Fostering Collective Action in the Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Sector in Cambodia

That was the theme behind the first Collective Action Workshop held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia last month. Dozens of actors from Cambodia’s rural water, sanitation, and hygiene [WASH] sector came together to chart a more collaborative effort towards meeting the sector’s shared vision of universal sanitation by 2025 and the goals outlined in the 2014 – 2018 National Action Plan [NAP].

As Mr Chreay Pom, Director of Cambodia’s Department of Rural Health Care, highlighted in his keynote address, this wasn’t the first, nor the only, instance of a collaborative approach to deal with the most critical issues facing the sector. Cambodia’s RWSSH Strategy and RWSSH National Action Plan [NAP] – the very documents that guide the sector – were developed with input from multiple stakeholders. There are committees and working groups at national and sub-national levels that serve as platforms to inform and connect organizations. And working groups meet regularly to discuss pressing issues such as fecal sludge management or behaviour change communication (BCC).