Increasing impact through donor-supported advocacy for Water Supply and Sanitation

Monday 28 August | 16.00-17.30 | Room: FH Congress Hall C
World Water Day rally. Image credit:

All too often, public and private donors who support efforts to bring access to water and sanitation place their emphasis on counting taps and toilets instead of on approaches that support service delivery.  The focus on infrastructure and occasionally behavior change ignores the system behind WASH services, jeopardizing sustainability. Advocacy and engagement, informal and formal, are critical components of system functionality. However, Donors are often hesitant to support advocacy due to assumptions that lobbying and advocacy are the same. Another deterrent is that demonstrating impacts achieved via advocacy can also be difficult.

This event seeks to define advocacy in broad terms and give examples of how it furthers water and sanitation access around the globe.  Bilateral, private sector and foundation donors will share their perspectives on the exponential impact of large-scale investment in advocacy programs rather than piecemeal activities. This will include their motivation and the impact their support provided.  An interactive panel discussion will explore how advocacy aligns with their goals and priorities as well as the cost-benefit analysis of advocacy investments. Lastly, this session will demonstrate effective approaches to measuring advocacy.


16:00 Welcome 

16:05 Defining / Redefining Advocacy 

  • Elynn Walter, IRC
  • Claire Lyons,
  • Lesley Pories, 

16:20 Fireside Chat: What is the connection between advocacy and the work you support? 

Moderator: Darren Saywell, AECOM

  • Jeff Goldberg, U.S. Agency for International Development
  • Chris Dunston, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
  • Ana Gren, Swedish International Development Agency
  • Vedika Bhandarkar,
  • Jane Nabunnya, IRC-Uganda

17:25 Summary and wrap-up 

17:30 Close of Session