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The first CONNECT knowledge exchange takes place in Agona West

14 June 2017

The very first knowledge exchange facilitated by CONNECT is now a reality. From 15 to 19 May, all local stakeholders active in the field of environmental health and sanitation in Ghana were invited to participate in a five-day knowledge exchange between Agona West and the municipality of Almere (Netherlands). This resulted in a total of 40 participants, including environmental health officers, employees of various NGOs, as well as representatives from the local waste collection company (Zoomlion Ghana).

A busy programme… 

During the five-day programme, the participants carried out a stakeholder analysis and tried to determine the influence of each of these actors. Furthermore, the group developed a core message on the importance of sanitation, to be communicated to the community. Participants also discovered the basics of project management, and applied a SWOT analysis to sanitation in the Agona West municipality.

On the last two days, the group reviewed a couple of chapters of the DESSAP 2010-2015, the most recent multi-annual sanitation strategy which needs revision for the next period. Subgroups developed a concrete planning with defined target groups and made sure that the knowledge from the first days was applied in the revised chapters.

As a final activity, the subgroups presented their revised texts to George Freeman, Chief of the Environmental Health and Sanitation Department of the Agona West Municipality.

… leading to tangible results

Participants described the assembling of all stakeholders as a unique and fruitful activity in itself. Furthermore, the exchange exposed the participants to new insights and tools applicable in the field of sanitation and beyond. Moreover, all participants had the chance to learn how to apply the tools and contribute to a first draft of the multi-annual strategic plan “DESSAP 2016-2020″.

The Agona West Municipal Assembly compiled all the output documents and Mr. Freeman plans to finish the concept of “DESSAP 2016-2020” in the second week of June. The municipality of Almere will review the first concept and remain in contact with the Agona West Municipal Assembly through email and Skype. CONNECT will make sure to document the lessons learnt and share the results, impacts and changes of the exchange.

How did we get here?

In December 2016, the Agona West Municipal Assembly submitted a request for assistance to CONNECT, related to its issues in the field of environmental health and sanitation. The municipality of Almere expressed its interest to assist the Ghanaian municipality.

Based on a variety of selection criteria, Almere was selected for this exchange. CONNECT then matched the two municipalities and encouraged them to jointly prepare a five-day knowledge exchange focusing on sanitation.

What is CONNECT?

CONNECT is a new mechanism aimed at facilitating an effective transfer of municipal know-how between European local governments and their counterparts in EU partner countries. PLATFORMA and VNG International are currently testing the mechanism in different countries. In the next weeks, similar knowledge exchanges to the one in Ghana will take place in Cambodia and Colombia.

For more information, check our website in the upcoming weeks, follow @Platforma4Dev and @VNGi on Twitter and subscribe to the PLATFORMA newsletter.