Duncan McCullough, Second Secretary for Economic and Commercial Diplomacy at the Australian High Commission Bangladesh, remarked that Water for Women fund responds to evidence that gendered approaches to WASH contributes to more effective, sustainable WASH as well as women and girls’ wellbeing, which provides an entry point to facilitate changes in gender relations, norms and attitudes in communities. SHOMOTA is a leading example of what innovation in developing and testing and what scaling high-impact projects can achieve.
Proshanto Roy, SHOMOTA Project Manager, World Vision Bangladesh, gave an update on the implementation of the SHOMOTA project so far. Tamara Megaw from ISF-UTS and Professor Pranab Panday from University of Rajshahi shared learning from our Case Study from the Nobo Jatra Program on Gender-Transformative Social Accountability, and the co-design process of the gender-transformative social accountability model.
Eheteshamul Russel Khan, Project Director WASH – Department of Public Health Engineering Dhaka responded that learning from the SHOMOTA project and this research award was important, because considering gender-sensitive WASH and integration of social accountability is new for the Bangladesh government and citizens. He valued a collaborative approach to achieving SDG 6 and country-specific objectives for gender equality and WASH.
Small group discussions were facilitated on the themes of strengthening WASH governance; encouraging community leaders to be champions of inclusive social accountability; and strengthening decision-making capacity and leadership roles of women and enabling environment for gender equality.
Participants of this first Sector Forum discussed several opportunities for continued sector dialogue on gender-transformative social accountability. Within the Water for Women Research Award, annual Sector Forums are planned. The purpose is to build momentum for learning, commitment and ongoing action for gender transformative social accountability for inclusive WASH.