An advocacy guide
| We shall not finally defeat AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, or any of the other infectious diseases that plague the developing world until we have also won the battle for safe drinking-water, sanitation and basic health care.”|
Kofi Annan, United Nations Secretary-General
The decade between 2005 and 2015 are critical years to focus global attention on what should be obvious: water for life. Apart from demonstrating your personal commitment to organizing events around World Water Day (WWD), it is going to be vital to make 2005 and leading up to 2015 remarkable years in ensuring that everyone is aware of the urgency of the goals to be achieved. Every event and every voice on every occasion will be vital in ensuring new energy and commitment to turning the tide on a situation we can no longer abide.
Each year more than 1 billion of our fellow human beings have little choice but to resort to using potentially harmful sources of water. This perpetuates a silent humanitarian crisis that kills some 3900 children every day and thwarts progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The consequences of our collective failure to tackle this problem are the dimmed prospects for the billions of people locked in a cycle of poverty and disease.
The root of this underlying catastrophe lies in these plain, grim facts: 4 of every 10 people in the world do not have access to even a simple pit latrine and nearly 2 in 10 have no source of safe drinking-water. To help end this appalling state of affairs, the MDGs include a specific target (number 10) to cut in half, by 2015 the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking-water and basic sanitation. In addition, the UN Millennium Project Task Force on Water and Sanitation recently recognized that integrated development and management of water resources are crucial to the success or failure of all the MDGs, as water is central to the livelihood systems of the poor.
The Water for Life Decade starts on World Water Day 2005, 22 March; it is a unique occasion not just to highlight the magnitude of the problem, but also to bring all stakeholders together to apply solutions that work. Whatever kind of events you decide to organize, we hope this will help you leverage the maximum impact, however modest your budget.
|The website www.un.org/waterforlifedecade is now available.|
All of your efforts will contribute to making Water for Life a landmark event!
International Decade for Action: Water for Life 2005–2015
In many parts of the world, such as Europe and North America, people take it for granted to turn on a tap for safe and clean water to drink, to cook, to wash — yet, more than 1 billion of our fellow human beings have little choice but to use potentially harmful sources of water. Each year, March 22 — World Water Day — marks a permanent effort to promote access to safe drinking-water and sanitation. It is a springboard for raising awareness about water, stimulating debate and focusing on the dangers that derive from inadequate access to safe water and basic sanitation.
The 10-year period of 2005–2015 will be critical: the time has come for intensifying advocacy efforts and action on the ground. The United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed this period as the UN International Decade for Action Water for Life 2005–2015, starting on 22 March, World Water Day 2005. The Water for Life Decade gives the world’s goals “a greater focus on water-related issues, while striving to ensure the participation of women in water-related development efforts, and further cooperation at all levels".1
The good news is that, with 83% coverage in 2002, the world as a whole is on track to meet the MDG target for safe drinking-water. The news is tempered, however, by slow progress in sub-Saharan Africa and stalled action on sanitation in most developing countries. In 2002, an estimated 2.6 billion people were without even basic sanitation facilities. In a broader perspective, the achievement of all of the MDGs will crucially depend on sound water resources development and management linked to health (water supply and sanitation, irrigated agricultural production), livelihoods (reliance products and services of aquatic ecosystems, hydropower generation) and vulnerability (protection against the impacts of floods and droughts).
The Decade offers an opportunity for revitalizing political commitment, but it also provides a unique chance to launch a provocative worldwide advocacy effort to catalyse greater public participation in the Water For Life global campaign. Thus, it is worthwhile to reflect on the following questions:
How many people know that, in 2002:
Based on current and emerging priorities, the overall objectives of the UN International Decade for Action Water for Life 2005–2015 (which include the campaign elements/messages of World Water Day 2005) are:
1 In order to achieve water-related goals of the MDGs, Johannesburg Plan of Implementation of the World Summit for Sustainable Development and Agenda 21.
The Decade directly reinforces and urges countries to meet the MDG 7, Target 10. The Millennium Declaration, adopted in September 2000 by the heads of 189 UN Member States, set clear, time-bound targets for making real progress on the most pressing development issues we face. The water Target 10 was reiterated at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, where a sanitation target was added. Achieving these targets will directly affect the lives and future prospects of billions of people around the globe. It will also set the world on a positive course at the start of the 21st century.
