2015 World Water Week

2015 World Water Week in Stockholm

World Water Week in Stockholm is the annual meeting place for WASH and other development professionals to talk about global water issues. Experts, practitioners, decision-makers, business innovators, and young professionals from a range of sectors will come to Stockholm and exchange ideas, foster new thinking, and develop solutions to the most pressing water-related challenges of today.  This year’s theme is “Water for Development.”  If you are interested in meeting with WASH Advocates staff to discuss WASH advocacy, please email info@washadvocates.org.  WASH Advocates’ recommended sessions are below:


Lessons from Implementing Community-Led Total Sanitation with Local Actors

9:00-10:30 am

New global development targets include universal access to sanitation by 2030. Meeting this challenge requires new ways of partnering with local actors to test and support innovative and evidence-based ideas. This event will share lessons learned from evaluations of the links between community-led total sanitation (CLTS) outcomes and local actors (teachers, natural leaders, and government staff) in 10 countries and will engage participants in thinking about effective local partnerships for delivering sanitation and hygiene

Towards Sustainable Water Services

9:00-10:30 am

Sustainability of water services provisioning is central in global discussions on the water service sector. This session will examine the different dimensions of water utility sustainability. These include adapting to risks and threats facing water resources, increasing urbanization and climate change, governance, infrastructure, and financing. The session will include speakers from the African Development Bank, UNESCO Institute for Water Education, and Vitens Evides International.

Implementing the SDGs in the post-2015 development agenda

11:00-12:30 pm; 2:00-3:30 pm; 4:00-5:30 pm

A dedicated water goal addressing the full range of core water issues has been proposed for inclusion in the SDGs. The workshop will discuss the importance of refining targets, developing indicators, and building capacity among institutions for implementation and monitoring of SDGs related to water issues. It will also address the development of feasible, relevant, measurable and cost-effective indicators, the importance of behavior change, and how water links the SDGs.

Improving WASH programmes using sustainability and value for money evidence

11:00-12:30 pm

The event will focus on trends in measuring sustainability and value for money (VFM) and how these concepts can improve WASH programs.  The workshop will present an overview of sustainability and value for money, presenting findings from new VFM analyses of six WASH programs. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss existing tools and methods for measuring sustainability and how data can be used to improve programming.

Water and sanitation to millions – Working with the people

11:00-12:30 pm

The session will present a rights-based approach to development cooperation in the water sector through a series of case studies. This approach effectively reached remote, poor, and underserved populations, improving community water resources and promoting equitable investment from national governments. The presenters will discuss the decentralization of WASH implementation, the success of district/village level projects, and local level management of water resources in successful Finnish projects in Ethiopia, Nepal, and Kenya.

Kick-Start Development through Holistic Scaling-Up of School Sanitation

4:00-5:30 pm

The positive impacts of safe toilets and hygiene practices on health, nutrition, gender equality, and education are becoming more apparent. Concerted efforts are needed to scale-up school sanitation and hygiene programs, harvesting the multiplier effects that schools have on community development. The event will focus on the three key components of successful sanitation approaches: sensitization, management of toilet facilities, and incremental infrastructure improvements. It will also discuss a variety of school sanitation initiatives (Fit4School, “Toilets making the Grade”) and the sustainability of school sanitation interventions.

Visions speaker: Mattias Klum “Our time on Earth”

6:00-6:45 pm

Mattias Klum, one of the world’s greatest photographers, filmmakers, and lecturers whose work has been featured in National Geographic, BBC Wildlife, and the New York Times, will discuss his experiences studying ecosystems threatened by climate.  Klum will underline the importance of engagement and action to address climate change and to develop sustainable solutions.


Opening Plenary

9:30 am-12:30 pm

The official opening ceremony will highlight common achievements and how to best address water-related challenges in the next 25 years. Speakers will reflect on the importance of water for sustainable development and what it demands from the global community. The plenary will feature the Prime Minister of Sweden, the Prime Minister of the Marshall Islands, the Mayor of Stockholm, the 2015 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate, and others working for Wateraid, Green Climate Fund, the International Renewable Energy Agency.

