DFAT Water for Women Fund / International Womens Development Agency / SNV / University of Technology Sydney / Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council / WaterAid

Do No Harm: Reaffirming principles and practices in WASH

Monday 26 August | 16.00-17.30 | Room: M4
Aidan Dockery_SNV Bhutan

Inclusive rights-based approaches are integral to achieve the SDG 6 goal of universal and equitable water and sanitation access for all. Applying do-no-harm principles are critical, as there are multiple ways for potentially disadvantaged people to be subjected to the risks of, e.g., greater stigmatisation, aggravated poverty, gender-based or targeted violence, as a result of well-meaning inclusive WASH efforts. WASH practitioners, services, organisations or programmes must be careful to not exacerbate existing vulnerabilities and exclusion.

Recent WSSCC Global Sanitation Fund and SNV research suggest that there is wide scope to integrate do-no-harm principles in rural sanitation approaches. These principles are important to reaffirm as there are multiple ways for potentially disadvantaged people to be harmed. While it is critical for women to gain increased leadership and decision-making power in WASH, for example, transformation of their roles requires proper planning and sensitivity. Oftentimes, the multiple responsibilities women carry are not understood fully. Strategies to address potential backlash due to gender norms, power and privilege, are lacking.

Using interactive audience engagement to explore what do-no-harm principles mean in practice, this event will discuss emerging evidence and share practical experiences and tools applied across African, Asian and Pacific contexts by a range of organisations, 

Gold standard events are committed to ensure the gender balance in speakers/panellists and young professional representation in the session.


16:00 Welcome
Dr Alison Baker, Water for Women Fund Manager, GHD 

16:10 Do No Harm and why it is important in WASH
Dr Sarah House, independent consultant

16:30 Round tables: Do No Harm tools and practice  
• Organisational self-assessments and capacity building
• Safeguarding in our organisation and translating to practice
• Women’s empowerment in WASH and applying IWDA’s Do No Harm Toolkit
• Practical approaches for inclusive CLTS 

17:00 Panel discussion: When doing nothing is doing harm - How do we make progress?
Prof Juliet Willetts, UTS
Peter O’Connor, DFAT
Tshering Choden, SNV
Peter England, WSSCC 

17:20 Wrap-up

17:30 End of session