A Word from our Chief Program Officer
During this uncertain time, flexibility, digital solutions, and creativity are at heart of the One Drop’s Covid-19 response plan and are critical to how the foundation is supporting all of its executing partners in 11 countries.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had damaging impacts on the world’s most vulnerable populations. Access to water, sanitation, and hygiene has been declared essential to reducing the spread of the virus. And handwashing with soap and water, a key behaviour across all One Drop projects, has proven to be one of the most efficient barriers to the virus. With this in mind, our mission has become more relevant than ever, and our International Programs team has worked closely with its executing partners to elaborate specific response plans tailored to each of our projects. Our commitment, deep understanding of local contexts, and flexibility have allowed us to adjust activities, timelines, and budgets to support all of the local communities without requiring additional funds or impacting final targets. We are not providing support through a quick-fix approach; we are integrating our activities into a long-term vision in terms of accountability, governance, behaviour change, and ownership.
All of the countries where our projects are being implemented, with the exception of Nicaragua, underwent either a full lockdown or curfew (9 pm-6 am) with countrywide travel restrictions. Our executing partners have all closed their offices at their headquarter and field levels. One Drop and all of our partners’ teams are working remotely from home. Despite this extraordinary situation, our project activities have continued without interruption thanks to trust and close collaboration among all partners, coordination with local authorities in the target communities, and the mobilization of local populations.
The world has changed. We must therefore change the way we support projects and the way we work with local stakeholders. We are embracing these uncertain times as an opportunity to speed up the process of digital transformation of our approaches and to move forward with an online learning platform. Based on the specifics of each project and each partner, project by project, we have included processes for the digitalization of our Social Art for Behaviour Change™ (SABC) products, developed new remote approaches supported by new technologies, and are starting to work on e-learning courses. One Drop’s mission, to ensure sustainable access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene for the most vulnerable communities, is as vital as ever, but we need to adjust our delivery model. Digital solutions, fuelled by creativity, will be part of our new normal moving forward.
“Always think outside the box!”