To support it’s membership, HR2W initiated a Country Coordinator (CC) Programme in 2021, calling for volunteer members to act as Country Coordinators. We selected four countries as pilot cases (Pakistan, South Africa, Kenya and Cost Rica), which have received educational support from HR2W for training in coordination with their National Human Rights Institution (NHRI), and with whom we are developing partnership activities. The next phase is to expand this programme to other countries and to find innovative ways to engage the communities.
Given that our mission is founded on human rights, we see NHRIs as the perfect partner in this process, and we are finding opportunities to invite them into our programmes.
The objectives will be:
- Increasing awareness of the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation through the support of Country Coordinators in collaboration with their local NHRI
- Sharing of educational materials on the HRWS and a ‘train the trainers’ programme such that the CC and NHRI may use them locally, to be culturally sensitive and presented in local languages and by local people.
- Global sharing of good practices of the NHRI and the CC through our Global Community of Practice, our network, and our communication platforms.
The benefits for the Coordinators and NHRIs will be:
- Access to Educational materials and training on the human rights to water and sanitation
- Visibility locally and globally
- Local and regional networking and a body of like-minded people to share ideas with
- Access to our Global Community of Practice through the Global CC meetings held regularly for sharing good practices and learning.
Through collaboration with WRC (Water Research Commission, South Africa) and also through the WWQA (World Water Quality Alliance), we see an opportunity to move to a second phase whereby we help to create Local Water Forums that can support the testing of local river water quality through citizen science and engagement. Water quality is one of the five criteria of fulfilling the human right to drinking water. This programme would provide education and engagement with local youth organisations, schools or community members that care about their environment.
The LWF initiative will entail the following:
- Bilateral meetings with CCs to train and explain how to use miniSASS as a water quality testing tool
- Planning support in developing a Local Water Forum (LWF) and programme, including who is involved, how, and the resources needed to make it work, including a small budget towards travel, expenses, communication, materials (printing, net, boots etc), and a system for sharing the results on the internet in a visible way.
- Inclusion of a set of videos and photos of the people doing the testing, with short interviews, and feedback.
- More than one separate testing sites per LWF, with results over 6 months to see any changes.
- A follow-up meeting to discuss how to use the information for advocacy, local benefits, and who to share it with, plus a follow-up programme to provide on-going interest.
- Global Community of Practice meetings with all the CCs to share information and learnings – one after the initial testing, and one after 6 months with discussions on how to use the results, how to encourage other new LWFs in their area, and what they have learned through this process.
 www.miniSASS.com is a free water quality testing tool that requires no specialised equipment, and can be shared on google maps