My name is Afou. One of the things that excites me is contributing to the betterment of human beings. I work for an NGO in Mali. Water is a hugely important resource. It is life, health and food security. Water links to all sectors including development.
My name is Steven. My work gives me the ability to think outside the box! I work with an NGO in Fort Portal, Uganda. I have learned that the lives of communities can be changed through dialogue, engagement and listening.
My name is Mercy. I love working for women and children, and supporting communities to come up with their own plans and implement them. I work with an NGO in Ghana. I see people struggling with basic health issues. I try to help them.
To win hearts and minds, you need to show not tell
Some evidence is hard to get. But in Bamako we have a big open discharge of faecal sludge, next to the river. We took the parliamentarians there. And it’s because they’ve seen the whole situation with their own eyes, and we started to talk with them, that they became our allies and joined us in improving the situation.
Without data you will not be heard
To make informed decisions you need data. Our policymakers were struggling to make decisions as they didn’t have the data at their fingertips. We collected information from the villages that were underserved and presented it to them. They listened. Since then, planning and budgeting is based on data, rather than sentiment.
Share your evidence, make the problems known
We went into communities to map water points. The communities told us they didn’t trust the results of the water quality tests, because they were carried out by the people providing the services. So we collaborated with local government to test the water. Lo and behold, we found lots of issues. Now, we had the evidence we needed and that we could use to advocate for improved services.