Coalition of NGOs in Water and Sanitation’s (CONIWAS) 2012 to 2016 Strategic Plan sets out the organization’s vision and mission; then outlines the agreed strategic goals, and key objectives and strategies of achievement. The strategic planning process behind this document involved a long series of stakeholder consultations that reviewed the external working environment as well as CONIWAS’ current work and abilities. The method has been a participatory one, providing all staff, CONIWAS Members and the Executive Committee and other Sector Stakeholders with the opportunity to reflect upon our achievements and our ‘reason for being’. It has allowed CONIWAS to decide together the best way forward and to plan how to achieve significant positive change in the next five years.
The mission will be achieved by:
- Deepening existing partnership relations with existing partners whilst at the same time defining and developing new alliances and partnership to achieve the mission. The choice of new partners will be determined by the context (extent of marginalization), type of interventions planned (advocacy vs. service delivery or type of expertise needed).
- Demonstrating and stimulating ways of scaling up through members the delivery of sustainable and equitable water, sanitation and hygiene promotion within the context of national policy environment.
- Investigating barriers to sustainable and equitable water, sanitation and hygiene promotion service delivery. This will include making evidence-based arguments for the improvement of the decentralized delivery of those services.
This Plan stresses the need for a strong programme-based approach. As such, its strategic objectives are constructed along sector-specific lines. CONIWAS believes that the most effective way to sustainably improve access to water supplies and sanitation (WSS) is to work with and through existing and new, likeminded, organisations. CONIWAS will pursue a capacity building approach where appropriate, assisting with the organizational development for members and the Secretariat. This assistance will benefit both service delivery and advocacy work.
In Ghana, decentralization has provided unique opportunities for CONIWAS and its members to work with Local Governments to ensure they have the capacity to meet their responsibilities and that are making resources available for the Sector. This work will focus on advocating for more and efficient utilization of resources in favour of the poor and most vulnerable. It will work to investigate and remove barriers which impede the poor and vulnerable capacity to access WASH Services.
Areas of Strategic Focus
CONIWAS works to achieve the following strategic goals. Each goal has a number of strategic objectives and activities it seeks to implement. The goals have also a number of expected outcomes/key result areas. A logical framework to guide programme design and implementation has also been developed as a supporting document to the Plan.
- Building partnerships with relevant stakeholders in order to increase access to water and sanitation for the poor and vulnerable in urban, peri-urban and rural areas.
- Creating a strong and effective advocacy platforms towards influencing policy and enabling marginalized populations develop a voice.
- Develop CONIWAS into effective and efficient Learning Organisation.
- Increasing access to sustainable and equitable WASH Services for the poor and deprived in Ghana.
- Establishing mechanisms for ensuring sustainability of CONIWAS and its members and its contribution to the sector.
Building and Strengthening Key Relationships - Current Situation
CONIWAS is aware that the task of enabling the poor, marginalized and the unserved to have a voice and demand for improved services is of such magnitude that it cannot achieve much without the support of other stakeholders. It realizes also that other organisations and government bodies (CWSA, WRC, WD/MWRWH, and GWCL), and the PURC have relevant technical and cultural knowledge and other resources to enrich her programmes. CONIWAS also recognizes the resources (both technical and financial) of the Development Partners (CIDA, UNICEF, DANIDA, EKN, World Bank, etc) and international NGOs (WaterAid, Plan Ghana, IRC, ADRA etc. CONIWAS through its members have relations with some District Assemblies and are expected to work through the District water and sanitation plans. CONIWAS also work with the private sector consultants and research institutions.
CONIWAS, has sometimes, been considered as controversial in dealing with issues bordering on inefficiencies and ineffectiveness in the WASH Sector or advocate for social change and is often viewed as against government position. In many cases, CONIWAS has had considerable impact on governments, either by offering models for new government programmes, suggesting reforms to existing policies and/or critiquing new policy proposals. CONIWAS already has a good relationship with the government and the Sub-sector organisations. A strong relationship between CONIWAS and government is critically important in achieving sustainable human development.
CONIWAS recognizes the importance of WASH Services in influencing other MDG outcomes – (Goals 1 to 6). It also aware of the synergistic impact it could make on peoples’ lives if it can connect with other Coalitions and Platforms who share in the beliefs, positions, and values of CONIWAS. CONIWAS already has some relationship with such Platforms as Natural Resource and Environmental Governance, Oil and Gas, Ghana National Education Coalition Campaign (GNECC), Ghana Aid Effectiveness, Platform, Health Coalition, Ghana HIV/Aids Network (GHANET), MDG Platform, and Equity and Inclusion Platform. At the international level, CONIWAS is a member of ANEW and an affiliate to Fresh Water Network/End Poverty Campaign. CONIWAS will deepen its relationship with these platforms whilst at the same time work to identify new platforms based on specific common agenda of influencing policy and creating space for the poor and the vulnerable to be heard.
CONIWAS recognizes the role of the Media in disseminating information and engaging policy makers on issues affecting the WASH Sector. The Media sometimes depend on such organisations as CONIWAS to provide them with accurate and timely information for the above purposes. CONIWAS has had a fruitful relationship with both print and electronic media and has involved them in its press briefing and policy dialogues. The media have also provided space for CONIWAS to engage policy-makers and discuss issues affecting the Sector. Within this strategic period CONIWAS will strengthen this engagement and provide the capacity building mechanisms needed by the Media. CONIWAS will further establish mechanism to monitor media reporting on WASH Sector.
At the international level, CONIWAS will continue to work with ANEW, FAN, AMCOW and other likeminded organisations and platform to influence policies on WASH in favour of the poor and the marginalized. CONIWAS will facilitate the formation of sub-regional body/platform to engage ECOWAS on issues of WASH.