Oxfam is an international confederation of 18 organizations networked together in more than 94 countries, as part of a global movement for change, to build a future free from the injustice of poverty. The name “Oxfam” comes from Oxford Committee for Famine Relief, founded in Britain in 1942 during the Second World War. Since then, as well as becoming a world leader in the delivery of emergency relief, Oxfam has been implementing long-term development programs in vulnerable communities.
Oxfam’s vision is a just world without poverty: a world in which people can influence decisions that affect their lives, enjoy their rights, and assume their responsibilities as full citizens of a world in which all human beings are valued and treated equally.
Oxfam has been in the Philippines for over 25 years. Its goal is to contribute to the eradication of poverty by supporting women and other vulnerable groups in saving lives and building livelihoods, enhancing their resilience to crises, shocks and stresses, and making their voices heard to hold duty-bearers accountable.
When Oxfam in the Philippines responded to the needs of the communities devastated by Typhoon Haiyan November 8, 2013, it focused on the delivery of emergency Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services such as trucking of potable water, water chlorination, and sanitation kits. It also promoted the importance of hygiene by educating people on the need for access to safe water, sanitation and proper waste disposal.
After the initial recovery and rehabilitation, Oxfam moved to reconstruction and development to wean its beneficiaries from handouts and help them become independent and self-sufficient – active players in the delivery of WASH, buyers of WASH products and services, and microentrepreneurs delivering WASH products and services to their communities.
Oxfam partnered with Bayan Academy to bring entrepreneurship training to its beneficiaries, and the Cebu People’s Multi-Purpose Cooperative (CPMPC), which extended a WASH savings and loan program to help low-income households purchase and manufacture low-cost sanitary toilets and services under the Baratong Kasilyas brand.
With DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program Associations (SLPAs) and microfinance institutions (MFIs), it supported and capacitated WASH service providers and helped community members earn additional income from WASH-related livelihoods such as the delivery of clean water to distant communities and the manufacture of toilet bowls by local masons.
Jump-starting economic activity
Oxfam’s partnership with Bayan Academy was intended to train entrepreneurs who would jump-start economic activity in the typhoon-devastated areas. In 2016, Bayan Academy conducted courses in financial literacy and developed a concrete and sustainable microenterprise strategy for local WASH entrepreneurs. It trained and mentored WASH service providers in Oxfam-assisted community groups in Eastern Samar, Northern Cebu and Tacloban City, towards improving their systems and business practices.
Bayan Academy pursued four development interventions. The first, anchored on the value-chain mapping of WASH-related enterprises in Eastern Samar, identified the support players of WASH-enterprises, and the opportunities and gaps in the delivery of the needed support.
The second intervention strengthened the ability of WASH entrepreneurs to deliver and sustain their enterprises through a training program that would help them evolve their enterprises from basic latrine services providers to individual or group sanitation entrepreneurships.
The third intervention was a Sanitation Market Fair, part of a social marketing campaign aimed at creating demand for WASH-related products and services. The last intervention was a trainer’s training and accreditation of WASH mentors who would serve as trainers and business consultants of WASH entrepreneurs as they grow and evolve their enterprises.
Derived from the Training Needs Analysis conducted by Bayan Academy among WASH entrepreneurs, the three-day program covered self-mastery skills, practical research methodologies, marketing and effective selling techniques, operations and enterprise delivery systems, and financial management.
Bayan Academy’s Entrepreneurship and Management Training for WASH Entrepreneurs was conducted in Bantayan Island in Cebu, and Guiuan and Borongan in Eastern Samar. It was attended by 122 participants from livelihood associations, water entrepreneurs, women’s groups and barangay health workers. The trainings were followed by six mentoring sessions held in Bantayan and Eastern Samar attended by 95 WASH entrepreneurs.
“Inadequate WASH services increase the possibility of people getting exposed to public health risks. Water is always needed for everyday household needs, and the maintenance of livelihoods. Increased public investments in water and sanitation facilities will provide people with better access to these services, thus reducing the risk of them getting sick.”
— Rona Raisa Ramos
WASH and Markets Specialist
An end line survey conducted by Bayan Academy reflected the effectiveness of the interventions with respondents giving themselves positive scores in self-perception compared to pre-training, in terms of self-confidence. Many declared that their newly-acquired selling techniques helped them obtain more customers.
In general, their weekly sales increased from Php1,000-Php1,500 before the training to Php1,500-Php1,999 after the training.
Bayan Academy documented WASH Best Practices in a casebook and video, and launched an online advocacy campaign at kasilyaspilipinas.com.www.oxfam.org