Oxfam Phillippines interview: WASH, sanitation marketing, and transformative empowerment in the Philippines

In an interview with IWCAN’s Karen Delfau, Rona Ramos, Camille Adle, and Perlita Gacutno from Oxfam Philippines share their experiences on sanitation marketing in the Philippines, women’s leadership projects, financial structures, and implementing market-based programmes.

Interview topics

  • About Rona, Pearl, and Camille and their roles in Oxfams’s sanitation work
  • About sanitation marketing and Oxfam’s WASH and markets program.
  • Contextual challenges and the benefits of partnering with local governments and citizens
  • Can people be persuaded to avoid dependency on subsidies?
  • How to empower women in the sanitation market
  • Faecal sludge management
  • Partnerships, market development, and financing

The interviewees’ roles in Oxfam’s sanitation work in the Philippines after Typhoon Yolanda, and now, in late 2017

Between 2015 and 2016, Rona Ramos was the WASH and markets specialist for Oxfam in the Philippines. She designed the WASH and markets program and how it was to be implemented and overseen. She was among the team’s mentors regarding technical aspects. She was also responsible for developing partnerships for the program. At the time of the interview, October 2017, she was the WASH adviser for Oxfam Philippines, overseeing and developing WASH programs there, especially the market-based programs. She was also overseeing Oxfam’s humanitarian WASH response strategy and developing and supporting market-based WASH in several other countries in the region.

Between 2015 and 2016, Perlita (Pearl) Gacutno was based on Bantayan Island, in Cebu Province, as the micro-enterprise officer for the WASH and markets program. She was also a community organiser for Oxfam’s Partner, the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement and the Women’s Economic Empowerment and Care (WE-Care) initiative. At the time of the interview, October 2017, Pearl was a regional co-ordinator of Mediation Network for Sustainable Peace for the Visayas islands, one of the Philippines’ three principal geographical divisions.

Between 2015 and 2016, Camille Adle was the WASH and markets officer in Eastern Samar province in the Eastern Visayas region, and before that, on Bantayan Island. In Eastern Samar, Camille’s role was to organise masons and make sure that they were trained to be sanitation service providers. She also organised and mobilised the Local Government Units (LGUs), and she managed Oxfam’s enterprise development partner in that region. At the time of the interview, October 2017, Camille was a humanitarian program officer for Christian Aid, mostly involved in humanitarian work and co-ordination. She was also Secretary of the Philippines’ INGO Network — a network of all the international non-government organisations working in the Philippines.

Tell us about Oxfam’s WASH and markets program

Oxfam’s market-based WASH program began as a sanitation marketing project in 2015 — ‘Market-based WASH’ The aim was to try a new approach to WASH that didn’t involve the usual subsidies.

The project used a two-pronged approach: some of the WASH team were working in communities on community-led total sanitation (CLTS), and others were working on ‘sanitation marketing’, setting up the supply of toilets. The sanitation marketing project was a new concept at the time and the teams were learning by doing.

Camille’s sanitation marketing team on Bantayan Island started by organising construction workers — termed masons — to do toilet construction. At that time on Bantayan, male and female masons were available. They had been trained after Typhoon Yolanda, which hit in November 2013, for reconstruction work and women had received training because there were insufficient men. The sanitation marketing team started by giving masons training in local sanitation technology. They tried to also teach them to be entrepreneurs and market the products, but that was less successful.

Meanwhile, in 2015, Rona was a microfinance officer for sanitation marketing in both Eastern Samar and Bantayan Island in Cebu province. She played the technical advisory support to Camille and for another sanitation marketing officer in Eastern Samar. There too, the ‘micro-enterprise development’ part of the project was focused on training masons to become sanitation entrepreneurs so the could sell toilets to households. Rona’s role was to arrange microfinance partners who could develop financial products that could help households buy toilets.

However, this new concept was anchored on an existing project that was subsidising household toilets. One effect of the subsidy was that households were reluctant to put their own money into building sanitation facilities. Rather, the households depended on the subsidy that the donor organisation was giving out. As a result, the microfinance Industry partners just became service providers for the construction of the toilets.

The lessons learnt during the 2015 sanitation marketing project led Oxfam to develop the WASH and markets project, which started in 2016 — again in Eastern Samar and Bantayan Island, in the Eastern and Central Visayas, regions VII and VIII in the Phillippines.

