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Interview with Clarissa Brocklehurst, UNICEF

September 2009


Clarissa Brocklehurst is Chief of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) at UNICEF and the coordinator of UN-Water’s Task Force on Sanitation. Last year, the Task Force assumed a leadership role in global advocacy and capacity building during the International Year of Sanitation. We asked her about what the Task Force was doing now as a follow-up to IYS.

"One of the things we’re doing as part of our IYS follow-up is creating a virtual scrapbook documenting the events held during the year. All over the world, countries organized many exciting and innovative IYS events. But to me, what’s most significant about these events is the follow-up that is being done by the countries themselves. Several countries have informed us that, as a result of the IYS campaign events, their governments have developed specific sanitation policies."

"In some countries the campaign succeeded in leveraging more funds for sanitation. For example, in Nepal, the Department of Local Infrastructure Development and Agricultural Roads decided to allocate 20 percent budget of its water supply project for sanitation and the national government has allocated US $660,000 for a stand-alone sanitation programme. In Nigeria, budget allocations in some states and at national level have increased for sanitation and hygiene and the fact that the National Council on Water Resources has made 2009 the National Year of Sanitation, clearly show a commitment to improving sanitation nationwide. Reports we have received from China also indicated that the IYS campaign contributed to an increased budget allocation for rural sanitation."

"Some country’s reported that the IYS campaigns had helped bring out about institutional changes in how sanitation is addressed at the national level. In Angola, the government has taken steps to establish a new national technical unit for environmental sanitation within the ministry of environment. In Pakistan, a Water and Sanitation Sector Donor Coordination Group and National Working Group on School Sanitation and Hygiene Education have been established."

"So this virtual scrapbook will serve as a record of these events and results they achieved. We feel it will be an important resource, providing ideas and inspiration for sanitation advocates everywhere. The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), with the support from UNICEF and UNDP, is taking the lead in preparing the virtual scrapbook. UNDESA is also preparing the Secretary-General’s Report on the IYS. UN-Water Task force members have contributed to the process."

"Our IYS follow-up activities also include providing support to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has commissioned a review of sanitation advocacy campaigns. Many of the global IYS campaign materials were made possible through funding from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, so IYS will be a large component of this review. We’ll work with the Gates Foundation to identify key informants for the review process. The review will give everyone in the sanitation sector a better understanding about what has worked in previous advocacy campaigns and should pave the way for more effective campaigns in the future."

"We have also updated the IYS logo. We were very happy with the logo and we felt it would be a shame to let it die. So with the help of the UN Department of Public Information, we redesigned the logo to make it ‘timeless’. Along with the images used in original, the washing hands and the pit latrine, we’ve added a bar of soap and the slogan, Sanitation for All. Organizations that want to organize non-profit events to advocate for improved sanitation will be able to use the logo."

"Another crucial part of our IYS follow-up involves strengthening the very productive partnerships created during the 2008 campaign. For example, the German Toilet Organization was an important IYS partner. The excellent exhibit they prepared for IYS, ‘Sanitation is Dignity’, continues to tour the world. With funding from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), we have commissioned a new project to be carried out by the German Toilet Organization: The My School Loo Contest, which will use comic strips to educate school children about the importance of sanitation."

"UN-Water and the UN Secretary-General's Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB) worked together to organize the global launch of IYS, and building on our partnership with UNSGAB is an important part of our work plan. UNSGAB does important advocacy work at very high levels. For example, it recently organized a ministerial round table on Sanitation in the Black Sea countries. One of the results that came out of the roundtable was the Ministerial Declaration on Water Supply and Sanitation in Small Rural Settlements in the Black Sea Region. UNSGAB has shared the results of the meeting with the Task Force, and we and UN-Water as a whole will do what we can to support the implementation of the actions recommended in the Declaration."

"The Task Force is also supporting follow up to the other sanitation conferences that took place during IYS, particularly AfricaSan and the eThekwini Declaration."

Last update:07 Oct 2014