Watershed empowering citizens programme, a strategic partnership between the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in particular the IGG department, DSO and relevant embassies) and IRC, Simavi, Wetlands International and Akvo. Watershed delivers improvements in the governance and management of water, sanitation and hygiene services as well as of the water resources on which they draw. The programme does this at the international level and in Kenya, Uganda and four additional countries by strengthening the capacity of national civil society to lobby government and other WASH duty bearers. This is leading to measurable improvements in the quality and sustainability of WASH services in these countries.
Watershed focuses its interventions most intensively in Uganda and Kenya, where a full range of interventions from local to national scale are undertaken. Other countries include Mali, Ghana, Bangladesh and India. Through a series of interventions, from district to national level, the programme ensures that evidence, knowledge and lessons from district-scale interventions in target countries are translated upwards to influence governance and policy at national, regional and international levels. Change in policy and practice is being achieved by evidence-based lobbying and advocacy by Watershed partner organisations and civil society organisations (CSOs) in the target countries.
Recognising that national civil society capacity to engage in these issues is limited, Watershed, through its local partners, is investing in strengthening the capacity of CSOs to engage and participate in dialogue and dissent about governance and policy. To this end, the partnership assesses, develops and implements a suite of tools and approaches for building CSO capacity for evidence-based lobbying and advocacy. Sustainability of WASH services is the ultimate goal of Watershed, where water insecurity threatens or coincides with weak WASH service.