Total Results: 55 • Page 2 of 3
Ton passed away at the weekend. It is a tragic loss of a great friend and mentor. Our condolences go to his family and all his colleagues at IRC.
Today we announce the RWSN Forum which is planned for Abidjan, Côte D’Ivoire from the 29th November to 1st December, plus 2nd December for field trips and sponsored seminars. The event will comprise plenary and parallel sessions of presentations and interactive workshops as well as presentation of posters, photographs, cartoons and films. The event will be in English and French (and possibly Spanish, subject to demand).
With the title, Water for Everyone, the Forum will explore how we are going to reach Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in rural areas and small towns? What has worked well in the past? What needs to be done differently in the future? Come and share your experiences of success and failure and learn from others. RWSN Forums have a unique character, with an emphasis on learning and sharing, and a practical rather than political focus. The participants are mainly rural water supply professionals and practitioners. Where political leaders participate, they are encouraged to engage in the sessions and exhibition as equals with the other participants. You can find out more from the Forum Website.
The RWSN Forum is the only global event dedicated to rural water supply and the content and the discussions are driven by you. Come and present your work in a way that suits you – a paper, a poster, a film, a picture or photo, an exhibition stand or sponsored seminar with your own content. The peer-review process also ensures that the best content is presented and that authors with good experiences and ideas are provided the support that they need. We are particularly interested in practical experiences from an operational level. For example, one of the prizes for best paper at the 6th Forum went to Mr Edgar Phiri, a District Water Officer from Malawi.
The success of 7th RWSN Forum depends on you. The Open Call for Submissions deadline is April 30th, 2016. Forum discussions will be based on submissions for long and short papers, posters, illustrations and short films, entered around the following themes:
• Sustainable Rural Water and Small Town Water Supplies;
• Equality, non-discrimination and inclusion;
• Sustainable Groundwater Development;
• Accelerating Self Supply;
• Mapping and Monitoring;
• Rural Water Supplies in the Humanitarian – Development Context;
The event brings together professionals from all types of organisations and at all levels, from entrepreneurs and service providers to government ministers to university professors. We bring the latest in research, practice and policy together to catalyse new partnerships and reinvigorate existing ones. Normally, RWSN’s activities are online and through publications, but we realise that nothing beats face-to-face interactions and networking. You can find the delegate list from last time on the 6th RWSN Forum website.
If you would like to attend, please register on: http://rwsn7.net/participate/register/. The early bird registration fee (for all participants) is €500 (up to June 30th, 2016).
The philosophy of the Forum is to:
• be inclusive of different perspectives;
• build capacity by raising the quality of the submissions and improving communication skills within the rural water sector;
• share knowledge and experience on rural water issues among equals
• bring the realities of the field to the attention of decision-makers and funding agencies
• catalyze vibrant South-South exchanges and networking
• be accessible to French and English speakers. For the first time presentations in Spanish will be accepted, and translation/ interpretation will be offered at the Forum if there is sufficient demand and funding.
The RWSN Forum is the foremost global event on rural water services and takes place every 5 years. We anticipate 650 participants from all over the world at the 2016 event which is in English and French.
We look forward to seeing you there.
Kerstin Danert, Sean Furey, Meleesa Naughton and Victor Bas Martinez
on behalf of the RWSN Forum International Task Force comprising representatives from
Skat Foundation, SDC, UNICEF, World Bank, WaterAid, IRC and the African Development Bank
The WEDC International Conference is a comprehensive and interactive learning event, which provides continued professional development for water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector professionals.
At the 36th WEDC Conference, in Loughborough, UK, the lead from RWSN was taken by Andrew Armstrong (Water Missions International) who organised two side events:
“I want to thank you all for the opportunity to collaborate on these events and for your support (particularly from André Olschewski) during their development. I felt that the solar pumping workshop was especially valuable to the participants and WEDC, and have received much positive feedback. I have even received a request from one of the workshop participants to co-organize a solar pumping workshop in Zimbabwe.”
