Oxfam’s partner workshop in Hanoi. Photo: Savann Oeurm/Oxfam/Oxfam
Learning From Oxfam and its Partners Achievements
From 26-28/7/2018 in Hanoi I had an opportunity to attend the Partners Workshop organized by Oxfam’s Mekong Water Governance Program. The workshop was for the Program’s partners to celebrate their achievements in the last four years and discuss priorities for the last year of the program and beyond.
Participating as a new staff member of the program, I found the workshop interactive and participatory. It was most surprising for me to see how all partners representing communities, women, indigenous people and youths were very open and got on so well with each other. They chatted, joked and joined in group discussion with interest, enthusiasm and attitudes of wanting to improve the water governance in the Mekong Region.
This dynamic, I think, is an asset for the Program to move forward, especially to strengthen transboundary networking to influence policies on water governance. I am delighted to think I can contribute to this dynamic.
Among the partners that I interacted with, Northeastern Rural Development (NRD) left me with the best impression. The organization travelled the same distance with the Program right from the beginning. One of the successful stories from the NRD that impressed me the most was the organization’s radio programme that trained women presenters from local communities. These women went on to air their concerns and views on issues around them on their radio channels that were listened to by all villagers.
The radio channel became so popular local governments also tuned in to know what was discussed in communities, so they could take suitable actions. This shows how women when being empowered can make authorities more responsive.
After three days of the workshop I had the impression the communities that partners worked with have a better understanding of their rights. However, they still depend on partners to exercise their rights and hold governments accountable (albeit limited), which highlights the need for continued work with civil society organisations in water governance in the Mekong region to enable them to participate more effectively.