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Civic Champions Program Overview (presented at Gates’ MEDS 2018, Senegal)

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Presented by Sovattha Neou, Executive Director & Geoff Revell, Program Director | WaterSHED
at WSH MEDS Convening (September 2018), Dakar, Senegal.

As WASH markets in rural Cambodia are taking off, communities that are similar in nearly every way show vastly different results. Some make incredible progress. Others lag behind. Working at scale has given us a vantage point to see what drives these different results.

We learned that a key driver can be the councilor in local government who demonstrates initiative and action, versus the one who believes nothing will ever change. In fact, we see local leadership as the biggest driver of sustainable WASH.

But can something be done to foster the emergence of local leadership, instead of simply hoping for the best?

Turns out, yes. And not only yes, our program to cultivate local leadership behaviours is the most impactful component of our work to build markets for sustainable WASH. It was a critical factor in our ability to exit the market. These leaders are Civic Champions.