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Reporting from SACOSAN VI

The eight large and small countries involved in these biennial South Asia Sanitation Conferences (SACOSAN) differ in important ways. The Maldives is an island nation. Bhutan and Nepal are mountainous areas. Bangladesh’s, Afghanistan’s, and Pakistan’s populations are majority Muslim. India, of course, is the largest and most diverse. And Sri Lanka may be the most advanced in terms of literacy and other development indicators.  Sri Lanka has recently experienced civil war and a tsunami, which also hit the Maldives. Nepal had a terrible earthquake last spring.

How Time Flies: Project Malio approaches its halfway point!

Azafady UK’s three-year sanitation and hygiene initiative, Project Malio, has recently reached its halfway point promoting sustained behavior change and latrine use in the coastal town of Fort Dauphin, southeast Madagascar. Using an adapted version of the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) methodology, Project Malio aims to eliminate – or at the very least significantly reduce – open defecation in Fort Dauphin by working with households, schools, communities and local government.

A good chance for learning right till the end: last day at the UNC Conference

The weather was lovely, as were the red and yellow colours of the fall trees, for the last day of the conference. A water filter vendor packed up his things and wheeled them to his car. Friends, old and new, took pictures of each other. The hosts served yet another fine lunch when the programme ended at noon. Everyone’s a little weary. It has been an intense week for the many gathered scientific researchers, government representatives, field workers, and others. For me it was a good chance for new learning, right up to the end.

How do we go beyond 'business as usual'? More reflections from the UNC Conference

Today I continued to follow the conversation about new directions in the over-all system of international WASH development. There is a lot of talk about changing the way aid business is conducted. But it’s hard to say how all this lofty talk will translate into actually useful change. I sensed some frustration on the part of developing country governmental reps and residents. No one’s talking about power dynamics. I also listened to some interesting sanitation reports.

Day 2 at UNC: reflections from Suzanne Hanchett

They are doing a fine job of crowd control here in Chapel Hill today. Despite all the organisers’ concerns about huge numbers overburdening the venue, they’re taking good care of us all. Breakfast sweets and coffee, midmorning snacks, big lunches, end-of-day snacks big enough for dinner, on and on. Poster presenters wait eagerly in the lobby for people to stop and talk with them.

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