The MDG 7 is to ensure environmental sustainability. One of its targets, expanded in 2002 in Johannesburg, is directly linked to safe drinking-water and basic sanitation and specifically calls to:
Halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking-water and basic sanitation.
The world is on track to meet the drinking-water target, but sub-Saharan Africa lags behind. Between 1990 and 2002 considerable worldwide progress was made, with about 1.1 billion people gaining access to improved water sources. Global coverage in 2002 reached 83%, putting the world on track to achieve the MDG target. Progress in sub-Saharan Africa was also impressive: coverage increased from 49 to 58% between 1990 and 2002, a 9 percentage point increase. But this falls far short of the progress needed to achieve the MDG target of 75% coverage by 2015.
Global sanitation coverage rose from 49% in 1990 to 58% in 2002. Still, some 2.6 billion people — half of the developing world — live without improved sanitation. Sanitation coverage in the developing world (49%) is only half that of the developed world (98%). Meeting the MDG target requires that, between 1990 and 2015, the world must reduce by half the proportion of the population lacking improved drinking-water sources and sanitation. Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) is a process that can assist countries in their endeavour to deal with water issues in a cost-effective and sustainable way. Investment in integrated water resources development and management can contribute to meeting the MDGs as a whole, both through broad interventions designed to promote sustainable development in an area (such as multipurpose river basin development and acquifer management) and through targeted action addressing one of more particular goals in a specific locations (such as watershed management within degraded areas farmed by poor families). Both types of interventions are important for turning many of the MDGs into a reality. Among the approaches shown to be effective in speeding up progress in spite of several obstacles are the devolution of responsibility and ownership and providing a choice of service levels to communities, based on their ability and willingness to pay. Meeting the drinking-water targets will mean better health, longer lives and greater dignity for billions of the world's poorest people.
Although the MDG 7 is specifically related to water, all MDG goals will have some impact in advancing and reaching the water target just as the water target will be important in advancing and reaching all MDG goals.
The following highlights the importance of safe water and how it can contribute to each MDG by goal:
The day: World Water Day 2005 (and beyond)
The theme/slogan puts at centre-stage the various links and communicates a sense of urgency and immediacy. The theme is also “open-ended” and lends itself to creative visual and textual interpretation for expressing a multiplicity of individual/collective human emotions and contexts. The theme can also be interpreted relatively easily into different contexts, cultures and languages. Water for Life can be interpreted in many different ways, based on regional and national priorities/contexts. In its broad interpretation, the theme allows for the establishment of intersectoral linkages that would otherwise remain unexplored, such as between irrigated agriculture and health, or between wetland conservation and health. The public-at-large, civil society and the media are the primary audience. National governments and policy-makers are the secondary audience.
The theme is a call to reach out beyond the community and to link with worldwide efforts of international agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), governments and the community-at-large. It is an opportunity to capitalize on the energy and commitment of people, and to achieve a common goal: to bring global and local attention and to galvanize action, so that every person on the planet is less vulnerable to water stress, water-related disasters and poor water quality.
All actions planned for World Water Day 2005 will work towards raising awareness of the general public and bringing about a positive change in public opinion, which in turn influences policy-makers. A range of activities in every country will make the difference.
World Water Day is a unique opportunity to draw attention and to create momentum that compels governments, the international community, civil society and individuals to take action. On the day, it is anticipated that your organization will be one of the hundreds of organizations around the world hosting events related to Water for Life. It is expected that each country will celebrate World Water Day in its own manner. Join us now in planning a successful day.
The logo for the UN International Decade for Action Water for Life 2005–2015 depicts two horizontal waves of water at the bottom from which two human hands are emerging. The hands are cupped around a single fountain of water spray depicted by a dotted line that branches into two after leaving the hands. The words "Water for Life 2005–2015" appear below the wave and are centred in the middle of the image. The image is in a single shade of blue and can also be used in black and white.
