On October 23-24, 2017, CanWaCH attended Together 2017, a conference hosted by the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation (ACGC). Together 2017 gathered stakeholders from civil society, government, academia and the private sector to engage on the Sustainable Development goals and explore what is being done within Alberta, Canada and the world to achieve the SDGs.
Skyping in from his home in the United States, international development guru Dr. Jeffrey Sachs gave an overview of what Canada’s strengths and weaknesses in achieving the SDGs are, focusing on the need for Canada to reconcile its oil and gas development with environmental and social concerns. Dr. Sachs also highlighted Canada’s strong health care system.
During the Conference, CanWaCH Policy and Governance Officer, Alli Bunting moderated a workshop called “A Transformative Agenda to Global Health”, which brought together Shauna Curry from the Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST), Kerry Brinkert from College of the Rockies and Kimberly Manalili from Healthy Child Uganda. The workshop focused on how partnerships across sectors, disciplines and silos are needed to create a collaborative approach to global health and achieve better health for all.
The session built upon shared knowledge of the SDGs and their recognition that health is interconnected with many facets of life and require us all to look holistically at a person and create strong healthy communities and health systems to create healthy people.
A key way that Canadian CSOs have taken on this challenge is to create strong and diverse partnerships across disciplines and silos. The workshop showcased the best practices that they have found in building partnerships to achieve better and more robust health outcomes, providing strong examples of the different types of partnership that exist and generating discussion on challenges and solutions to building partnerships.
Alli Bunting, who moderated the session, said that the speakers showcased the diversity in how North-South partnerships can occur, and was inspired to see the deep meaningful partnerships that have been fostered between Canadian CSOs and their partners abroad.