Panel Information for the WASH & the COVID-19 Pandemic Virtual Symposium

One year after the COVID-19 pandemic was declared, countries will have had many different experiences – they have tried many different responses and observed different levels of resilience across their WASH, health and economic systems. Some countries will have been through situations yet to be faced by other countries.

The panels will facilitate discussion between WASH and related sector actors to critically reflect, share and learn from our COVID-19 responses, to improve future responses to COVID-19, and to reflect upon readiness and ways to improve resilience to future pandemics and major disruptions, including climate change. The Panels will be a Q&A format, with the panel facilitator encouraging reflections and perspectives from panellists and facilitating discussion amongst panellists, followed by an opportunity for some audience questions. There is no cost to participate in the panels, however spaces are limited so register your intention to join early.

Meet our panel facilitator - Ms Clarissa Brocklehurst

Meet our panel facilitator – Ms Clarissa Brocklehurst

Clarissa Brocklehurst is a water supply and sanitation specialist who has been at the forefront of global WASH policy debates, focused on turning field experience and scientific evidence into actionable policy.  As a WASH expert and a leader in strategy, advocacy and policy debate, she brings a wealth of experience to the role of facilitator for the virtual symposium panel discussions. She has been Chief of WASH at UNICEF, was a founder of the Sanitation and Water for All partnership and currently chairs the advisory group for WHO/UNICEF’s JMP and UN Water’s GLAAS. She is an Affiliated Adjunct Faculty Member at the Water Institute at the University of North Carolina.

The Global WASH Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic - Did we get it right?

The Global WASH Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic – Did we get it right?

Around the world, development agencies and governments heeded the call to action to limit the spread of COVID-19.  Based on the evidence that handwashing was an important preventative measure, the WASH sector promoted handwashing behaviours and sought to ensure that everyone had access to water; in addition, the numbers of people seeking treatment meant that WASH in health care facilities took on additional urgency.  During this panel, a range of actors from WASH and health sectors, from multilateral organisations, donors, country governments and civil society will critically reflect on the role the WASH sector played in COVID-19 responses, and what this indicates about our readiness for future shocks

Her Excellency Dechen Wangmo

Her Excellency Dechen Wangmo

Her Excellency Dechen Wangmo is a passionate public health advocate and social worker at heart. Her Excellency is the Health Minister of Bhutan, whose primary focus over the years has been in developing and strengthening health system and governance.

Her Excellency has a master in public health (MPH) from Yale University, New Haven, USA and a bachelor in Cardio pulmonary Science (magna cum laude) from Northeastern University, Boston, USA.

Dr Stephanie Williams

Dr Stephanie Williams

Dr Stephanie Williams was appointed as Australia’s Ambassador for Regional Health Security in March 2020.

As Ambassador, Dr Williams supports the advancement of Australia’s interests in the Indo-Pacific by fostering linkages between Australia’s world-class public health and medical research experts and partners in the region.

In addition, she guides the implementation of the $300 million Health Security Initiative for the Indo-Pacific region.

Ms Kelly Ann Naylor

Ms Kelly Ann Naylor

Kelly Ann Naylor is the Associate Director of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) at UNICEF. UNICEF is one of the largest proponents of the importance of WASH. In 2020 UNICEF WASH had to pivot to support and drive the COVID-19 WASH response and adapt working modalities under new measures in highly varied contexts.

Kelly Ann has deep expertise is building and leading UNICEF’s WASH programs, having joined UNICEF in 2007. She has experience in managing urban, peri-urban and rural water, sanitation, and hygiene programs in Central Africa, South Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and North America.

Ibu Diana Kusumastuti

Ibu Diana Kusumastuti

Ibu Diana Kusumastuti is the Director General for Human Settlements with the Ministry of Public Works and Housing for the Government of Indonesia. Prior to this role she was the Director for Urban Building Management.

She is a senior civil servant in Indonesia and is on the President’s team for the development of the new national capital. Ibu Diana is a graduate of the School of Architecture, University of Gadjah Mada.

The COVID-19 Pandemic and WASH inequalities – what can we learn?

The COVID-19 Pandemic and WASH inequalities – what can we learn?

