Promotion to the right to water

The right to water entitles every individual to have access to adequate water and holds the state accountable to do everything possible to realize this right for everybody, without discrimination, and on a not-for-profit basis. Although the movement for global water justice has forced the UN to address the right to water, water as a human right is not yet enshrined in a full UN covenant.

In the meantime however, many countries are moving beyond the UN efforts and are using their own domestic legislation to codify the right to water. In Togo the Human Right to Water is only indirectly acknowledged, not by law.

Meanwhile, less than 35% of the Togolese population has a source of drinking water. Women represent 51.3% of the Togolese population. No long lasting solution to the water crisis in Togo could be achieved without involving women in decision-making. In Togo, as in many countries, women are the guardians of water. They are responsible for water supply for families and communities. They need to be able to participate more meaningfully in decision-making on how water is used and managed, so that their countries can make full use of their knowledge, skills and contributions.

Yet, most of the decisions about water – whether in local communities or in the global arena – continue to be made by men. Few women are at the table when decisions are made about strategies on how to ensure clean water, how to slow global warming, how to maintain water as a public resource, or how to ensure that the delivery of water is a government responsibility rather than a profit-making enterprise. It is therefore crucial to involve women and human and women rights activists in the campaign and make sure that the campaign addresses the differences in participation and decision-making in water use and management. ANCE in the end wants to mainstream gender in all its work.

Target groups

The success of this project requires the effective involvement and participation of various stakeholders. ANCE will seek specific expertise from national and international experts, researchers from the universities of Lomé and Kara, women’s groups, such as Wildarf Togo, Groupement des Femmes pour la Démocratie et le Progrès (GF2D), the Department of Sociology of the University of Lomé, the Faculty of Law, the lawyer circle, etc., and build a fruitful partnership and cooperation with networks of journalists, lawyers and students.

Women’s organizations will be involved in the campaign as equal partners and together analyze the gender situation in Togo and what the impact this has on the right to water.

Description of planned activities

Phase I: Preparation and initial workshop (3 months)

1. In this phase the three partner organizations, with support from Both ENDS, will look for a (preferably local or national) gender expert who is willing and interested to facilitate the capacity building trajectory. This means he or she in the first workshop will provide a tailored ‘training’ on how to conduct a gender analysis, participates in the analysis itself and the work plan to address the issues, and acts as a resource person throughout the whole process.

2. ANCE will look for and invite other relevant people and organisations with specific expertise to the initial workshop, notably local or national women’s organisations. Other actors may be representatives of the target group, other CSOs, lawyers, anthropologists, scientists, and internal staff and/or management.

3. Meanwhile, Both ENDS takes responsibility for monitoring and evaluation, by developing a common questionnaire for participants in the three proposed workshops to fill out. This questionnaire asks for the level of knowledge and insight in the issues at stake and the expectation of the process. The findings will serve as a baseline for monitoring and evaluation. Both ENDS intends to take part in all three initial workshops, allowing them to learn as much of the process and getting a good sense of the base line. If they are willing, participants will also be shortly interviewed on film by the Both ENDS representative about their expectations. At the end of the process, it can be very useful and interesting to look back at this and see what the process has brought them.

4. ANCE will host the first workshop. In this 1 to 2-day workshop a first joint analysis is done of the issues at stake. The gender expert presents a relevant tool to guide such an analysis. In the case of Amichoco and Barcik, the Harvard method is useful, while in the case of ANCE, the gender analysis policy matrix may be more appropriate. The method is directly applied as a group exercise to the specific target group/area at hand.

5. Based on the first analysis and sharing, gaps are identified and a plan is developed to further analyse the gender relations and issues at stake. Here difficult issues such as cultural sensitivities are also discussed. E.g. How to bring up the issue of gender and power relations in the traditional communities Amichoco and Barcik work with?

Phase II: In-depth analysis (6 months)

2. The next months are used to elaborate the analysis and try to fill in the identified gaps. This may involve finding more data, information and contacts; carrying out questionnaires, group discussions or surveys in the field with the target group; development of material or further sharing of goals and strategies with the women’s organisations, etc. The analysis will be documented.

Phase III: Mid-term workshop and work plan (6 months)

3. During a mid-term workshop with the same group of people participating in the initial workshop, the findings of the analysis will be presented, discussed and evaluated. Based on the analysis and challenges encountered, a tailored work plan is developed to try and address the issues and answer the initial question.

4. During the next period of 6 months, the work plan is implemented. What this work plan will include is hard to predict and depend fully on the specific context, and opportunities and challenges that arise.

Phase IV: Final workshop, evaluation and follow-up (3 months)

5. During a final workshop with the same group of people as in the initial workshop, the results of the work plan implementation will be presented, discussed and evaluated.

6. The process will be evaluated based on the baseline (the questionnaires and possibly video clips) developed at the first workshop, and looking back at their initial question (see C3) and expected results and outputs.

7. Based on the lessons learned, progress made and the discussions in the workshop, a follow-up plan is discussed in consultation with the gender expert, involved women’s organizations and Both ENDS. This may lead to a follow-up proposal.

Expected results

It is expected that at the end of the project, the following results are achieved:

To establish fruitful alliances with more than 50 women and men groups;

To build the capacities of ANCE (11 based staffs +10 part-time staffs+ 26 representatives of affiliated members) and 50 ANCE’s partners (25 women and 25 men groups) on gender and right to water issues;

To learn and increase understanding on the ways to address gender issues on our work;

To share information about the lessons learnt with other groups through the ANCE’s website and medias

Several activities were already carried out within the framework of this project.