WaterAid– EU Engagement Strategy

Summary: WaterAid is a leading water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) organization, supporting country partners to implement projects worldwide, and advocating at national, regional and global level for improved policy and funding for WASH. Q3 Strategy were commissioned by the International Affairs team at WaterAid to develop an updated EU engagement strategy, following a year-long vacancy in their EU representative position. The aim was to provide an up-to-date analysis of the current priorities and opportunities for WASH advocacy in the EU ecosystem. 

Approach: After conducting an initial review of WaterAid’s previous EU engagement efforts and priorities, a landscape analysis was conducted to identify key policies, EU bodies, events and individual stakeholders that could be leveraged. This included a desk-based review of recent EU policy updates, a full stakeholder mapping, and attendance at the Call for an EU Blue Deal Conference held by the European Economic and Social Committee. Utilizing this research, a prioritized list of stakeholders to engage with was developed in conjunction with the WaterAid team. A series of bilateral meetings was arranged between the WaterAid team and prioritized stakeholders to reestablish engagement, build alliances and identify areas for future collaboration.

Outcomes: Based on the findings of the desk-based research, the conference and the series of bilateral meetings, a bespoke EU engagement strategy was developed outlining specific advocacy objectives and targets for the next year. This included identifying and supporting introductions to a network of CSOs and NGOs who would be key allies in presenting a united voice and coordinated policy asks. Additionally, the strategy highlighted key EU stakeholders with decision making power and identified specific entry points (e.g. climate, sexual and reproductive health rights, WASH in schools, and women’s health) which would be the most effective for WaterAid to leverage. Finally, the strategy highlighted key upcoming opportunities such as consultations and working groups in which WaterAid could take part.