as a community by setting up an interactive “community corner” at the WSSCC Global Forum on Sanitation and Hygiene in Mumbai to identify a community calendar for 2011-2012 and beyond This document provides annotated minutes of the meeting held in Stockholm on the 23rd August 2011. developing country practitioners and a range of professional experience. Since many of the open questions become clearer once the CoP becomes operational. there was a general agreement to go ahead as suggested in the presented concept proposal. Pippa Scott and Darren Saywell using the detailed notes taken by Christoph Lüthi.

org First / Given Name Family Name Organisation Ethne Sjef Ernes Davey Ernes Amanz Abantu Aqua for All jennifer John Lucia Arne Thilo McConville Feighery Henry CIT Urban Water Management Columbia University Crepa Panesar Panzerbieter Montangero Verhagen Parkinson Saywell Alvarinho EIZ German Toilet Organisation HELVETAS IRC IWA IWA Mozambique Water Regularoty Council Le Jalle van de Beukel Schertenlieb Luthi Reymond Zurbrugg Spuhler ps-Eau Safisana Sandec / Eawag Sandec / Eawag Sandec / Eawag Sandec / Eawag Agnes Joep Jon Darren Manuel Christophe Aart Roland Christophe Philippe Chris Dorothee Johannes Linus Birger Ylva Arno Madeleine Guy Gueladio Jean 7 Heeb Dagerskog Forsberg Rylander Rosemarin Fogde Collender Cisse Gough SEECON SEECON SEI SEI SEI SEI SEI SHARE SWISS TPH UNICEF Barbara Zifu Evans Li John Elisabeth Thorsten Gert Federico Isobel Hakim Jon Pippa Barry Musah Borrazzo Kvarnstrom University of Leeds University of Science and Technology Beijing USAID Vectura Consulting Kiefer de Bruijne Properzi Davidson WASH United WASTE WHO WSSCC Hadjel Lane Scott Jackson WSSCC WSSCC WSSCC WSSCC Issaka Balima WSUP-Ghana . Join the Community of Practice The Global Community of Practice for Sanitation and Hygiene Tuesday 23rd August 2011 | 17:45 – 19:45 | World Water Week Stockholm Room shcopadmin@wsscc.Join the Conversation.

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regional and national Talking shop   South to South exchange Conflicting messages   Professional peer group Organisational affiliation  shcopadmin@wsscc.org 9 .Discussion & Rationale  Frank and honest debate & dialogue  Identifying successes & best practices  Streamlining Duplication   Need for reliable information easily accessible to southern practitioners New identity   Intellectual honesty Information overload   Benefit to practitioners  Links international.

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