This new WASH and markets model was designed based on the different contexts in those two areas. The financing model was developed in Bantayan, while the enterprise and governance component was focused on Eastern Samar.

What challenges did you meet in this work? What is the project’s current situation?

On Bantayan, we had to rethink the market chain, having found that our masons could not also be entrepreneurs. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) runs a Sustainable Livelihoods Program (SLP) on Bantayan. Since 65% of Bantayan households don’t have toilets, we recommended to the DSWD that the SLP funding could be allotted to help community livelihood associations start their sanitation enterprise by selling building materials for households to build toilets. The masons could build the toilets, using materials provided by the SLP. But households needed to finance the work, so we approached the Cebu People’s Multi-Purpose Cooperative (CPMPC). They had a product called ‘SAVED” — Saving Aiming for Venture Events and Dreams, and the Piso-Pisong Tigom (PPT) for members wanting to ‘save for ventures and dreams’, and a ‘minimum-savings’ system. They were willing to link with our WASH and markets program to help finance the toilets.

The situation was quite different in Eastern Samar. There we had multiple challenges because in 2016, Oxfam was still providing traditional WASH subsidies alongside its new market-based WASH services. How do you introduce market-based WASH to communities and to Local Government Units when there are other members of your team introducing WASH products that are subsidised?

Therefore, it was especially difficult for us to find financial institutions that would do what CPMPC was doing in Bantayan: that is, taking on the risks of making a new financial product that communities could access.

What we did in Eastern Samar was try to establish relationships with Local Government Units to get them on board the market-based WASH program. We only succeeded in one municipality — Sulat in Eastern Samar — and that was because they liked the program and because there were no WASH subsidies available there. No NGOs were operating there, so for them, it was a logical way to avoid dependency amongst their constituents.

Meanwhile, in Guiuan and Salcedo, another two municipalities we worked in, the traditional WASH subsidies were very much in evidence. They had all these water safety plans and water systems built, and toilets given to them. That made it really difficult for us to ‘sell’ the project to them. That’s why in Eastern Samar we focused on mobilising the LGU in Sulat.

Basically, we pitched the project to them: “this is what market-based WASH would potentially look like, depending on your context”. They tried to do their own investigation to find out how many households did or did not have toilets there and one of the main points they saw in favour of market-based WASH was its potential to provide livelihoods for so many people, not just masons. There are also potential opportunities for entrepreneurs among health workers who would like to sell the products and the services.

The Sulat LGU saw the program would help them achieve their goal of zero open defecation. They also saw an opportunity to work together inside the LGU and were able to mobilise their DSWD and its SLP also. In fact, by working together, we have been able to continue the project even now that Oxfam is no longer there.

We only had a month or two to get all the stakeholders together and to try to convince them to do this!

In 2017 we have had an external consultant doing a field-based impact evaluation of WASH and markets. The aim is to guide the operation of the program and refine or improve the model based on learnings to be ready to come up with the second phase of the program.

Can people be persuaded to avoid dependency on subsidies?

Subsidies are the normal way WASH is implemented here in the Philippines and probably also in a lot of other parts of the world. When local governments speak about WASH it’s always in the language of subsidies. For example, “we provide this water system; we have budgets for toilets; …”. There is no focus on asking households to invest in WASH.

Between 2015 and 2016 we were just coming out of an emergency project after the typhoon and trying to apply the market-based approach as a ‘recovery to rehabilitation’ project. Yet many NGOs and even some units of the Government were still providing toilet units or water systems as part of their projects especially in the areas worst affected by the typhoon. We understood that it would be very challenging to apply a market-based program in areas where donors were still providing traditional WASH subsidies. Especially when compared to a municipality like Sulat, which had not received much and was not supported by any WASH agency or organisation.

Most donors are still providing subsidies, so we just had to work alongside that and try to move against the tide. Of course, we recognise that subsidies are very important to help people who need help.

We are looking at introducing an alternative approach because there are so many subsidies in the area. It’s a matter of how we can influence those programs to make their subsidies work in supporting market development for sanitation. When we were implementing WASH and markets, I think that was our mindset: to at least give the subsidy programs something they could build on.

We had to learn what motivates people: why they wanted to have toilets; what would make them want to have a toilet; and what were their constraints. What we found through that study was that most people were looking for government or NGO subsidies because they felt they shouldn’t need to spend their money on toilets, sanitation, or WASH facilities if there is a free service in other places.