Organizers are reminded that the design, slogan and the logo are copyright property of the United Nations and should be used together solely to identify events and materials related to World Water Day and the Decade. The design may not be reproduced for the purpose of self-promotion or obtaining any commercial or personal financial gain, nor may it be utilized in any manner which implies the UN's endorsement of the activities or products of a commercial enterprise. For full details of use of logo, please see Annex A.
The web site will emphasize the importance of the Decade and World Water Day(s), featuring information from around the world on the day and throughout the year. The web site will be updated regularly up to and beyond 22 March. The web site for the UN International Decade for Action Water for Life 2005–2015 address is www.un/waterforlifedecade.
If your organization wishes to share information about your events, you are encouraged to complete Feedback Form A at the end of the Advocacy Guide.
As the lead agency, the activities of the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) will consist of the launch of the Decade through a booklet, video and song on CD. The Decade will be officially launched at the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) in New York in April 2005. The booklet for the UN International Decade for Action Water for Life 2005–2015 will be presented on World Water Day, 22 March 2005, when the Water for Life Decade is launched.
Key steps in your planning process:
Pasos principales del proceso de planificación:
Transform your local/national statistics into key messages and stories; use statistics to develop a list of key messages and stories that can be used depending on the target audience. The messages and stories should support successes, identify gaps and set out the next steps in your Water for Life campaign. Afterall, your campaign is a media event, so work with them and assess your impact.
Collect information: Why Water for Life?
UN General Assembly Declares 2005–2015 the International Decade for Action Water for Life
The UN General Assembly resolution strongly urges communication and social mobilization at both the global and national levels. While much of global and regional water and sanitation communication to date has been directed, quite successfully, at mobilizing resources and strengthening political and governmental commitment, there is an urgent need to intensify these efforts that are specifically directed at increasing societal commitment and participation. Much more still needs to be done. Safe water supply and adequate sanitation to protect health are considered fundamental human rights. As of today, there are still almost 1.1 billion people who have inadequate access to water and 2.6 billion without appropriate sanitation. For more information, please visit: www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2003/gaef3068.doc.htm.
| Useful web sites|
International Decade for Action Water for Life 2005-2015
| Water associations worldwide|
International Water Association (IWA)
This resource sheet is designed specifically for World Water Day 2005 and will be valid throughout the decade 2005–2015. Each year for every new theme on World Water Day, a new resource sheet will be prepared. They will form an integral part of the Advocacy Guide and will be added to it. During any major conference or news breaking story relating to water, a new resource sheet will be tailored to provide all organizers with the relevant one page information.
Develop the message
Facts based on solid research are crucial to any advocacy campaign. Although many global statistics exist, local data will be most persuasive to local politicians and media.
Box 1 provides some of the information that could be gathered to help communicate your message, as well as how the information could be used.
Box 1: Document the problem
Once you have collected and analysed data, transform it into something everyone can relate to. Sound bites (short, catchy facts) are the best for this purpose, but remember that the message may need to be changed to fit the target audience. Below are a few examples of short messages that could be used under different conditions.
Approach local partners with an outline of activities and events for World Water Day and ask for their involvement and support. Explain how their participation shows enlightened self-interest: as well as supporting a good cause, it will increase their profile and visibility in the community.
Discussions, forums, seminars and courses are useful for exchanging information with the public, NGOs, policy-makers and decision-makers, and with associations for physicians, teachers, children and environmental health. You can discuss the implications if no action is taken, and state what can and should be done to improve the situation in a water emergency.
Boxes 2 to 5 provide checklists of actions you might choose to take, and examples of people/organizations you may want to involve.
Box 2: Policy-makers and decision-makers
Box 3: Local authorities, mayors, NGOs, communities, individuals
Box 4: Health and social workers; environmental health officers
Box 5: Private sector
Parades, competitions, street events and quizzes using the World Water Day 2005 theme all create media attention and get the message out to large numbers of people in an entertaining and stimulating way. This is a good way to reach people who might not be attracted to more traditional events, such as seminars or meetings.
It is also a good idea to involve celebrities as spokespersons, but remember it takes time and preparation to get celebrities involved. See box 6.
Box 6: Involve celebrities
Work with the media
The media is potentially the most effective tool for communicating a message, but to work with the media you must understand how the media works. Timing is everything and sound bites provide the best messages. Before approaching the media, prepare talking points. The title and opening line of a presentation are important, since they will determine whether you attract the attention of listeners and readers and encourage them to listen/read further. You should be an advocate for Water for Life in general and share credit and visibility with partners.
