Proceedings of the 42nd WEDC International Conference

Equitable and Sustainable WASH Services

Future challenges in a rapidly changing world

Rotary-led advocacy: A model for improving WASH access in Haiti

Over the last 50 years, Rotary International, an organization with 1.2 million members in 35,000 local Clubs, has been a leader in the eradication of polio. This success is based on Rotarians conducting advocacy, raising funds, and volunteering their time to vaccinate children in national mass immunization campaigns.

In 2017, Rotarians created the Haiti National Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Initiative (HANWASH) to employ this advocacy-driven approach to improve access to safe and sustainable WASH in Haiti, where millions lack access to basic public services.

Our novel Ambassador program is rooted in 22 Rotary Clubs throughout Haiti, which broker conversations with local leaders using an adaptation of Haiti Outreach’s proven community engagement model. Our pilot in seven communes has so far resulted in US$1.6 million in planned and actual spending on infrastructure and services operated by volunteer WASH committees or professional operators on a pay-for-service basis.

The key message of our event is that sustainable WASH is possible in Haiti and local advocates can unlock this; our objective is to invite challenges and suggestions for testing and improving our work. We believe this is of interest to WASH practitioners, academics, and policymakers alike.

After presenting HANWASH and a Q&A, we will invite participants to critique/ question our model and share their work in local advocacy, capacity-building of communities, service providers, and local governments, as well as M&E. We are eager to learn from the experiences of others in the room.

This event will be convened jointly by the Rotary Club of Les Cayes, Haiti Outreach, and HANWASH.

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