Andrew has prepared a synthesis report on both sessions, which you can download the from the RWSN website:
- Elements of Sustainable Solar Water Pumping System Design
- Managing Cash Reserves for Capital Maintenance Expenses
Thanks to Andrew, André, Richard Carter for organising and facilitating these workshops, and to the speakers: Kwabena Nyarko (KNUST), Paul Hutchings, (Cranfield University) and Jim Gibson (Maluti GSM Consulting)
Your can find many useful papers and abstracts from this year’s WEDC conference on their website
World Water Week in Stockholm update
This year, we decided to take the plunge and have a stand at the World Water Week in Stockholm. This was made possible thanks to funding and support from the UPGro (Unlocking the Potential of Groundwater for the Poor) programme and from UNICEF, through the RWSN collaboration on professionalising water well drilling. Unsurprisingly then, the dominant theme for the stand was groundwater. However, we designed the stand in such a way as to be a networking and presentation space.
Throughout the week we hosted a number of mini-presentations from Prof. Richard Carter (Richard Carter & Associates), Dr Jenny Grönwall (SIWI), Susan Davis (Improve International) [watch her film], Fabio Fussi (University of Milano Biococca), Maria Bestemann (Basic Water Needs), André Mergenthaler and Craig Williams (Water Missions International) [watch their film] ,Virgina Roaf and Hannah Neumeyer (WASH United). Sadly, we couldn’t always guarantee the audience as there was a lot going on, but the people that came were really engaged and there is a lot of potential for interesting collaborations in the future.
Over the course of the week we met several hundred RWSN members – and recruited many new ones (welcome!). We learned so much from colleagues from Zambia, Jordan, Argentina, Cambodia, Lebanon, India, Nigeria, Ghana and many other diverse places and organisations – a huge thanks to everyone!
Thank you to everyone that took part in the 2015 RWSN Member Survey. Responses were received in three languages, from 70 countries and from across government, NGOs, academia, the private sector and development partners. From it, we have a much better idea of who you are, what problems you are facing and how well (or not) we are doing. There were many great examples of how information, publications, films and webinars have been used to improve the quality of rural water supply training, consulting and implementation.
The number one challenge being faced by members is the sustainability of rural water services, in all its diverse forms, from maintaining the physical quality and quantity of water supplied to the challenges around financing, management and regulation.
We got 279 ideas! We can’t respond to all them individually, but we are taking them seriously and generally the feedback focused on extending what the network already does – Expanding member engagement and outreach to others; Advice & support for funding / fundraising; More training; Expanding thematic content & scope; Expanding Geographic Scope; Provide information in more languages; More publications and to Update manuals.
The Millennium Development Goals are yesterday’s news – for better or worse. At the Sustainable Development Summit at the end of September, the new Sustainable Development Goals were agreed. For Goal 6 on water sanitation there are the following targets:
- By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all
- By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations
- By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally
- By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity
- By 2030, implement integrated water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate
- By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes
- By 2030, expand international cooperation and capacity-building support to developing countries in water- and sanitation-related activities and programmes, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies
- Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management
Details on all the goals can be found at: www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment
RWSN and UPGro will have stand and networking area at this year's Stockholm World Water Week (23-29 August). If you are there, please come along and join in the conversation as we ask the question - what do the Sustainable Development Goals mean for groundwater use and management in Africa?
You can meet a number of the UPGro researchers and also find out how their research can benefit your work. Also on the stand we will have a number of facilitated discussions and resources on a range of rural water supply and groundwater topics - not least the Cost Effective Boreholes collaboration between Unicef, WaterAid and Skat to professionalise water well drilling.
You can find us at stand B9 , which we also highlights the activities of other RWSN and UPGro partners.
New figures from the Joint Monitoring Program (JMP) of UNICEF and the World Health Organisation (WHO) show that most countries have achieved substantial progress towards achieving universal access to water for their citizens.
“The number of people without access in rural areas has decreased by over half a billion” (1990-2015)
17 Countries achieved 100% improved access (1990 - 2015) in rural areas: American Samoa, Argentina, Barbados, Belize, Bhutan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Malta, Mauritius, Portugal, Romania, Tokelau, Tonga and Turkey.
Good progress in most regions but Oceania lags behind and Sub-Saharan Africa has little piped-on-premises improvement
Water is short in many places but roads are everywhere – and when it rains it is often along these roads that most water runs, as roads unknowingly either serve as dike or a drain. By harvesting the water with these roads, water shortage can be overcome and impacts of climate change can be mitigated.
