The research team in Timor-Leste who is comprised of Dr. Therese Tam, Mr. Ajerino Vieira and Ms. Leo Silva from the University of Timor-Leste (UNTL) have been busy interviewing fifteen civil society organisations in Timor-Leste: half from WASH focussed organisations, and half from gender and women’s focussed organisations. The purpose of the interviews is to enquire about the existing connections between these parts of civil society, and how WASH and gender organisations could partner in the future for mutual benefits. The interviews have already revealed some opportunities for collaboration, and researchers have helped to make connections between these domains of civil society, as part of the action and participatory research methodology employed.

Once the interviews are completed, the team will translate the notes into English, upload into the Dedoose qualitative data software, and begin the coding process. These interviews will inform longitudinal interviews conducted between research partners WaterAid and their key CSO partnerships with gender-focussed organisations, as well as provide insights about opportunities for collaboration between the WASH and gender equality sectors.

Many of the interviewees were part of a workshop held in Dili on 1 February which launched the research project, and brought representatives from 16 CSOs together (30 participants). The value of connections between women’s and WASH organisations was evident from the rich conversations that took place, and mapping of connections between CSOs that was undertaken.