V4CP Indonesia Encouraging Inclusion – Lessons learnt from the WASH Future Conference 2018
Gender and social inclusion are currently not well covered under the sanitation regulations of the Padang Pariaman District in Indonesia. To ensure gender and socially inclusive sanitation policies (which the CSO of the Voice for Change Partnership Programme (V4CP) are aiming for, decision makers need to be targeted.
Through V4CP SNV supports CSOs to foster collaboration among relevant stakeholders, influence agenda-setting and hold the government accountable for their promises and actions. As part of V4CP efforts to support CSOs to create ‘buy-in’ of gender and inclusion issues amongst decision makers, government officials from Padang Pariaman were invited to attend the WASH future conference to encourage district offices to create inclusive systems, specifically for the WASH sector.
The WASH Future Conference and Training took place in 5-9 March 2018, in Brisbane, Australia. The conference brought together WASH actors from around the globe to share innovations and evidence about ways to achieve a WASH future in which the water, sanitation and hygiene needs of all in society are sustained. The event was a highly-regarded international forum to gather government, development practitioners, entrepreneurs and academia to share evidence and best practices in improving WASH.
Importantly, and as part of our commitment to strengthen local government, V4CP Indonesia also supported Nofriyanti, Head of Sub-Division of Health and Community Empowerment at Padang Pariaman District Research, Planning and Development Agency, to participate in the WASH Future Conference.
The two day conference highlighted the importance of sector-wide collaboration when talking about reaching universal WASH. This was followed by three days of trainings on WASH topics such as gender equality, engaging private sector, climate change, WASH in schools and others. Of specific interest to the V4CP team were the sessions on:
Using evidence to influence and inform strategies, approaches & policies
Gender equality and WASH
During the conference, Nofriyanti shared her experiences and efforts on improving gender equality through WASH in Padang Pariaman District, Indonesia. Nofriyanti also gained new learnings, evidence and success stories from others on gender equality and social inclusion, specifically on menstrual hygiene management which she believed is imperative to improve hygiene behaviour.
Through attending the conference, government officials can learn best practices from other countries. It will give them a broader perspective on WASH problems they encounter and can give them ideas, options, solutions that can be adjusted to the Indonesian context. As a participant at the event, Nofriyanti Padang hoped to broaden her knowledge on gender equality and WASH, and to encourage district offices to create a gender equality system.
Gender and inclusive issues on the WASH agenda
Since the conference, Nofriyanti has been taking this knowledge to her counterparts in the District Health office of Padang Pariaman District. Currently there is no a special mechanism on Gender Equality on WASH in the District, and Nofriyanti is determined with the support of V4CP to set up such a mechanism, and make Padang Pariaman Open Defecation Free.