Inequalities in WASH access have caused inequalities in COVID-19 resilience and recovery.  This is also likely to happen under climate change if we cannot adjust our approaches. The pandemic has lessons to offer us if we are ready to learn from them and adapt. This panel will tap into experiences at a global level and at country level to explore the links between inequalities in WASH access and inequalities in COVID-19 impacts and what these mean for inequalities associated with future shocks.

Mr Bruce Gordon

Mr Bruce Gordon

Bruce Gordon is the Coordinator of WASH at the World Health Organization. What a year the World Health Organisation has had helping us all to tackle the global COVID-19 pandemic! WHO has been at the forefront of advocating the link between handwashing and COVID-19, supporting with WASH technical guidelines for WASH practitioners, healthcare professionals, wastewater managers, and overall has published over 800 products covering a wide range of COVID-19 technical guidance. Bruce has many years of experience leading WHO’s technical guidelines and global monitoring on WASH. He has an academic background in biochemistry and environmental management.

Ms Sarah Keener

Ms Sarah Keener

Sarah Keener is the leader of the social inclusion team of the World Bank Water Global Practice. She has dedicated her water career to citizen engagement and social inclusion. She brings this wealth of expertise to the Online Symposium Panel on WASH and Inequalities. Sarah has worked for over 25 years with the World Bank Group in the Middle East and North African Region, the Latin American and Caribbean Region, and the Africa Region, coordinating the citizen engagement agenda at the regional level and focusing on integrating social inclusion into World Bank operations. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Mr Perry Rivera

Mr Perry Rivera

Perry is the Chief Operating Officer, New Business Operations at Manila Water Company, Inc. With over 25 years’ experience in Water Utilities with practical experience in Public-Private Partnerships, he also serves as an Independent Director of the Toilet Board Coalition (TBC).

Manila Water has worked hard for more than 20 years to deliver water and sanitation services to poor urban populations. Perry will join the panel to discuss what inequalities look like on the ground, how people are affected by them, how organisations such Manila Water are trying to overcome inequalities.

Ms Silvia Landa

Ms Silvia Landa

Silvia Landa (a.k.a. CiCi) is the Project Manager of Yayasan Plan Indonesia’s ‘WASH and Beyond: Transforming Lives in Eastern Indonesia’ project, which is funded under DFAT’s Water for Women Fund, and which is also responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Silvia has a keen interest in supporting communities to be more resilient, particularly those most marginalised and vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change. This is particularly pertinent and challenging in the Eastern Indonesia context with the highest levels of poverty and COVID-19 caseloads in the country, and where there is increasing climate variability and natural hazards (e.g. the current flash flooding and cyclone impacts).

A note about registering for panels: register early if you are interested as we cannot guarantee spaces will be available closer to the panels. If you do register but later find you cannot participate, please unregister as soon as possible, to ensure your space can be made available to others.

There is no cost to participate in these panels, due to the generosity and commitment of our key partners Australian Aid Program, International WaterCentre, Water for Women Fund and Grand Challenges Canada, so we kindly ask that you respect their generosity by attending if you register, or unregistering if you cannot attend.

Virtual Symposium Program

To help you decide which workshops you’d like to participate in, we have prepared an event program.

To view our event program, click on link below.

Click here to view the program

Register Now

Places are limited!

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The International WaterCentre and Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade are pleased to have partnered with the following organisations to deliver this forum.

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade provides foreign, trade and development policy advice to the Government. We work with other government agencies to ensure that Australia’s pursuit of its global, regional and bilateral interests is coordinated effectively.

The International WaterCentre seeks to develop the skills and knowledge in individuals, communities and organisations to drive systemic and lasting change. IWC does this by employing a diverse range of strategies that have integrated approaches to water management at their core to strengthen the capabilities of individuals, communities and organisations.

Water for Women is the Australian Government’s flagship water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) program supporting improved health, gender equality and wellbeing in Asian and Pacific communities through socially inclusive and sustainable WASH projects and research.

Grand Challenges Canada is dedicated to supporting Bold Ideas with Big Impact®. Funded by the Government of Canada and other partners, Grand Challenges Canada funds innovators in low- and middle-income countries and Canada. The bold ideas Grand Challenges Canada supports integrate science and technology, social and business innovation—known as Integrated Innovation®.