Two years have passed since the launch of the Global WOPs Community of Practice. The Community was established through a dedicated online platform called “Workplace,” hosted by the GWOPA Secretariat. This platform aims to connect water and sanitation service providers and WOP practitioners from all over the world, enabling them to share knowledge and learn from each other in a non-profit manner. It also encourages the development and sharing of innovation through thematic areas, as well as provides a dynamic and inclusive space where individuals can connect and collaborate beyond WOPs. The GWOPA Secretariat, along with VEI/WaterWorx, ensures moderation and coherence in the Community while promoting member synergies.
Currently, The Global WOPs Community features over 1200 members. It runs 11 Thematic Communities of Practice (CoPs) groups ranging from Sanitation and Wastewater or services for low-income communities to project groups such as the EU-WOP or UNICEF Ethiopia project groups. Forty distinct thematic webinars, programme town halls, workshops, and online training courses have been launched in the past two years to promote and enhance community engagement, exchange of good practices, and peer-to-peer learning!
On 7th November, GWOPA invited members and partners to join the online gathering focused on shaping the future of the Global WOPs Community, intended to take stock, celebrate, and initiate discussions on how we sustainably grow, maintain, and continuously diversify the platform moderation and engagement.
The participants found CoPs useful and engaging for online training, workshops, webinars, knowledge libraries, and networking. The members and partners of the community of practice (CoP) saw themselves in an active role in enhancing the content by sharing valuable information and adding materials from webinars and workshops. They additionally underlined several advantages to setting up regional platforms, including language and context similarities, time zone compatibility for scheduling and attending events, and the alignment of regional donors’ and stakeholders’ interests.
Moreover, moderators of each community of practice play a significant role in facilitating thematic groups and improving knowledge and practices related to the themes, as moderating a CoP requires specific skills and expertise in a particular field. The reason people are motivated to become moderators is for the increased personal profile and professional recognition. Some moderators aimed to inspire others in the same field by sharing their valuable experiences and learning about reality in different contexts.
At the end of the meeting, The GWOPA concluded it by outlining plans to create multilingual communication materials and knowledge products to improve the diversity and quality of CoPs. They also congratulated the partners and members on the successful implementation of the CoPs. Online CoPs continue to provide an effective and scalable way of exchanging knowledge by leveraging technology to overcome geographical, organizational, and disciplinary boundaries. The Communities encourage collaboration, learning, and innovation, enabling professionals to stay up-to-date and connected in their respective fields, and are considered a valuable investment. JOIN the Community of Practices (CoPs) Today!