This was the idea behind the UPGro Catalyst Grant research , project undertaken in 2013-2014 in Tigray Regional State in Ethiopia. The research looked at ways and means of collecting water with the roads – from culverts, drains, borrow pits, road surface, river crossings, as these have massive impact on how rain run-off moves across a landscape. The idea then scaled up quickly – in 2014 the Tigray Government implemented road water harvesting activities in all its districts. The results have been spectacular in increased water tables, better soil moisture, reduced erosion from roads, less local flooding and moreover much better crop yields.
It is for this project that MetaMeta of the Netherlands, together with its partners Mekelle University and Tigray Government have been awarded this week the prestigious Global Road Achievement Award for Environmental Mitigation by the International Roads Federation. Among the other award winners are the people who are constructing one of the world‘s largest bridges in China.
The potential to scale up the use of water with roads is enormous - with every area having its own solutions. There is also a compelling economic case: harvesting water with roads if done well greatly reduces water damage to roads. The scaling up of the concept is now being undertaken with support of the Global Resilience Partnership (supported by USAID, Rockefeller Foundation and SIDA), where MetaMeta with its partners are a Stage 2 winner.
Programmes to collect the water from the roads are being undertaken in more areas now – such as in Amhara Regional State, where it is part of the massive programme to prepare for the expected El Niño climate event. More than two million people are being mobilised for water harvesting activities, including from the roads.
REACH is a seven-year, global programme of research (2015-2022) led by Oxford University and funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) that aims to improve water security for over 2.5 million poor people by 2022.
As a Research into Action partner, the Rural Water Supply Network will support the design and implementation of the programme’s communications strategy, supporting the uptake of the research findings and ensuring that they translate into positive policy and practice outcomes.
There is a lot of attention for monitoring, and rightfully so. New Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have opened great possibilities to collect data, store data and visualise data on mobile phones. Maybe some of you already have used mobile phones for data collection. New ICT has brought national scale sector monitoring within reach. It has been done in Liberia, countries in Central America, Ghana, Nigeria, Mali, Ethiopia and many others.
Has it resulted in improved water services? Time is too short to say something meaningful about that, but from experience in the above countries you could already say something. First of all how powerful the collection of water supply data is in particular for local government staff. Going around and knowing the actual status of water supply is a great incentive for taking action.
However, taking action is not always easy; financial and human resources at local government level often are constrained to address the problems revealed by the data. However, data needs to be updated as the situation on the ground changes. In some of the above countries nothing happened for four or five years after the first national scale data collection. That is a pity because up to date data helps to better plan, to prioritise investments better and to systematically address the problems revealed by the data.
And that is what monitoring is about! Regularly collecting and analysing data and then using them to fulfill responsibilities and mandates …. and improve water service delivery.
There is still work to be done to turn one-off data collection into monitoring systems that support planning and decision making. Maybe before starting an initiative to collect national scale data one should consider whether the one-off data collection will be repeated, how and by whom, whether the data really addresses the issues that in particular local government staff needs to address, who will pay for the second round. It would also be a good habit to build such an initiative on past initiatives and the monitoring lessons learned in the country. So there is work to do to turn one-off data collection into a monitoring system. But it is crucial work because how can you improve water services if you do not know the status of the services? It all starts with knowing!
Ton Schouten, Chair
A survey of 81 WASH experts by charity navigation website, Philanthropedia, has placed RWSN 7th in the list of most effective non-profit organisations - and the top network. It is also great to see that most of the other organisations are either RWSN Executive Committee members (WaterAid, IRC, UNICEF), RWSN Member Organisations (World Vision, Water for People) or have an active individual members of the network.
The summary of the experts opinion on RWSN includes:
Evidence of Impact Summary:
Experts respect RWSN as a forum for discussion for 6,000 water professionals; a setting for knowledge exchange and networking. The RWSN is also useful as a resource that allows its member organizations to view the best practices of peer organizations and adopt them in their own. RWSN also provides guides to its member organizations providing tips regarding development. "
Organization Strengths Summary:
The Rural Water Support Network, due to the breadth of its supporters, is highly esteemed in the field of WASH and its nonpartisan nature is valued. They also have been able to bring different stakeholders together for fruitful dialogue.
