SOIL Participates in Global Knowledge Sharing at Two International Conferences
SOIL’s Executive Director, Dr. Sasha Kramer, recently had the opportunity to participate in two global conferences where she was able to share more about the work SOIL is doing to provide localized, sustainable services for communities in Haiti to a global audience. SOIL is always excited to share more about our innovative models, systems, research, and lessons learned in collaborative spaces like All Systems Connect and the Global Water Summit. Global forums and conferences offer a unique opportunity to connect face-to-face and participate in a global knowledge sharing experience that seeks to encourage positive change and promote opportunities for global replication and the promotion of human rights.
All Systems Connect 2023, sponsored by IRC, Water For People and Water for Good was held in mid-May in the Hague and brought together change-makers from the health, climate, economic development, education, social justice and water, sanitation and hygiene sectors, to encourage systemic thinking and action around achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. SOIL works at the intersection of many of these issues and the symposium was a chance for Sasha to present on the importance of taking a closer look at the ways that, in addition to providing safe access to sanitation, innovative off-grid services such as container-based sanitation (CBS) can be a powerful tool for behavior change that merits investment by government and donors. Sasha was able to highlight SOIL’s current partnership with a group of donors and the Haitian government’s Sanitation Authority to structure a results-based financing model (or outcome-payment model) to support the deployment of CBS as a rapid humanitarian response tool for the urban sanitation crisis which can be leveraged to create longer term systems change. This shift toward service subsidies and fostering a mindset that recognizes the ways that traditional financing has excluded vulnerable populations represents a significant step toward a vision of safe and equitable service provision for all.
At the All Systems Connect event, Sasha was also able to meet up with some of SOIL’s favorite partners including colleagues from Aquaya, iDE, Whitton and Roy, Leeds University and Cranfield University. We are always grateful to connect with like minded individuals and institutions to share ideas.
Following All Systems Connect, SOIL also participated in a panel at the Global Water Summit in Berlin, hosted by Global Water Intelligence. The panel discussion included several of SOIL’s early sanitation inspirations including Martin Gambrill, from World Bank and Barbara Evans, University of Leeds. The panel focused on the magnitude of greenhouse gasses generated from sanitation and how we can better manage services to reduce emissions. SOIL and its circular sanitation model was featured as a case study for how actively-managed sanitation can reduce emissions.
We’ve previously shared information about SOIL’s partnership with GWI as a carbon offset partner – an alliance that not only ensures that the summit is carbon-neutral, but also supports SOIL’s ongoing service provision while connecting us to a unique and specific audience, different from our usual conference crowd. The attendees at the Global Water Summit are primarily executives from large water and sanitation utilities around the world, individuals who have significant experience in service provision whom we can learn from, and who can also benefit from learning more about innovative off-grid solutions (like SOIL’s CBS) which have critical importance in lower income countries and rapidly expanding cities. It was an opportunity for meaningful and transformative conversations and collaborations.
At our core, SOIL believes that the work we do to provide access to sanitation is an essential component to achieving human rights and sustainable development goals and we will continue to collaborate with like-minded organizations and individuals at conferences and other events to further our mission.
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