WEDC brings in professionals from across the world to learn more about WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) and develop ideas for moving the sector forward. Now in its 41st year, the theme for this year’s conference was: transformation towards resilient and sustainable WASH services. Another insightful conference, here is our review of some of our major takeaways from the conference this year.

Using data to drive policy

Several presentations were focused around the collective use of data and how that is being used drive effective policy and action planning going forward. Whilst individually it is important to monitor and analyse data to prove the impacts of action plans and policy, it is also important for practitioners to share this information. Collaboratively a number of organisations showed the benefits of sharing data to help build a bigger picture and create more powerful programs because of it. Moving forward we are all advocating for a more open sector which can work collectively to help tackle the big WASH problems.

From 'improved' to 'safe'

The Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) introduced their update on the progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, presenting the first global assessment of ‘safely managed’ drinking water and sanitation since the introduction of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015. Major takeaways from the JMP include the vast inequalities that exist in the quality of water and sanitation services, particularly for people in rural areas or for countries facing conflict. They also discussed that whilst many countries have made strides in managing safe drinking water, safe sanitation lags which inevitably effects the whole system. This topic is closely tied to Palintest’s operations, as in large ‘safely managed’ drinking water means being able to test that the water is free of contamination.

To read the full press release from JMP click here.

To find out more information of the Sustainable Development Goals click here.

Schools and WASH

Schools and WASH occupied a section of the conference program this year promoting the critical role than schools play in shifting children’s future behaviour towards water and sanitation. Several different programs were highlighted including incorporating competition and sports into WASH programs to help encourage engagement and participation in these initiatives. The sessions highlighted the importance of empowering schools and local communities when it comes to water and sanitation. As with many things schools play a critical role for WASH in helping to shape the future of water and sanitation attitudes for the next generation.

As an organisation Palintest is committed to supporting WASH programs to help bring clean and safe water to everyone. Our thanks to WEDC and the other conference delegates for contributing towards an excellent event, we look forward to seeing you all at the 42nd conference in Loughborough next year. For more information about WEDC and the conference please click here.

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