How to provide water for millions in a refugee situation?

2:00-3:30 pm

In 2013, more than 10 million individuals were displaced due to conflict or persecution. 3.3 million of these newly displaced persons were displaced from Syria into neighboring countries. Massive forced immigration increased the pressure to supply potable water and basic sanitation to a large migrant population. The session will discuss how to provide additional safe potable water to refugees in camps without disrupting the water supply to hosting communities. It will also discuss the importance of a national strategy in managing and financing water resources and sanitation infrastructure for refugees and hosting communities.

Unfolding the contribution of investigative journalism to water integrity

2:00-3:30 pm

National and regional institutions that strive to report data for global monitoring frameworks like the MDGs do not report on leakages, scandals, unfair procurement processes, and public resources being siphoned off for private gain.  The session aims at bringing water journalists together to strategize how to effectively collaborate with civil society organizations to promote water integrity. A panel will address investigative journalism’s impact on local development, the risks and threats for independent reporters, and mitigation actions.

Water and Sustainable Development: Operationalizing the SDGs in Fragile States

2:00-3:30 pm

Achieving sustainable development in fragile and conflict-affected states requires tailored approaches to water resources management and service delivery. The session will highlight integration among water-related sectors involved in humanitarian contexts, the impact of conflict sensitive support for rebuilding livelihoods and economies, and the need to balance immediate service provision with medium to long-term Sustainable Development Goals.  The session will ask how peace and security considerations should be taken into account when operationalizing, measuring, and evaluating the water and sanitation-related SDGs.

Water for Food Security and Nutrition

4:00-5:30 pm

The session will present findings and recommendations from the High Level Panel of Experts for Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) report “Water for Food Security and Nutrition.” A moderated dialogue with representatives from the private sector, civil society, Committee on Food Security (CFS) member countries, and audience members will be included in the session. Audience members will have the opportunity to discuss water as a resource for food security and nutrition.

SDG on water and sanitation – measuring progress and ensuring implementation

4:00-5:30 pm

SDG 6 on water and sanitation, along with water-related targets in other SDGs, increase the ambition of the post-2015 water agenda. For political ambition to translate into practice, targets must be supported by meaningful indicators that allow for the effective monitoring of progress towards target achievement. This session will discuss the ongoing political and technical processes of the UN and will help establish the way forward to successfully implement SDG 6 and water-related targets.

Water for Women – Every Woman Counts, Every Second Counts

4:00-5:30 pm

Women from the public and private sectors will lead the interactive panel discussion. The panel will focus on the links between water access and women’s empowerment and how improved water access can play a crucial role in empowering women to end poverty.


Vision Speaker: Ms Catarina de Albuquerque

8:30-9:00 am

The first UN Special Rapporteur on the human right to access safe drinking water and sanitation and current Executive Chair of the Sanitation and Water for All Partnership will speak. She will discuss how we find the best solutions, policies, and approaches to moving forward with the Post 2015 development agenda and how to best align current international processes with human rights to change the future.

An emerging framework for monitoring WASH in the post-2015 era

9:00-10:30 am

The World Health Organization will discuss the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Drinking-Water Supply and Sanitation. Since 2011, JMP has convened a series of consultations on possible targets and indicators for WASH in the post-2015 era, involving over 70 organizations in the sector and resulting in proposed indicators and definitions for monitoring of new WASH targets post-2015. The session will present the proposed indicators measuring safe and affordable drinking water, adequate sanitation and hygiene, and open defecation, along with plans to track inequalities.