News reporters will be most interested in information that is newsworthy (i.e. is new, surprising, compelling or has an impact on the public). Make sure the story you wish to present to the media is newsworthy. See box 7.
Box 7: Think about “What makes a story newsworthy?”
Perhaps the single most effective means of winning media coverage for your World Water Day event is to hold a news conference. See box 8
Box 8: News conference checklist
On-site arrangements include renting hotel rooms for event participants, placing name signs on the podium for speakers, and providing audiovisual equipment and refreshments.
In addition to newspapers and magazines, you should contact the national news agencies, also known as the wire services. If they put out a dispatch on World Water Day, the story will go out to every newspaper, magazine, radio station and television network in your country.
10 important news media
Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Hosts and hostesses of talk shows are almost always looking for people to interview on radio and television. So, just call up your local radio station, ask to speak to the executive producer of the show you’re interested in, and suggest someone for an interview (ideally one with charisma and able to articulate the message).
When you have only a few seconds in front of a microphone either for radio or television, you need to use memorable phrases — sound bites — that will stay with your audience long after you have left. The best sound bites get to the heart of the problem without lengthy qualified explanations. Broadcast producers cannot resist them, and listeners and viewers remember them. The sound bite should capture and communicate the one key message you want to leave with the audience, if they remember nothing else. Try to repeat the sound bite in different way to reinforce the message during an interview with the media.
Assess the impacts of your efforts
In order to plan for follow-up action, find out what impact your efforts have had and assess the success of the day.
Review successes and challenges with the planning committee to understand what was accomplished, what needs immediate follow up and what lessons can be learned. Disseminate the summary widely among your planning committee partners and other groups. This information can be useful in planning for future events.
Key questions to ask about your planning efforts include:
For record keeping and evaluation of the success of the day, collect clippings and other media sources. This is also useful for future planning.
Organize a “Thank you” event for members of the committee. This is a way to build on the success of World Water Day and to strengthen relations between the committee members. This can lay ground for the future collaboration.
Beyond World Water Day: Keeping up the Decade momentum!
World Water Day should be a catalyst for bringing together new partners, generating media interest and mobilizing resources that can build on throughout the year. World Water Day can continue throughout the year to keep the issues at the forefront and to build momentum towards the next World Water Day! Every year the theme changes, but the theme is always broad enough to adapt to particular water interests.
Secretariat of UN-Water
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA)
Division for Sustainable Development
2 UN Plaza, DC 2, Room 2024
New York, NY 10017
Fax: 1 212 963 4340
References and acronyms
Bartram J. "Focusing on improved water and sanitation for health." Lancet, 18 January 2005, Lancet stock 05/art/1020.
International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations (UN). Ideas for Water Awareness Campaigns. http://www.collinsassoc.ca/water/contents.htm.
United Nations (UN). Second Committee recommends proclamation of International Decade on "Water for Life, 2005-2015. New York, UN. 9 December 2003. Press release GA/EF/3068.
World Health Organization (WHO). Advocacy Guide to Organizers, World Water Day 2001. Geneva, WHO, 2001.
World Health Organization (WHO). Facts and figures: water, sanitation and hygiene links to health. November 2004. WHO. Mimeo.
World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). Joint monitoring programme for water supply and sanitation: meeting the MDG drinking water and sanitation target. A mid-term assessment of progress. Geneva, New York, WHO/UNICEF, 2004.
|Commission on Sustainable Development|
International Water and Sanitation Center
International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
International Water Association
Integrated Water Resources Management
Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation
Millennium Development Goals
United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs
United Nations Environment Programme
United Nations Children’s Fund
Water supply and sanitation
World Water Day
Feedback Form A
Kindly complete this form to report to the lead agency on the outcome of activities planned for World Water Day 2005.
Short description of event:
Please include the subject addressed, type of activity, specific audience for which it was organized, and the attendance rate.