So, we tried to introduce the idea that WASH is something that you need to invest in. It’s not something that you just leave to the government or other people to provide so that you can access it. You need to be able to provide and access your own toilet and not have to depend on other people’s.

We also aimed to show the communities that toilets are something they can afford — because one of the main constraints is always financial. It’s expensive to have toilets constructed on an island because it’s too far away and the materials are very expensive. They also have to pay the masons and they’d rather not spend money on that. So, we tried to break that attitude and to get communities thinking that sanitation is something that they should be investing in. It’s something important and it should be a priority. Of course, I wouldn’t say that we were able to do that in the span of a few months but it’s what this approach tried to do.

Maybe we could work with those subsidies programs and leverage both government funds and private-sector funds to look at sanitation as an opportunity to build the capacity of the communities. We could say, for example: “hey look, we know you have money but giving out free toilets may not be sustainable, so why don’t you use your money instead to actually support this side of sanitation? Maybe then it will be more sustainable, in that communities will be empowered and they will not be dependent on aid or other government support.” There is a psychological aspect also: when people have to pay a nominal amount for a cistern or for a toilet, then they may see it as having value rather than just being a give-away.

I think we could focus more on building the dignity of people, perhaps saying: “yes, there are opportunities to get toilets for free, but ownership can give you a sense of dignity that you are being able to provide for your own sanitation.” That way the communities could not only provide for their own sanitation needs but at the same time create income opportunities for people interested in sanitation as an enterprise or as a livelihood activity. In designing the WASH and markets program we made sure that it empowers people and that was also partly a reason for training or recruiting female masons. It was about building their confidence, so they see they are an active part of the sanitation value chain.

How did women’s empowerment happen and what successes have you seen?

Training the women masons wasn’t a deliberate part of the project when we started it. It just happened that we came across lists of names of masons that we had already trained during the emergency phase of the program, and we saw that it included female masons as well as males. These were masons who were trained to help with reconstruction in the community after the typhoon. So when we were about to organise masons, we contacted some of them. They were more than willing to try out something new.

Building confidence and bringing in a different skillset

The women were more excited than the men about this opportunity. I think it was because they were eager to show what they’d learnt. Oxfam had provided them with technical training that led to certification with the Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA). They were eager to demonstrate their masonry skills and their carpentry skills because no one would hire them in the community now that the urgent need had ended. They couldn’t get real jobs in the government or construction firms and they often were told: “oh, you’re a woman; you can’t carry this; you won’t be able to do this; you won’t be able to climb houses or roofs and do these things that men can do.”

So they were eager to join our training and try it out, even if they had little experience compared to the male masons that we invited. Our program helped the male masons see a new side to these women: that OK, maybe it is possible that you can do masonry work and carpentry work”. However, in the beginning, they were not talking to each other. The male masons were on one side of the room or construction area. The women were on the other side. They wouldn’t help each other. So we combined the males and the females into working groups and then they started talking and sharing their life stories and their experiences during the typhoon. They bonded and then they became friends, and that’s when the women were able to get the male masons to teach them certain techniques.

One of the good aspects of female masons is they tend to be more conscious of how they do things. They wanted tasks done in a certain way, to a certain quality, and they would not stop until they reached that sort of quality. If they were unsatisfied with their own work they would do it again and again, and better. I think the master masons — the men who were mentoring the other masons — were able to see this aspect of the women; that they were really striving hard; they were really motivated to do better and to do well in their work.

It ended up that these women masons were the ones fabricating the toilet bowls because they wanted them to be really smooth; they wanted them to be in different colours; they wanted them to look good and not just OK; they wanted to make them look marketable. So the women were able to add value to the products and they loved what they were doing. They also cleaned up after work, in a different way compared to the male masons.

The training and the market-based program showed them that they could do hard work, hard labour. In the beginning, they may have said: “I can do this” but they still had a lot of doubt because people around them doubted them. But, when they began to produce toilet bowls and people admired their work, they began to grow in confidence and work faster and do more. They were also more concerned about ensuring that the workflow was not interrupted. Those are some examples of aspects the women were able to bring into the program.

I think at the moment it is mostly women masons who are continuing the work of fabricating toilets in Bantayan, working with the microfinance Industry. Definitely, they have added value to the work. Although, I’m not saying they can replace the men entirely.