Harmonizing Monitoring, Evaluation, and Reporting: Water and Sanitation in Africa

9:00-10:30 am

At the close of the MDGs, the monitoring, evaluation, and reporting of the Water and Sanitation sector remains fragmented. Some global monitoring instruments harvest secondary data generated at the country-level and others collect primary data. The transition from MDGs to Post 2015 SDGs present an opportunity for a change in monitoring, evaluation, and reporting for the sector to ensure greater harmonization and to reduce the burden of data collection and reporting at country levels. The session will discuss the need for a data revolution to make information and data more available and accessible and for more measurable goals and targets.

Understanding Humanitarian and Development WASH Approaches to Improve Service Delivery

9:00-10:30 am

The seminar seeks to improve cooperation and coordination between humanitarian WASH actors and their development counterparts. Both groups provide WASH assistance in contexts of protracted crises and Stockholm offers the venue for dialogue between these actors to connect and develop more effective, efficient, and more coordinated WASH service delivery. The session will also identify key WASH issues that should feed into the World Humanitarian Summit process and will discuss the most effective linkages between humanitarian and development aid.

Don’t cheat on us! Gender dimensions in water corruption

11:00 am-12:30 pm

Women are often under-represented in decision-making related to water Civil society efforts by women have an impressive track record of curbing and preventing corruption when actively engaged in water-related community interventions. The session will explore the gendered dimensions of corruption in the water sectors by showcasing examples of women’s strategies to combat corruption in different parts of the world. Participants will discuss how to integrate a gender perspective in water integrity.

Feeding Nine Billion People: How Water Stewardship Cam Help

11:00 am-12:30 pm

Water stewardship is a collaborative and multi-stakeholder approach that aims to achieve social, environmental, and economic benefits. The session will critically discuss lessons learned by engagement between the private sector and governments, civil society, and academia, to drive more sustainability through agricultural supply chains. Participants will also discuss how water stewardship can make significant and meaningful contributions to equitable development after the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

WASH in Nutrition: strategic and operational solutions to fight under-nutrition

11:00 am-12:30 pm

The publication of a number of scientific reviews questioning the impacts of WASH activities on the nutritional status of individuals has encouraged development actors to more closely examine the link between the nutrition and WASH sectors. The session will provide an overview of the latest field experiences and research projects linking poor WASH status and infection and under-nutrition. The session will also promote increased advocacy efforts and more rigorous research to ensure WASH is implemented in nutrition interventions.

Water for Development: Private Sector Involvement in Implementing the SDGs

11:00 am-12:30 pm

Ministers and other stakeholders from Africa are not satisfied with the image portrayed that Africa is lagging in water and sanitation development. The session will demonstrate the political determination of African Ministers to improve upon the performance record of the MDGs in water and sanitation. It will also examine the role of the private sector in increasing service delivery and will analyze the role policy-making, governance, and service delivery in the implementation of the SDGs.

Mistakes to successes: Learning from errors

4:00-5:30 pm

Making errors is an important part of development processes and identifying errors requires systematic learning and evaluation processes. The session will open with organizations presenting their errors and how they have overcome them. It will also discuss sustainable behavior change and public demand and acceptance. Audience members will have the opportunity to present case studies of failure in scaling pilot projects.

Public Finance for WASH: making it happen

4:00-5:30 pm

Achieving the SDGs will require mobilization of funding for WASH on an unprecedented scale. Pubic funding for decentralized infrastructures, capital maintenance, monitoring, and promotion campaigns has been minimal. Centered on a role-play game and open discussion, the session will explore the political economy of public investment in equitable WASH services and will identify approaches for maximizing domestic public financing in the WASH sector.

Re-framing silos to accelerate development pathways

4:00-5:30 pm

The water-energy-food nexus helps to identify and overcome sectoral “silos” and provides the opportunity to form new alliances and public-private partnerships for cros-sectoral project development. The seminar will explore and discuss the drivers and incentives for donors and investors to finance nexus projects, while aligning development priorities.  The session will provide participants with an understanding of the elements needed to move from nexus assessment to action to accelerate development and SDG implementation.