The activity received the following press coverage in our area:
You may attach press clippings for our reference
We plan a follow-up activity:
Submit this form by e-mail to Unwater@un.org
Annex A: International Decade for Action, ‘Water for Life’ 2005-2015
The Water for Life Decade Logo depicts a fountain of water painted in dark blue. The fountain consists of two cupped hands rising out from an ocean of water represented by two horizontal broad wavy lines. In a point-line style the water streams out of the fountain in both directions, portraying water that is harnessed 'for Life'. The words "Water for Life 2005-2015" appear below the artwork. The Water for life decade logo will be available in the six official United Nations languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.
The Water for Life decade logo might be subject to national variations. A national variation of the logo should maintain the core design, but may add, to top or bottom, the name of their country (or a city or locality within that country) and/or slogan judged appropriate to the Decade and suitable in the national or local context.
The Water for Life decade logo is primarily intended for three kinds of promotional use: information, fundraising and use by a commercial entity, as outlined below:
a. Information uses of the logo
Information uses of the logo are those which are:
All entities interested in using the Water Decade logo for information purposes should apply for approval to the Secretariat of UN-Water.
When requesting approval, the entities should provide:
Before the logo is used for information purposes, a waiver of liability (please see text below) in accordance with section III below must be signed by the entity requesting to use the logo.
b. Fund-raising uses of the logo
Fund-raising uses of the logo are those intended to raise resources to cover costs of activities for the International Decade for Action “Water for Life”, 2005-2015. Fund-raising uses of the logo may be undertaken only by non-commercial entities.
All entities interested in using the Water for Life Decade logo for fund-raising purposes should apply for approval to the Secretariat of UN-Water. When requesting permission to use the logo for fund-raising purposes, the entities should provide:
Before the logo is used for fund-raising purposes, a waiver of liability in accordance with section 3 below must be signed by the entity requesting to use the logo.
c. Uses of the logo by a commercial entity
The uses of the logo by commercial entities are all those undertaken by or involving commercial entities, as well as any use intended to lead to commercial or personal profit.
All commercial entities interested in using the Water for Life Decade logo should apply for approval to the Secretariat of UN-Water. When requesting permission to use the logo, the entities should explain:
Before the logo is used by a commercial entity, a contract must be signed with the Secretariat of UN-Water. In particular, such contracts must include provisions concerning the waiver of liability in accordance with section 3 below. Such contracts must also provide the detailed terms and conditions concerning the use of the logo, including the details of the information enumerated above. Additionally, such contracts must contain the United Nations General Conditions of Contract.
All entities authorized to use the Water-for-Life Decade logo for the purposes specified herein must agree to the following provisions on waiver of liability:
When the logo is used for information and fund-raising purposes, the waiver of liability form must be signed by the entity.
When the logo is used by a commercial entity, the above provisions on waiver of liability must be incorporated into a contract to be signed by the entity.
All duly signed waiver-of-liability forms and contracts must be received by the Secretariat of UN-Water before the proposed activities are carried out.
Secretariat of UN-Water
Mr. Manuel Dengo
Chief Water, Natural Resources and SIDS Branch
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Division for Sustainable Development
2 UN PLAZA, DC2, Room 2024
New York, N.Y. 10017
Waiver of Liability for the Use of the Logo of The International Decade for Action, ‘Water for Life’, 2005-2015
a. the undersigned is responsible for ensuring that the activities are carried out in accordance with the applicable law and for ensuring that the appropriate insurance is maintained to cover the risks arising out of such activities; b. the United Nations does not assume any responsibility for the activities of the undersigned; and c. the undersigned shall hold harmless and defend the United Nations and its officials against any action that may be brought against the United Nations or its officials as a result of the use of the logo.
Full Name (block letters) __________________________
Affiliation (block letters) __________________________
Name of Organization ____________________________
E- mail ________________________________________
Please send to: UN Water Secretariat, Fax: +1 (212) 963-4340
This guide is prepared by the Water, Sanitation and Health (WSH) unit of the World Health Organization (WHO) by Ms Nada Osseiran with the guidance of Dr Jamie Bartram, WSH Coordinator, and input from UN-Water and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), New York, as a contribution to the celebration of the International Decade for Action: Water for Life 2005–2015 and World Water Day 2005. This document was copy-edited by AvisAnne Julien and designed by Jean-Claude Fattier, WHO.