Having men and women working together in producing these toilet models was good practice because they were able to exchange ideas. If the males knew how to employ the proper techniques in construction in, say, cement mixing — the right mixtures, the right methods, and how to measure things — the women would be there to complement them in terms of aesthetics, and design, and quality. Actually, quality control was done more by women than men.

Changing the view of women’s roles in community sanitation

When we started training female masons, we started to highlight gender issues in sanitation — such as the role of women in providing or making sure there is water or sanitation available for the family. This is traditionally the women’s job when there is poor sanitation and poor water access. Yet, I think women are underrated for that role they play in promoting proper sanitation for the community.

Employing women has been instrumental in breaking down the stereotyped view that providing family sanitation and water is women’s work. Now they can be seen as a person — a ‘somebody’ who can work alongside men. As examples, in Guiuan, two couples — both husbands and wives — trained as masons together. And during the recent evaluation of the program in Sulat, we heard of a male mason trained in 2016 who has brought his wife into the work of fabricating toilet bowls so they have a shared livelihood. She was not part of the original WASH and markets program.

This shows the capacity of the program at the community level to bring husbands and wives together to look at sanitation in a different way – not just as women’s work.

How are the faecal outputs of the program being managed?

During the implementation in both regions, Eastern Samar and Bantayan Island, the local governments didn’t have existing facilities for faecal sludge management. Two separate projects were being implemented at the time, in different municipalities. One project was a Septage Management Revolving Fund; the other was our WASH and markets project.

I think the challenge of managing the sludge or solid waste wasn’t addressed during that time. The main focus then was on providing access. I think we haven’t yet reached the stage where people have built toilets that need to be serviced. Most of the toilet models that we design are good for two years. That means that if our partners continue the project — especially the microfinance industry partner who actually oversaw the project and has been continuing the implementation in Bantayan Island — they will have time to build the facility to service toilets in the households that have taken up the program.

Currently, we are also integrating the septage management revolving fund into the same municipalities where we had implemented WASH and markets, to address that gap in the program’s initial implementation. Although initially, the programs were separate, we realise now that they need to be integrated. We are currently discussing spots in Bantayan for constructing and building the septage management facility and the municipality of Sulat is also now being targeted to benefit from the revolving fund. So, that’s how the faecal sludge is going to be addressed.

Are there any other factors you’d like to mention?

There are some important factors enabling WASH and Markets to influence people on the ground and even governments.

Partnerships

Partnerships have played a big role in ensuring that we can develop a model that is adaptable and responsive to the context on the ground. We are lucky to have found good partners and we have managed to develop a good partnership with them.

If we didn’t have a microfinance partner that has a very flexible program and organisational capacity I don’t think we would have been able to develop the proper financing programs and the products.

At the same time, if we hadn’t also found a good partner to support the enterprise component and build capacity in local market factors on the ground, I don’t think we would have been able to set up the micro-enterprise framework.

Another key factor is leveraging, with government programs. We managed to leverage and to anchor the program with existing government programs. That’s our mindset when we’re looking at sustainability for a program: how we can link our program to existing government programs that can run it once we leave the area. In fact, I just met with an external consultant who has been doing the program evaluation. She told me that the DSWD has already incorporated WASH and markets into their subsidy program on principle. They say the beneficiary should allot some portion of their health subsidy to sanitation. Now they’re requiring all beneficiaries from their program to have invested in sanitation. This shows the program has the capacity to make an impact.

Market development

For sustainability within a community, we need to develop not only micro sanitation projects but also the market to employ the small-time workers like masons and village health workers. They play a big role in implementing sanitation ordinances and improving sanitation at the household level. We need to look at the roles of those people and how we can support them if we’re looking at enterprise development in WASH.

Finance

Another factor is financing. One of the key barriers to sanitation access in the Philippines is financing — the financial capacity of households. There are a lot of barriers, but I think the financial barrier is the main one. Most of the communities we work in are dependent on seasonal livelihoods and most of these communities have monthly incomes of only $100 or even less. So, if you’re looking at sanitation possibilities that are mandated by the government which will cost you about $1,000 to build, then the problem to access is mainly financing. We had to address that, initially, before we looked at other technical aspects. There are a lot of available subsidy programs supported by INGOs, the government, and even the private sector. How can we tap into all those available finances in building the capacity of the household and at the same time build the capacity of the entrepreneurs on the ground?

I think those are the three key factors — and they highlight the strength of WASH and Markets.