There are also some recommendations on how we can improve, which is helpful, and we look at how to address those.
Following your feedback, we are improving the navigation of this website so that it is easier for you to find information on topics that are of most interest to you. As we implement new features or layout you may notice some changes - thanks for your patience as we get this sorted..
Within the Millennium Water Alliance project practical Self–supply training was conducted in Ethiopia by IRC in the framework of the implementation of the ONE WASH strategy. Various options for business models are being evaluated and supply-chains strengthened. IRC published guidelines on how to develop Self-supply action plans. Other international partners include the African Development Bank who support the Ethiopian government in improving and monitoring Self-supply. More information on training and documentation: Lemessa Mekonta at [mekonta @ ircwash.org] or John Butterworth [butterworth @ ircwash.org]
A new report, commissioned by UNICEF “Supply chain analysis of handpumps and spare parts in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo” by A-aqua and Fontes Foundation found many failed handpump projects by NGOs, UN Agencies and government because: “Usually, no spare parts ordered together with handpumps by implementing actor”; “No market for spare parts because handpumps are ordered outside the locally established market”; “Lacking or only incomplete training of hand pump mechanics”; “No follow up or training after installation of handpump”.
Ensuring that medical facilities have sufficient quantities and quality of water is critical as the crisis in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea continues. For those agencies working these areas and who maybe drilling boreholes we strongly recommend that you refer to the RWSN Code of Practice for Cost Effective Boreholes to make sure work is being done to a high quality and a reasonable cost. French versions of all the companion volumes will be available very soon.
(With thanks to WASH Advocates for their timely email and blog post)
GLAAS is UN-water GLobal Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and drinking-water. It “provides a global update on the policy frameworks, institutional arrangements, human resource base, and international and national finance streams in support of sanitation and drinking-water.” This sounds boring, but it is important.
In the 2014 GLAAS report there many important general recommendations about lack of funding, dependence on external funding, lack of human resources in the WASH sector and major monitoring gaps, however for rural water supply specifically:
- More can be done to improve WASH in schools and health centres, particularly in rural areas. Only 19 of 93 surveyed countries have national policies on drinking water in schools that are being funded and implemented.
- Only 23% of 93 surveyed countries reported a high level of implementation of measures to keep rural water supplies functioning over the long-term.
- Drinking-water quality surveillance is far greater in urban areas: nearly 70% of countries report surveillance in urban areas compared to only 40% in rural areas.
- Household expenditure for access and use of WASH services in the form of tariffs (i.e. payments to service providers) and self-supply (out-of-pocket expenses) has previously been recognized as a knowledge gap in WASH financing.
- It is acknowledged that some of the 19 surveyed countries are likely under-reporting household contributions, especially in rural areas that may not be served by a formal service provider, and where households may make significant non-monetary investments.
- Rural populations in 19 countries surveyed represent 71% of the unserved, but benefit from only 19% of the expenditures for sanitation and drinking-water. 75% of WASH aid is targeted towards urban areas.
- Basic WASH services receive a lower proportion of overall aid for water and sanitation than for large systems.
- Spending of funds allocated for rural water in 67 countries has increased from 42% in 2011 to 60% in 2013, which is marginally higher than urban water and sanitation (rural and urban). Countries cite procurement and disbursement procedure complexity and delays as the top two reasons for under-utilization of donor commitments, while donors cite limited national capacity and operational delays.
- Less than 25% of WASH aid is targeted towards maintaining existing services.
John Oldfield at WASH Advocates recommends the following:
Nonprofits and implementing agencies:
- Focus more on local government and community capacity-building; on the poorest of the poor (predominantly rural); on sanitation and hygiene as key components of an integrated WASH program; on enabling environments including policy advocacy; on sustainable financial models appropriate to local contexts; on monitoring and evaluation (particularly long after the ribbon-cutting ceremony); and on converting the high levels of political commitment we see in the GLAAS report to tangible country-level action.
- Work alongside or within government (national and local) systems in your program countries rather than in spite of the local government; support those governments' efforts to develop and strengthen their own capacity to monitor and evaluate WASH efforts rather than imposing your own.
Private, corporate, and government funders:
- Think less about how many wells you can buy, and more about how to have a transformative impact in your program countries and communities. Start with a problem, and fund the appropriate solution set, not vice versa.
