Freshwater Action Network
– grassroots influencing on water and sanitation

SACOSAN IV briefing

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CSO pre-meeting info and agenda

1-2 April 2011, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Purpose: to provide adequate space and opportunity for CSOs and community organizations to share their experiences and agree demands for addressing the sanitation crisis in South Asia. Based on collective grassroots wisdom, a consolidated input will be generated to the inter-ministerial processes of SACOSAN-IV to be held from 4-8 April 2011.

Key Results Expected: 

  • Review the progress made on the issues identified by CSOs and commitments made by the national governments in SACOSAN III and identify priorities to be addressed in SACOSAN IV and beyond.
  • Consolidate CSOs statement to SACOSAN-IV recommending specific actions to be initiated by the South Asian National Governments for achieving the accelerated progress on sanitation and suggesting the possible support role of civil society therein.
  • Capture the ideas of cross regional CSO/CBO leaders for effectively conducting the different parallel sessions being coordinated/facilitated by WaterAid, WSSCC and FANSA in SACOSAN-IV.
  • Create an advocacy action plan for beyond SACOSAN-IV to address the sanitation issues of the South Asian region.

Contact Arpita De, Regional Coordinator, Freshwater Action Network South Asia for more info.

CSO pre-meeting agenda (PDF 140Kb) 

What are we doing at SACOSAN? 

  • CSO pre meeting to SACOSAN IV: we have organised a meeting of over 100 community leaders and NGOs to discuss and agree the key issues that SACOSAN-IV needs to address and to provide a platform to ensure that these issues are heard by the SACOSAN delegates. The meeting also sets out to create solidarity among different groups and sharing CSO knowledge and practical actions in the region. There will be a media stunt/photo opportunity and press conference.
  • Forum sessions: With a seat on the official steering committee of SACOSAN IV and the Inter Country Working Group (ICWG), we have successfully lobbied to ensure that the agenda focuses on equity, inclusion and sustainable sanitation and that there is adequate space for meaningful CSO participation in the official conference. Four sessions at SACOSAN have been dedicated for the alliance. Each session will involve inputs from each organisation. The lead for each session is as follows: Equity and Inclusion - WaterAid, Plenary session on Grassroots voices and CSO statement - FANSA, Reaching the Un-served - WSSCC, Accountability - WaterAid
  • Evidence-based influencing: Three key resources will be used to influence the discussions, a 'People's perspectives' paper on sanitation, a Traffic Lights Paper and a CSO Traffic Lights Paper.
  • Media and Communications: A strategy has been developed and sub-group formed with focal points already identified at national and regional level. Work has begun to ensure coverage of SACOSAN and sanitation issues and stories on sanitation in the lead up to, during and post SACOSAN IV.

Key resources

  • ‘People’s perspectives’ on sanitation

Through face to face interviews with community leaders and members, this study aims to bring together voices from the field. It will not be an assessment of sanitation and behaviour change status, rather the gathering of a cross section of opinion to gather a broad view of the real sanitation situation at grassroots level, to be shared at SACOSAN – CSO and official meetings.

The executive summary will be launche at the media event on Saturday 1 April 2011.

Download drafts of the national chapters of the People's perspectives:

-Bangladesh (PDF 68Kb)

-Nepal (PDF 970Kb)

-Sri Lanka (PDF 263Kb)

-Pakistan (PDF 258Kb)

  • Traffic Lights Paper

A sector performance monitoring tool, this short paper will review progress towards commitments outlined in the Delhi Declaration (from SACOSAN III). To be released shortly.

Download last year's traffic lights paper (PDF 200Kb)

  • CSO Traffic Lights Paper

A progress chase matrix has been developed to track the progress on promises made by CSOs in their declaration for SACOSAN III. To be released shortly.

The India Sanitation Portal is an open, inclusive, web-based platform for sharing sanitation knowledge amongst practitioners and the general public and was launched at SACOSAN in November 2008. It has recently been updated in preparation for the coming SACOSAN.

How have we been preparing?

FANSA, WaterAid and WSSCC are working together to influence the agenda and outcomes of SACOSAN IV.

The CSO engagement process is led by a Steering committee (comprising of representatives from each organisation at global, regional and national level) plus national committees who coordinate activity at national level.

FANSA has signed an agreement with the Centre for Environment Justice (CEJ) in Sri Lanka to link with official steering committee of SACOSAN, facilitate engagement between now and SACOSAN IV and take care of all logistics related to the CSO pre meeting.

Key Dates:

  • CSO pre-meeting to SACOSAN IV – Negombo, Sri Lanka 1 -2 April 2011
  • SACOSAN IV – 4-8 April 2011 Cinnamon Grand Hotel, Colombo

How can you get involved?

You can take part in the country level consultations being hosted by the FANSA chapters.





Regional updates

INDIA - Ramisetty Murali, FANSA Convenor, was invited by the government of India as a CSO representative to the national SACOSAN IV preparatory committee in New Delhi on 2 February 2011:

At the meeting, 25 seats were allocated for the CSOs in the national delegation for SACOSAN IV to be held in Sri Lanka on 4-8 April 2011 and there was a general discussion on the country paper content. This year the government will be nominating a person or an institution as a national Sanitation Champion recognizing its work in the sanitation sector at the SACOSAN IV official meeting. 

For details write to:

Nepal - “Nepal is making progress in its commitment on sanitation made in the third South Asian Regional Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN III) that was held in Delhi, India in 2008. However, there are still lot more to do by the state to achieve the national goal on sanitation,” stakeholders said in the National Consultation on SACOSAN IV organized jointly by Freshwater Action Network (FAN) Nepal, WaterAid Nepal and NGO Forum for Urban Water and Sanitation to discuss about the upcoming SACOSAN IV to be held in April 2011 in Sri Lanka.

Highlighting the objectives of the National Consultation, Lajana Manandhar, national convener of FAN Nepal told that the consultation intends to bring experts, government officers and civil society organizations together to provide a forum for intensive discussion on activities being undertaken by partners for SACOSAN IV and provide a way forward. She further informed that the consultation has aimed to spread light on the commitments made by the Government of Nepal during SACOSAN III and share achievements and failures of CSO commitments after SACOSAN III.

The major outcomes of this consultation meeting was spreading light on the commitments taken by the government of Nepal during SACOSAN III through traffic light grading system, discussion about success and failures of CSO commitments after SACOSAN III, with the help of (0-10) grading system, disseminating results of People’s perception study and explanation of the views of poor, marginalized and excluded groups regarding sanitation.

Khom Bahadur Subedi, Chief of the Environmental Sanitation and Disaster Management Section at the Department of Water Supply and Sewerage said the country has developed a Sanitation and Hygiene Master Plan, Urban Sanitation Policy and has also made a national level database on sanitation on the basis of the guideline given by SACOSAN. He added that the government is giving priority to sanitation as a regular annual programme and that it has allocated budget worth Rs. 190 million for the development of sanitation at the local level.

Ratan Budhathoki of NEWAH presented the review report on the commitments made by the CSOs of SAARC nations during SACOSAN III. According to Budhathoki, the CSOs are conducting awareness raising programmes and pressure giving activities at different levels to guarantee safe drinking water and improved sanitation as a basic human right in the new constitution, law and policies.

Anil Sthapit, director of GUTHI and FAN member told that right to water and sanitation should be established in the new constitution of Nepal, which will accelerate the water and sanitation situation in Nepal. “The UN resolution on right to water and sanitation and the Delhi declaration of SACOSAN III would be the milestones in giving recognition to right to water and sanitation in constitution of Nepal,” he added.