About Rona, Pearl and Camille from OXFAM Philippines

Rona Ramos

  • Rona Ramos is the in-country WaSH advisor for Oxfam Philippines and is in-charge of developing WaSH programmes, market-based programming and humanitarian response strategy for Oxfam.
  • She also provides support and market-based development for four Asian countries around the region.
  • Rona was the WaSH and Marketing specialist for Oxfam for 2015-16. She was responsible for designing the WaSH and Markets programme model and also part of the implementation and oversight part of the programme.
  • She also mentored team members, providing technical support, as well as finding partners for the programme.

Perlita ‘Pearl’ Gacutno

  • Perlita is currently the regional coordinator of the mediator’s network for sustainable peace in Eastern Visayas. She worked as an Enterprise Officer, also known as a WaSH & Markets Micro-enterprise officer, based in Bantayan Island from December 2015 to October 2016.
  • She has worked to develop Barangay Health Workers (BHW) into sales agents, as well as the Sustainable Livelihood Programme (SLP) associations.
  • She was also involved in the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement project (PRRM) as a community organizer for the women economic empowerment project after her engagement with Oxfam.

Camille Adle

  • Camille is working as a Humanitarian Programme Officer for Christian Aid.
  • Camille worked as a WaSH and Markets Officer in Eastern Samar, organizing sanitation service providers, organize and mobilize Local Government Units ( LGUs).

The WASH and markets program

  • Oxfam started its market-based WaSH programmes with a Sanitation Marketing Project in Bantayan.
  • Camille was working in Bantayan as a Sanitation Marketing Officer when the project was introduced as a way of looking at other alternatives for WaSH. Sanitation marketing along with CLTS was introduced at this stage.
  • The understanding then was that CLTS and sanitation marketing was to be done together. They hired women and men masons, trained from typhoon Yolanda in 2013, for the supply side of the project. These masons were then taught about basic sanitation technology and how to market it.
  • Camille reveals that the lessons learnt from this project helped develop the WaSH and Markets project that was started in 2016. She carried out the project in East Samar while Perlita did it in Bantayan.
  • Rona adds that she got involved in sanitation marketing in Cebu City where Oxfam was trying two approaches – microenterprise development focusing on developing mason’s capacity in becoming sanitation entrepreneurs and selling toilets to households.
  • She adds that a challenge for the project was that it was tied up to another project that offered a subsidy component per households. The subsidy didn’t assist households to invest in sanitation facilities.

Bantayan Island

  • It was developed in 2016 and was first implemented in Eastern Visayas, Region 7, and Northern Cebu, Region 8, designed specific to the context of the two areas.
  • Perlita reveals that when she joined the project in Bantayan Island, most of the resources were in place- masons, products, transport services, microfinance institutions, and research like household finance survey. The government also had a programme on health, so they had to connect all the points for the project to work.
  • Once the market plan was put in context to Bantayan, they coordinated with the government and discovered that the Department of Social Welfare Development ( DSWD) has a fund for sustainable livelihoods program and that they provide funding to these SLP associations, so they decided to interlink both programmes.
  • 65% of Bantayan’s population doesn’t have a toilet and Oxfam requested to use the 4Ps(Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program) social protection subsidy for health and education. It was proposed to be used as start capital for the sanitation savings fund for the beneficiaries to set up toilets.
  • The main barrier to access to toilets was financial They had a problem with financing since the sustainable livelihoods programme didn’t have enough funding so they met with microfinance institutions like Cebu’s Multipurpose Cooperative, (CPMPC) which has a savings programme in which they provide minimum savings allotment. They started a partnership by integrating both programmes.
  • WHAM program evaluation will also be conducted to learn from the model, make changes before starting the second phase of the project.

East Samar

  • While it was relatively easy to set up a financial model in Bantayan, East Samar faced challenges since Oxfam was conducting WaSH programs the traditional way, with subsidies, there.
  • The biggest challenge was introducing the new concept to government units while a part of the team was working on WaSH & selling WaSH products for subsidized rates.
  • They approached government units but were only successful in getting one municipality in Eastern Samar onboard market-based WaSH programme because they actually liked it. Sulat also accepted the programme because they didn’t have any subsidies available there since no NGO’s were working in the municipality.
  • Selling the project to municipalities of Guiuan and Salcedo was very difficult because they had subsidies available with water systems and water plans, and toilets given to them for free.
  • Oxfam concentrated on Sulat, supporting the local government staff and officials how market-based WaSH could look like, how it can be modified to suit their context, and the people scanned their own community and assessed how many toilets were available etc. Camille believes that people liked that it has the potential livelihoods for many.
  • It could provide opportunities for masons, entrepreneurs, and health workers. It also aided in making the municipality open defecation free as well as provide work in local government units.
  • They could mobilize the DSWD, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4P’s), the Kalahi- CIDSS project, an arm of the social welfare department providing infrastructure.
  • Camille adds that for East Samar, including the time restraints, it took them about 2 months to get all the stakeholders together and get the project going.

