GWOPA 5 years strategy launched in Stockholm

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The GWOPA Secretariat launched its 5-year Global Strategy at the a partners meeting organized on Tuesday, the 3rd of September in Stockholm during Stockholm World Water Week.  GWOPA Steering Committee Members, donors and other invited participants packed the small meeting room over lunchtime to talk about the new document that will guide the Secretariat's work over the coming years.

The meeting was kicked off with the opening remarks by Bert Diphoorn, Chair of GWOPA Steering Committee / Senior Manager of UN-Habitat which was followed by the a presentation on of the Strategy given by Faraj El-Awar, GWOPA Programme Manager, while participants leafed through the hard copies they had been given.

Dr. Uschi Eid, Vice-Chair of UN Secretary General's Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB), made a special remarks after the presentationa special address after the presentation, stressing and stressed the role of water and sanitation utilities in achieving the MDGs and mentioning recalling the history of GWOPA/WOPs. She saidHaving been an initial advocate for WOPs idea in UNSGAB's Hashimoto Action Plan, she expressed satisfaction at the growth of the approach, now backed with a strong s "I am happy to see in the strategy that totrategy for bolstering strengthen the regional platforms toand to promote good utility practice is importantpractice. As challenges, s. But do not forget to share bad practices." She also pointed out the importance of continually expanding the network and increasing the number of WOPs that focused specifically on the still-neglected challenges of sanitation and wastewater services. She also called on WOPs practitioners and partners to be more forthcoming with their failures, that messy but rich source of lessons for improving WOPs.activities in sanitation.

In the open discussion that followed, the strategy was well received by the participants with a lot of congratulations. Below are the summary of comments made by the partners.he gathering was very welcoming of the Strategy and shared a number of useful suggestions for rolling-it out. Notably, they encouraged the Secretariat to Need to link with SDGsarticulate the links between the Strategy and the evolving Sustainable Development Goal framework, to strengthen connections with regional platforms as well and tap into domestic WOPs processes, and to keep up its high-level advocacy work, particularly with International Financial Institutions whose buy-in to WOPs could be transformative. Branding was seen as a powerful idea that would need to be coordinated well with the regional partners for global buy-in.

The concept of BEWOP – a new research and outreach partnership between GWOPA and UNESCO-IHE, was briefly introduced at the end of the meeting. The 5-year initiative will advance knowledge on WOPs and produce tools to support more effective WOPs practice. In this context, Pim Van der Male, the representative of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs which is funding BEWOP, echoed Dr. Ushi Eid by calling on all participants at the meeting to contribute to the knowledge production by sharing their WOPs lessons, both good and bad.


Photos from the meeting

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