Communication on key issues in water, sanitation and hygiene need not only to inform, it also needs to inspire and influence decision makers. Communication also needs to contribute to involvement by people from all walks of life. This was the intent emerging from a consultation workshop on the draft WASH Sector Communication Strategy that is being developed as part of the forthcoming Sector Development Plan.
The consultation was organized by the Sector Efficiency Improvement Unit (SEIU) under the Ministry of Urban Development in Entrance Café, Kupondole Height on 14th November 2014. The program was attended by representatives from various organizations working in the communication, information and knowledge management of WASH. Joint Secretary of Ministry of Urban Development Mr. Ram Chandra Devkota spoke about the need of the Sector Development Plan and WASH sector Communication Strategy for improvement on efficiency of sector for better service delivery. He added that SDP and communication strategy are closely looking at sector vision which is improving public health and living standard by providing safe water and sustainable sanitation to achieve national target of "Sanitation and Water for All" by 2017.
Mr. Han Heijnen, Team leader of SEIU, spoke about the vision of SDP and Communication Strategy. He said, through the SDP we need to have a homogenous plan and in the process of SDP all the stakeholders need to be included. It will be critical for SEIU to start discussion between Sector Development Planners and Sector Development actors. What will be the role of each actor? For all this he added that Communication is very critical. The vision of the communication strategy is improving public health and living standard of people by providing safe, reliable and sustainable WASH services for all.
The program proceeded with the consultation on the update of formulation of Nepal WASH sector Communication Strategy. The main objectives of the consultation were to affirm the framework and brainstorming on operational issues. The presentation mainly focused on the process of formulating communication strategy with a brief introduction of the communication framework and theoretical framework.
After the brief update and process of formulating the communication strategy for the general discussion on the vision, messages, and priorities for the communication strategy three groups were formed. Each group after the discussion for 30-minute came up with the presentation of their findings.
The groups were divided as:
i) Communication Stream: Universal access and right based approach
ii) Communication Stream: quality standards and operational excellence
iii) Sector development/ coherence and linkages
The program was formally closed with final remarks about the next step and discussion by Han followed by the lunch.
The draft outline of the communication strategy is available here - http://seiu.gov.np/images/SEIU_ComStrat_draft_September_2014_1.pdf