Interview with MANAYE SEYOUM, Ethiopia Country Director of Max Foundation
FINISH Mondial Ethiopia is very proud to add Max Foundation to its partner base. To welcome them to the FINISH Family, we had a very interesting chat with Manaye Seyoum, Country Director of Max Foundation in Ethiopia. Find here some highlights from what we learned from Manaye:
1. In which ways will Max Foundation & FINISH Mondial find synergy in Ethiopia?
One of the approaches in our Healthy Village programme is social marketing and entrepreneurship, [in alignment with] FINISH Mondial’s market-based approach. As such, we believe FINISH Mondial can help Max Foundation to learn more about a market-oriented approach and how to work with microfinance institutions. On the other hand, FINISH Mondial can benefit from Max’s work to realize full coverage with our Healthy Village approach.
2. What do you see as the main strength of the partnership?
The partnership between Max Foundation and FINISH Mondial is based on transparency, trust, honesty and continuous learning with ‘equal footing’. As partners, I see us demonstrating a functional, scalable sanitation marketing approach to realise sanitation for all.
3. In your view, what is the most exciting opportunity for the water/sanitation/hygiene (WASH) sector in Ethiopia?
In Ethiopia, there are different efforts to introduce sanitation marketing in different projects, yet there was no viable model that can be used at scale. Thus, if the FINISH approach becomes successful, the WASH sector in Ethiopia can benefit by scaling a demonstrated model rather than [continuously] investing in and testing new approaches.
4. In your view, how is COVID-19 affecting our work in Ethiopia?
In Ethiopia, COVID-19 has a psychological, social, and economic impact on individuals, communities and the nation at large. As COVID-19 shifts governmental priorities in terms of resources and time and reduces governmental engagement with sanitation programmes, the pandemic can absolutely affect our joint project if we don’t work to mitigate the disruptions. In addition, COVID-19 is also impacting individual income and therefore, potentially one’s willingness or ability to construct improved sanitation facilities.