UN-Water Stakeholder Dialogue: Way Forward in the Sustainable Development Agenda

9:00-10:30 am

There is already international consensus that water and sanitation are essential to achieving other SDGs related to climate change, agriculture, food security, health, energy, gender, and education. Different sectors now need to coordinate their actions to prepare for efficient implementation. In this session, representatives from various sectors will discuss the next steps in the sustainable development agenda for water.

Water as a driver for sustainable development and poverty eradication

9:00-10:30 am, 11:00 am-12:30 pm, 2:00-3:30 pm

The session will aim to address how to implement a rights-based approach to water to mitigate the negative effects of asymmetries in power between the haves and have nots . Participants will discuss how we can work towards a future of more inclusive, just, and equitable development to ensure that the poorest and the hardest to reach are not left behind.

Water, Gender, and Distress: social equity in the post-MDG landscape

9:00-10:30 am

Compromised access to water and sanitation has profound psychosocial impacts for women and girls across their life course. Recent research has shown the significant opportunity water and sanitation programs can offer to shift gender norms. The workshop will examine how the availability of water and sanitation resources and the physical and social challenges associated with accessing these resources can negatively impact women and girls. Participants will also learn how gender-sensitive policies and programming can mitigate these impacts and have the potential to empower women and transform existing gender norms.

Collaborative water monitoring through open data and mobile technology

11:00 am-12:30 pm

The need to monitor and evaluate water systems is clear, but the updating and maintenance of the resulting databases has proven difficult. The session will present examples of organizations and governments overcoming some of these limitations by embracing mobile technology to make monitoring efforts more collaborative, open, less expensive, and more sustainable at scale. The session will feature “lightning talks” from organizations leading in this effort, followed by an opportunity for participants to ask questions and discuss.

Financing for Development: innovative Financial Mechanisms for the Post-2015 Agenda

11:00 am-12:30 pm

From 1990 to 2012, 2.3 billion people globally gained access to improved water sources and almost 2 billion gained access to improved sanitation. Today, more than 700 million people still use unimproved drinking water sources and 2.5 billion people use unimproved sanitation facilities. The session will discuss how countries will finance, implement, measure, and monitor the new water-related SDG. Participants will discuss financing mechanisms required to achieve the water-related SDG, existing strategies and mechanisms addressing the SDGs, and what Asia, Africa, and Latin America can learn from each other in achieving the SDGs.

Making Transformational Gains for Gender Equality through WASH Policy

11:00 am-12:30 pm

The session will showcase policies, strategies, and practices of select countries and development organizations aimed at enhancing gender equality in the WASH sector. Participants will discuss what is required to integrate gender into country WASH policies and strategies, what development organizations have learned from implementing their gender policies and strategies, and how countries and development agencies can harmonize indicators to collect sex disaggregated data.

SFD – a tool to foster sustainable urban sanitation programming

11:00 am-12:30 pm

The event introduces the “SFD Promotion Initiative,” the SFD web portal, and main features of the approaches used to develop the SFDs. The SFD Promotion Initiative promotes tools for fecal waste flow analysis to build on the service delivery assessment and to inform urban sanitation programming. The program will introduce the SFD promotion initiative and the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA)-SFD web portal. Participants will then discuss the purpose of shit flow diagrams, how to produce SFDs, and quality assurance and credibility mechanisms.

Gearing up for implementing the SDGs: the country perspective

2:00-3:30 pm

The session will bring together country officials and representatives of the UN and other international organizations who are expected to play a role in the country level planning and implementation of the SDGs. Participants will discuss gearing up for implementing the SDGs and an Asian and African country will offer their perspectives on planning and capacity building to deliver water-related targets.

Indigenous peoples and natural resources in the Sustainable Development Goals

2:00-3:30 pm

Indigenous peoples’ rights to land, resources, and self-determined development need to be included in post-2015 goals and projects addressing water, health, and environmental sustainability. The session will discuss how indigenous peoples’ rights and interests can be ensured in water development projects related to the SDGs and will present examples of successful collaboration between indigenous groups and private actors in the water sector.

