Thematic Discussion 11 - Integrating sectors


Thematic Discussion 11 - Integrating sectors to address the holistic needs of children – how and when to integrate?


For more information, please visit the discussion on the SuSanA Forum.

The 11th thematic discussion focused on sector integration (part of SuSanA's Thematic Discussion Series (TDS))

Focal points of the discussion

The new era of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has enhanced the conversation around the need for partnerships (SDG 17) and has opened a conversation about how organizations should best work together. The SDGs are much more collaborative than the Millennium Development Goals were, and the success of each SDG is linked to the progress of all the others. This is especially true when we consider the Goals in relation to the most vulnerable, such as children in their first 1,000 days of life. A mother’s primary concern is a healthy, thriving child able to reach his/her full potential. The differences between nutrition and early childhood development messages do not matter to her, nor do technical distinctions between water, sanitation and hygiene, and maternal, newborn and child health interventions. To a mother, the essential elements which contribute to her child’s well-being are interconnected. Therefore, meeting the full spectrum of needs for a mother and her child requires greater collaboration and innovation among stakeholders from different sectors and leads us to a new way of working, free from our traditional development partitions.

The BabyWASH Coalition, made up of over 30 organizations from civil society, funding organizations, the private sector and academia, was set up to explore how best to integrate sectors and break down barriers that hinder collaboration. By prioritizing advocacy, the creation of programme guidance for integration, and the development of integration metrics, the Coalition is advancing the conversation around the benefits and challenges of integration.

Running for three weeks from Tuesday 4 October to Thursday 27 October, the BabyWASH Coalition was moderating a discussion looking at a number of key issues relating to integration between water, sanitation and hygiene; nutrition; early childhood development; and maternal newborn and child health during the first 1,000 days of life.

Key issues

• Theme I – Examples of Successful Integration: What examples of success for integration has your organization had in programming? Please provide results and/or case studies from these examples. What failures have you encountered or ways that you see integration can be detrimental?
• Theme 2 – Tools for Integration: What tools already exist to help organizations integrate across the sectors? Post links to the sources in this thread so we can start to build a comprehensive library of all current tools and guidance that we can link to after the discussion.

• Theme 3 – Defining the Gaps: What tools and/or guidance do not already exist that would be helpful to have in order to integrate more fully? This discussion will help the BabyWASH Coalition workstreams define where their first priorities will be.

The points made in this discussion will be used in the work of the Coalition (BabyWASHcoalition.org) to further the cause of sensible integration. Weekly summaries of discussions will be posted on the SuSanA Forum, as well as a synthesis report of overarching findings at the end.

For more information, or to join the BabyWASH Coalition, e-mail Peter Hynes, the Coalition Coordinator, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Feel free to share the attached graphic to spread the word about this important conversation.

The main outcomes of the discussion are covered in the synthesis report.