- Seek out and fund efforts as outlined above; ask your potential US and local grantees tough questions early in the proposal process about technical and financial sustainability and appropriateness. Are you helping to transform a community, or just creating/deepening dependencies?
- Support programs designed to leave behind capacity, not holes. Some of the best/promising initiatives we are following most closely now include: Water For People's Everyone Forever campaign; Water.org's Watercredit ; WASH policy advocacy efforts at various levels, including the Sanitation and Water for All Partnership, End Water Poverty, and the WASH Advocacy Challenge.; Sustainable Service Delivery
- Focus less on the low hanging fruit (e.g. large drinking water projects in dense urban environments) and more on the most difficult people to reach as identified by the GLAAS report (e.g. small rural or per-urban integrated sanitation programs).
- Think beyond the household: fund WASH efforts in healthcare facilities and schools, in part to prevent the next Ebola or cholera outbreak from becoming an epidemic.
For the following postgraduate courses starting in January 2015:
PG Certificate in Water and Environmental Management
A four module programme which enables you to develop knowledge, expertise and skills in all aspects of water, sanitation and environmental management.
Course entry requirements
- UK Lower Second Class Honours degree or equivalent
- Recognised English Language qualification, (for example IELTS of 6.5), see:http://www.lboro.ac.uk/international/englang/index.htm
PG Certificate in Water and Waste Engineering
A four module programme which enables you to develop knowledge, expertise and skills in all aspects of sustainable public health infrastructure and services, for all levels of consumer.
Course entry requirements
- UK Upper second class Honours degree or equivalent in a science, engineering or relevant discipline
- Recognised English Language qualification, (for example IELTS of 6.5), see:http://www.lboro.ac.uk/international/englang/index.htm
The outgoing UN Special Rappporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, Catarina de Albuquerque, will be launching her Handbook in Geneva on the occasion of her final reporting session to the Human Rights Council in September.
The Handbook will be launched on 10 September, in Room XXVII at Palais des Nations, Geneva, hosted by The Permanent Missions of Germany and Spain to the United Nations in Geneva and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Right. Everyone welcome!
The Handbook will simultaneously be made available online, on Catarina's own website: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/WaterAndSanitation/SRWater/Pages/SRWaterIndex.aspx, and on the righttowater.info website.
There will be second launch in New York at the end of October, and including the launch of Arabic, French, Spanish and Portuguese versions of the Handbook. Dates and times to be confirmed.
For more information contact Virginia Roaf: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
We are all professionals; you the members of RWSN are rural water supply professionals. You all work for different stakeholders, governments, NGOs or private sector. You all work at different levels: community, local government, national or international cooperation. We all have one thing in common: a professional background and enthusiasm for rural water supply. Some come from a more engineering perspective; some come from a management, social science or governance perspective.
Professionals do not operate in isolation. What happens with rural water supplies is influenced by decision-makers in Ministries, by political leaders, influential leaders at a local level, community organisations and others. Many water supply professionals work in a decentralised environment. Sometime decisions are taken that professionals consider as counterproductive. For example: when funding is not targeted to those in greatest need; or when government is too slow to act, or if political leader promise things that contradict existing policies, plans or approaches. During a training that I facilitated some years ago, an engineer working for the Public Health Engineering department in one of the states in India lamented about: “…when local government talks and decides about things it does not know anything about”.
The balance between professionals and decision-makers is delicate. These people live in different worlds – even using different languages and vocabulary – but they must come together and respect each other’s perspectives and positions. In many countries, professionals in water supply struggle with decision makers and vice-versa.
Cooperation needs to get better: building trust, respecting positions and professional expertise, listening carefully and having the spaces for discussion and exchange. It is the only way – now and then it will be cumbersome and frustrating, but it is the only show in town. Professionalism and politics have to live together. But in the end, and to be honest, it is nice to be a professional and it is good to be proud of the profession and stand up for it; all the rest will follow from understanding and wisdom.
At the World Water Week in Stockholm this year, Stef Smits, representing the RWSN, will present a case on the politics of professionalism. If you are at the conference, come and join this seminar organised by the Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) initiative on Monday 1st September 2014 from 17:45 to 18:45 in Room T2.
Ton Schouten, Chair