Market-based WASH and subsidies

  • Talking about subsidies in WaSH, Camille explains that that is how WaSH is implemented in most countries, even governments’ talk about having a budget for WaSH. There is no household investment in WaSH.
  • Subsidies are influenced by donors, who are used to giving away WaSH products and needs.
  • Rona adds that they are looking to see how they can use the subsidies to support the WaSH and markets programme, how government and private funds can be leveraged to look at sanitation as an opportunity to build capacity in communities so that they can fulfill their sanitation needs, and create income opportunities.
  • Implementing WaSH and Markets with the help of the government can be a way to make communities feel empowered and not be dependent on aid.
  • Rona agrees with the interviewer that people feel a sense of dignity and ownership when they can provide for their own sanitation needs.
  • Camille adds that they found out the motivators for people to have toilets, why they wanted them, what made them want a toilet and their study showed that it was so they don’t have to spend on toilets, on sanitation facilities as there was a free service available.
  • Through this project, they are educating people that sanitation is something they need to invest in, not something they can leave to the government to access it. Also that it’s something they can attain.
  • Camille admits that sanitation products on Bantayan are very expensive, including masons. It’s something they are trying to change but haven’t been really successful.

Women empowerment in the sanitation sector

  • Women masons were trained to help reconstruct houses after the typhoon and Oxfam contacted them to help with the project.
  • Oxfam provided the women technical training and certification from the Technical Education Skills Development Authority ( TESDA) and they were eager to show off their skills since no one in their community wants their services.
  • Inviting women to be a part of the project also showed male masons that they can do mason & carpentry work. At first, men & women wouldn’t work together, but when they were put in groups, the women started learning more skills from the men.
  • Camille adds that women masons wanted to do quality work and kept working until they achieved it. It was women that started making toilet bowls so that they looked marketable.
  • The project gave women the confidence that they can also do good work, do hard labour, and people admired their work. They also produced results.
  • Camille believes that men and women should work together for the exchange of ideas, while men look at technical aspects, women can be responsible for aesthetics and quality control.
  • Rona adds that women masons were also taught about better sanitation, why it’s important for the family since women are responsible for sanitation at home but are still not the main promoters of sanitation in communities.
  • Gender issues and stereotyping of women was also addressed. She gives an example of 2 couples who worked together in Guinan.
  • The capacity effect of the programme at a community level was that it brought husbands and wives together and look at sanitation in a different light rather than just mainly as the responsibility of the women.
  • Perlita gives the example of a male mason who encouraged his wife to join him in fabricating walls, bowls etc in Sulat.

Faecal sludge management

  • Perlita reveals that both in Eastern Samar and Bantayan Island, the government didn’t have fecal sludge management. Two separate projects – WaSH and Markets and Septic Management Evolving fund were carried out in different municipalities.
  • She adds that where the WaSH & Markets project was carried out, the toilets were good for 2 years but aren’t serviced yet. The point was to provide access.
  • The MFI partners who have absorbed the program will now have time to provide services to the toilets and households who have availed the programme. They are now merging both the projects to bridge this gap. The municipality of Sulat is taking advantage of the project.

The importance of multisector partnerships

  • Rona feels having partnerships on the ground has helped the project enormously, in making it adaptable & context-specific.
  • They had good microfinance & enterprise components. They also have been able to link the project to existing Government projects. The DSWD has absorbed it into their subsidy programme, allowing some health subsidy to sanitation.
  • Another achievement is market development, since for communities to meet their sanitation needs; micro-sanitation programs are needed. Small markets should also be created for masons or health workers to improve sanitation at the household level and implementing sanitation practices.
  • Financing is also important – many subsidies are available and it’s about how they can be tapped into to improve household capacity for sanitation. A major barrier to sanitation in the Philippines is a lack of finances.

Interview quotes

 

This interview and related content was originally part of the Kini Interview Series. Kini is a retired brand of the AWP and IWCAN.

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