Building trust and sustainability through integrity: Focus on citizens and communities

4:00-5:30 pm

Poor quality and sustainability of investments in infrastructure and “slippage” in access to water services diminish trust in governments and public institutions. The session will contextualize Transparency, Accountability, Participation, and Anti-Corruption (TAPA) strategies for good water governance and water resource management. The session will also explore linkages of goals and targets between water and poverty eradication, food security, and health. Participants will discuss the Community Managed Project (CMP) approach in Ethiopia and case studies in Nepal and Bangladesh.

Changing behaviors to build systems that last: SWA’s evolving strategy

4:00-5:30 pm

The event will discuss findings from research conducted by partners in 10 countries, including Timor-Leste, Ethiopia, Burkina-Faso, Honduras, and Liberia. The session will offer recommendations of behaviors necessary to improve development effectiveness and strengthened systems. Participants will discuss a shift from “business as usual” aid and development practices to behaviors that unlock resources and systemize inclusiveness, equity, and sustainability.

Sustainable City Sanitation – from planning to implementation

4:00-5:30 pm

The session will feature an “open-fishbowl” conversation around cutting-edge city sanitation themes. The conversation topics include city sanitation plan achievements in India and Indonesia in the past five years, Shit Flow Diagrams as state-of-the-art visualization tools, and the excreta management ladder concept.

Transforming the sanitation sector for achieving universal access by 2030

4:00-5:30 pm

Practitioners and thought leaders in the sanitation sector will discuss changes the sector must undergo in order to progress effectively towards universal access by 2030. The session will discuss the key priorities for the sanitation sector in the SDGs period and will present sector-wide lessons from innovative sanitation experiences. The panel will discuss future priorities for the sanitation sector.


A sustainable approach to scale-up safe water

9:00-10:30 am

Scaling-up requires a much more holistic, more coordinated and orchestrated approach involving project partners and mainstream institutions of the society. The session will aim to establish a change agenda and will discuss what is needed to scale-up safe water. Representatives from NGOs, the private sector, government, and finance will discuss how to enable environments, strengthen supply, and enhance demand for safe water services.

Can we honestly measure rural WASH impact and sustainability?

9:00-10:30 am

There is often a reluctance to revisit WASH projects after completion because their sustainable impacts may be limited. The session will challenge all rural WASH actors to measure impact and the sustainability of projects at project completion and several years after completion. Presenters will share examples from the IFRC ‘Look Back Study’ and will engage participants in a debate about how we should measure, what we should measure, and how we measure software and behavior change.

Exploring Urban Sanitation at the Nexus of Government and Enterprise

9:00-10:30 am

USAID and Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) will facilitate three 15- minute technical presentations and a game that will encourage participants to explore the nexus between government and enterprise for improved urban sanitation. Participants will work together to propose potential approaches to effectively engage the private sector in hypothetical urban sanitation scenarios. USAID and WSUP will discuss the importance of private sector engagement and the participation of state and local government stakeholders.

Keys for successful youth engagement in Water for Development

9:00-10:30 am

Swedish Water House at SIWI, the Water Youth Network, and the World Youth Parliament for Water will share innovative ways for youth engagement to link up with support institutions. The session aims to raise awareness among young participants about global challenges related to “water for development” and the potential for youth engagement. The session will also share successful and failed practices developed by youth and young professionals that address “water for development.”

World Water Day 2016: Water for people, water by people

9:00-10:30 am

Under the theme “Water and Jobs,” the year 2016 provides an important opportunity to highlight the two-way relationship between water and the work agenda in the quest for sustainable development. Participants will have the opportunity to learn more about the theme of World Water Day and will be invited to get involved in the campaign.

