From Idea to Network…

In reaction to the International Year of Sanitation 2008 a group of NGOs from the working group for water of  the ‘Forum für Umwelt und Entwicklung’ presented a policy document on “Environmental Friendly Sanitation” at a sensational press conference in front of Berlin’s main station.

In the working group, poor networking among German aid organisations that deal with water, sanitation and hygiene (the so-called WASH sector) was discussed in detail. This culminated in the idea to establish such a network. 

Who’s doing what?

Via a survey of the respective aid organisations it was determined Who? Where? What? and On what level? things are getting done. The survey showed that almost all of the 38 NGOs questioned would greatly welcome the establishment of a network for the sector.

At the first networking meeting representatives of eleven of these organisations were introduced to the study and everyone agreed that a national network was a necessary step towards promoting the issue.  Thus, the foundation for a German WASH Network was laid.

The second meeting focused on the establishment of the network.  In addition to the already existing partnerships with the ‘Forum für Umwelt und Entwicklung’ and ‘End Water Poverty’, an international network with 185 partners in 55 countries,  the support of the umbrella organisation of development NGOs in Germany (VENRO) and of  the ‘Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit’ (GIZ) was garnered.  By identifying common work areas and in developing a vision and objectives the network took concrete shape.

Official Founding

On June 20th 2011 it was finally done: At the head office of ‘Malteser International’ in Cologne the first German NGO network for water, sanitation and hygiene – the German WASH Network – was founded.  Its 18 members want to improve and professionalise the cooperation in the sector in order to effectively contribute toward implementing the basic human right of access to water and basic sanitation.

 “Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for All!”

>>Press release on the founding of the Network (German only)

>>Survey on the involvement of German NGOs in the WASH sector (2010) (German only)