Dear WaterSHED friends and supporters,

2020 is a big year for WaterSHED—it will be our last year as an organization. 

We have been working towards this strategic exit for a decade. The government is taking more ownership of our work and we are on track to complete our strategic plan by the end of the year.

We invite you to read a letter from our Executive Director and visit our website to learn more. 

Read below for updates about women’s economic empowerment in WASH, and also about Cambodia’s first province-led sanitation industry conference.
Women in the Rural Cambodian WASH Market 
To combat gender-specific challenges for women in WASH, WaterSHED developed a mentorship program with professional skills training for rural women. While the program increased participants’ interest in WASH jobs, converting interest into entrance, long-term retention, and satisfaction in the WASH market was difficult.

We found that jobs in WASH allow women the flexibility and personal freedom needed to balance a job with traditional responsibilities at home, and we recommend that programs encouraging more women in WASH:
  • frame jobs in WASH as a solution for those needing to balance paid work and domestic duties;
  • tailor program activities to appeal not only to women, but also to their families; 
  • incorporate personal leadership training in program activities to promote women’s participation in work-related decision-making, and
  • consider targeting women construction workers for sanitation market jobs.
Read now: posterslide presentation
The first province-led sanitation industry conference 
Cambodia’s first province-led sanitation industry conference was held in Kampong Cham in December 2019. Sanitation industry conferences are important market-building events—a rare forum that brings together local government and rural SMEs to talk toilets and share plans. In previous years, WaterSHED convened the event as a market facilitator.

Why is it now exciting that government is taking over? Sustainable sanitation requires that all functions and services provided by WaterSHED either become obsolete, or be delivered by local actors in the public and/or private sector. Organizing industry conferences is one of many functions that the government is now taking over, allowing WaterSHED to exit. Our aim is to leave behind a stronger local system, whereby an active provincial government coordinates and monitors WASH services and regulates the market. 

Similar conferences were held in the provinces of Pailin, Tboung Khmum, Pursat and Battambang with minimal WaterSHED support. 

Read now: blog post
The talented Cambodian artist Penkuro created the designs found in our newsletter and Strategic Exit page. Find him on Instagram @penkuro and on Facebook. 
Thank you for reading. Stay up on our publications, reflections, and events by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and our website. Questions? Email allyson [at] watershedasia [dot] org. 

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