On behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has fostered the Fit for School Approach in the Philippines since 2008. Initially, GIZ supported the Department of Education in the implementation of the Essential Health Care Programme (EHCP), which delivers hygiene and health-related interventions in public elementary schools.
Due to the high demand from other Southeast Asian governments, BMZ commissioned GIZ to implement the Regional Fit for School Programme. The Programme was launched in 2011 in partnership with the Southeast Asian Ministries of Education Organization (SEAMEO) and its Regional Centre for Educational Innovation and Technology (SEAMEO INNOTECH). In the first phase of the Programme (2011-2015), the adaptation of the Fit for School Approach to three new countries – Cambodia, Indonesia, and Lao PDR – was supported through the development of replicable implementation models and guidelines. The development of country-specific sustainable implementation model takes more time and requires a solid development phase but increases sustainability in the long run.
As the models have been integrated into national WASH in Schools programmes, the Regional Fit for School Programme supported government-led scale-up in the respective partner countriesduring the second programme phase (2015-2018).Since then, the Regional Programme has likewise provided advice and support to other governments – in Tanzania, Guinea, Kenya, Bhutan, Uganda, among others – to improve their WinS situation and potentially start their own Fit for School programme.
In close collaboration with UNICEF, the Fit for School programme has developed the Three Star Approach for WASH in Schools which has now been adopted by over 40 countries worldwide.
The ongoing third phase (2018-2022) focuses on supporting government partners in further scaling up and institutionalizing WinS programs towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Throughout all phases, the Regional Fit for School Programme, together with other partners, has fostered regional learning and knowledge sharing through different formats and platforms, such as the International Learning Exchange (ILE).