Beyond the Basics – Next Generation Solutions for Rural Sanitation

9:00-10:30 am

Increasing evidence demonstrates that a lack of access to rural sanitation has far reaching impacts for health, loss of productivity, and reduced school attendance. Most rural sanitation services have largely failed to reach the poorest rural populations and have failed to integrate other development sectors such as nutrition, livelihoods, inclusive finance, and social protection. The session will use a series of case studies to identify the potential for cross-sectoral learning and will discuss success factors that can be integrated into at-scale county programs.

Gender sensitive indicators in sanitation and wastewater planning and implementation

11:00 am-12:30 pm

Women are often underrepresented in the water and sanitation decision-making chain from planning to operation and maintenance. The SDG Water Goal specifically mentions the needs of women and girls under target 6.2, but it is unclear how to monitor and achieve gender-related targets. The session will contribute to the discussion on monitoring for targets 6.2 and 6.3. Implementers from the field will share their experiences about monitoring gender equality in the global South.

Scaling-up sanitation microfinance: what will it take?

11:00 am-12:30 pm

The slow progress towards the MDG for sanitation requires us to think about innovative sources of finance for the sector. A number of research initiatives took place to explore the potential of microfinance for leveraging household investments in sanitation and to support the development of a complete range of sanitation services. The session will highlight findings from this research and the remaining challenges for scaling-up existing sanitation enterprises.

WASH and NTDS – Tackling Inequalities Together

11:00 am-12:30 pm

An opportunity exists to improve equity outcomes of WASH programs by accelerating efforts to control and eliminate NTDs. The session will highlight the role of WASH in the prevention and management of NTDs, present a strategy for strengthening linkages between WASH and NTDs, and will discuss examples of inter-sectoral collaboration like the use of joint indicators.

Financing universal WASH coverage under the Sustainable Development Goals

2:00-3:30 pm

The ability to meet an SDG WASH target depends on whether universal WASH coverage can be financed. This includes financing incentives to promote behavior change and to provide hardware required to ensure sustainable water and sanitation services. The session will translate the Financing for Development conference in Ethiopia to the water sector and will explore potential financing sources to close the financing gap within the sector.

Pieces of the Puzzle: Achieving Sustainable Rural Sanitation at Scale

2:00-3:30 pm

The shift in focus towards the SDGs and achieving universal use of sanitation products and services will require transformative, partnership-driven, and system-wide approaches. The event will bring together key players currently involved in efforts to scale up universal use of sanitation services to offer insight on current activities and on what is still missing.

Meeting the fundamental need for WASH in health facilities

4:00-5:30 pm

48% of health facilities lack basic water supplies and major efforts are needed from a number of stakeholders to strengthen national standards, monitoring, and implementation. The session will provide an effort on recent global efforts to improve WASH in health care facilities, including a new global strategy led by WHO and partners. Facilitators will highlight solutions for strengthening monitoring and implementation of WASH in health care facilities from a diverse group of stakeholders.

Reaching Rural Populations: Ideal Space for Partnerships

4:00-5:30 pm

The session will discuss how the SDGs create a common mission, with alignment between business and NGO interests, and provide the opportunity for partnerships to reach rural populations. Procter & Gamble (P&G) will discuss their partnership with WVI to use their household water treatment products as a bridge strategy for reaching vulnerable, rural populations in emergency and outbreak areas. The Sesame Street Workshop team will also share their efforts to bring critical hygiene and behavior change to children and schools.

The Water Credit Model: Lessons and Opportunities for Scale and Impact

4:00-5:30 pm

Water.org’s WaterCredit model has grown rapidly from 100,000 loans to more than 500,000 loans in the last two years. This session will explain the unique characteristics and mechanics of the WaterCredit model, share its results and lessons learned, and explore new approaches and channels for considering how we can provide improved water and sanitation to millions more people through innovative financing.


Closing Plenary

9:00 am-1:00 pm

The Closing Plenary will tie together discussions from the Week. Speakers will discuss the possible outcomes of the UN General Assembly High-Level Summit in September and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in December. The Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden, the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the President of the World Water Council will speak during the Closing Plenary.

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