Handpumps can be better - who is leading the way?
Drilling a borehole and installing a handpump is a common way to improve access to water for rural (and urban) people in many parts of the world. However, the failure of these water points is shockingly high, a third in many African and Asian countries and often much higher.
New communications technology is opening up the possibilities for 'Smart Handpumps' - handpumps that actively record how and when they are used and transmits that data to an organisation who can use that information to (a) mobilise targeted maintenance and repairs; (b) identity priority areas for future improvements and investments; (c) to understand the user needs better, and main other reasons that shift rural water supply away from 'fire-and-forget' projects and towards water services that last and that reach everyone.
WaterAid; SIDA; the World Bank Group
Year of Publishing
Summary report of a workshop which took place at World Water Week in 2018.
WaterAid; SIDA; the World Bank Group (2018) One Billion Left Behind: Making global water efforts disability inclusive. Workshop report
One Billion Left Behind: Making global water efforts disability inclusive
pdf • Size: 0.37 MB
Findings from the field visits 3-4 March 2018
On 3-4 March 2018, Gyan Rai, Rahul Rathod and Barbara van Koppen visited the Dhundi Solar Cooperative, Gujarat. The visits were prepared, and preliminary findings were discussed with Tushaar Shah and Shilp Verma. The purpose of the visit was for Barbara van Koppen to learn about the cooperative, and, together, to explore some gender dimensions of the solar enterprise.
Summary of RWSN E-discussion on how women’s engagement in Water User Committees impact on its performance and system functionality (2016) and RWSN Webinars: Making Water Work for Women, Sharing Inspiring Experiences (May 2017)
Gender relations are critical to nearly every aspect of rural water supply, but rarely addressed in practice by rural water professionals. All water supply programmes affect men and women in different ways, and while practitioners assume their work will benefit women, how do they know whether it will or not, how do they know what impact it will have?
In 2016 RWSN’s Mapping and Monitoring Theme members had an impromptu and rich e-discussion on gender equality and WASH. In early 2017, RWSN’s Equality, Non Discrimination and Inclusion (ENDI) Theme launched a call to their members for examples of inspiring experiences of ‘Making Water Work for Women’. Both discussions have been rich with experiences from across Asia, Africa and Latin America, and reinforcing of each other. We have put together a short brief highlighting the key points from these discussions:
- The nature of female participation within water committees should be discussed in terms of quality as well as quantity. If women’s roles do not offer any opportunity to influence committee decisions and outcomes, their participation is largely tokenistic. Qualitative indicators can help to show whether women’s participation is tokenistic, or active and meaningful.
- High-level government commitment to minimum quotas for women’s participation was seen as a crucial prerequisite to creating the space for the inclusion of women and the ability to demand it.
- Where women were more influential on Water User Committees, it was strongly attributed to the special efforts of implementing organisations who worked on mobilising women and increasing their confidence and awareness about the work involved, and sensitising men equally to create space for women’s involvement in the committees, as the example in India shows.
- By working closely with women and men together it is possible to challenge gender norms amongst women and men in rural communities, so that they begin to share unpaid work associated with WASH more equally, as the example in Ethiopia shows.
- Identifying the agents of change (women and men) from the community who are motivated and determined to advocate for water and sanitation can nurture lifelong advocates, as illustrated by the experience from Bangladesh.
- Disaggregating monitoring indices by gender can help to raise gender equality as a priority, and set specific expectations about the participation of women in different aspects of service provision.
- Conflict-sensitive approaches to water and sanitation can help to facilitate peace building by creating a platform for women around a common need, as in the example from India.
A synthesis of experiences and lessons discussed in the RWSN Equality, Non-discrimination and Inclusion (ENDI) Group 2015
Between October and November 2015 the Rural Water Supply Network’s Equality, Non-discrimination and Inclusion (ENDI) theme enjoyed lively e-discussions on Reducing Inequalities in WASH. This covered practical approaches to improve participation of everyone; inclusive infrastructure designs and information, guidance and support that exist on these. Two webinars were held on these topics, with presentations from World Vision, Messiah College, WaterAid, FCG International, and the University of Technology – Sydney . Disability, gender, menstrual hygiene management, rights to water and sanitation and school WASH from Mali, Niger, Tanzania, Nepal, Ghana, Timor-Leste and Vietnam were covered. During the e-discussions independent consultants and staff from the Church of Uganda, TEDDO, WaterAid, WEDC, Mzuzu University, the Honduran Association of Management Boards of Water Systems, Concern Worldwide, Auguaconsult, the University of Denver, the World Bank, Amref Health, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Messiah College and World Vision shared experiences. These were drawn from their or their organisation’s work in Uganda, Vietnam, Mali, Madagascar, Zambia, Nepal, Chad, Timor Leste, Tanzania, Niger, Honduras and Pakistan. Throughout the e-discussions and webinars the primary scope was rural water supply, but sanitation and hygiene were considered when relevant.
This report synthesises the online discussions, draws on relevant content from the webinars and highlights experiences and lessons learnt. It is not an extensive literature review, but does draw on existing literature beyond what was discussed during the e-discussions.
Presenters from more than 25 different organisations, working in over 20 countries share their practical experiences and research findings. Participants have the opportunity to ask questions, and meet others with similar interests at the events. Topic covered include:
- radio for rural water supplies, drawing on practical experiences from Kenya and Tanzania.
- Self-supply in emergency and development contexts, and we shall be hearing from Sierra Leone as well as Ethiopia, and on the costs and quality of self-supply as well as government roles.
- a series of webinars on groundwater.
- experiences about dealing with gender, violence and access to WASH
- rainwater harvesting
All of the presentations and links to the recordings will be posted here within two to three days of each webinar.
Practical tools for analysis and problem-solving
RWSN webinar 8th May 2013
1. Introduction to the learning materials – content and format
2. How they can be used – examples
3. What next? Further developments and possibilities