RWSN Resources

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A Community Resource Book for the Water and Sanitation Sector

Downloads: 561

Author: DWD
Year of Publishing: 2007
Publisher: Ministry of Water and Environment, Republic of Uganda
Institution: Directorate of Water Development

This Community Resource Book has been prepared to provide communities, and especially any active person or group within communities (e.g. Water User Groups), with good knowledge in matters concerning the planning for, management and maintenance of water supply and sanitation facilities. The Book also provides guidance on how to improve the hygiene and sanitation practices at community and household level. In addition it outlines the roles and responsibilities of the respective communities, its leaders as well as key bodies and institutions that are involved in the process of implementing, rehabilitating and maintaining rural water and sanitation activities.

DISCLAIMER: This is a non-RWSN publication and endorsement by RWSN or any of its member organisations should not be inferred.

Bulletin trimestriel RWSN

Downloads: 629

Author: RWSN
Year of Publishing: 2016
Publisher: Rural Water Supply Network

Les membres de RWSN recevoir un bulletin électronique trimestriel, qui est disponible en anglais et en français.

Les versions PDF sont affichés ici, depuis 2012, les versions électroniques sont transmis via dgroups (

S'IL VOUS PLAÎT NOTE QUE AVANT JUILLET 2012 PLUSIEURS DES LIENS CONSULTER LE SITE WEB ET VIEUX SO ne fonctionne plus à partir de 2013. Cependant, tous les documents ont été transférés sur le nouveau site

Effective Joint Sector Reviews for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) A Study and Guidance - 2016

Downloads: 796

Year of Publishing: 2016
Publisher: World Bank
Institution: World Bank

This is the first consolidated and referenced multicountry study of Water or Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Joint Sector Reviews (JSRs). The study report and associated Learning Note and Poster provide an understanding of JSR processes and practical guidance on how to introduce and improve them. The study sets out a methodology in the form of visual checklists to reflect and take stock of WASH JSR processes. This could also form the foundation for subsequent cross-country comparisons of the JSR process.

The publications provide an analysis of JSRs as well as practical guidance on how to introduce and effectively manage them. The initial focus of the work was on JSRs in fragile states. However, the contested definitions of a fragile state, arbitrary thresholds as well as the realization that there are common issues with respect to JSRs in nonfragile countries led to a widening of the scope of countries studied. Notably, all countries included are considerably donor dependant for WASH. The study considered 25 countries, and found that between 2001 and 2015, WASH JSRs had taken place in 19 of them.

Note that these documents are review copies.

Human Right to Water: What does it mean for your work? First RWSN E-Discussion (April/May 2012)

Downloads: 23

Author: CAMACHO, B.
Year of Publishing: 2012
Publisher: RWSN
Institution: Skat/WaterAid

The human right to water and sanitation is guaranteed as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living as consecrated in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (a treaty which is binding for 160 countries). This has implications for the work of rural water supply professionals and practitioners. It also has implications for water users as well as national and local leaders.
But have you thought about what it actually means for you, and your engagement with others? This document consolidates the reply of a three-week E-Disucssion on this topic hosted by RWSN Equity and Inclusion Group in April/May 2012.

Human Right to Water: What does it mean in Practice? World Bank – RWSN Webinar with the UN Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, Ms Catarina de Albuquerque

Downloads: 391

Author: RWSN
Year of Publishing: 2013
Publisher: Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN)
Institution: Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN)

The Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN) Equity and Inclusion group ran a three week e-discussion (via email) on the hu-man right to water in April/May 2012 (hosted on Over 250 members were invited to share their hopes, fears, questions and suggestions about how the human right to water affects the finance, planning and implementation of rural water supply projects. It was an interesting discussion and formed the basis for a letter with six questions to Catarina de Albuquerque, the first UN Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and san-itation. She responded to the letter in a World Bank-RWSN webinar in June 2012, and answered further questions from participants. This edited transcript of the webinar is intended to enable rural water supply professionals and practitioners to understand more about what the human right to water means in practice.

Human rights to water and Self-Supply – Potential and challenges RWSN webinar on 24th November 2015 – Key messages and generic findings

Downloads: 41

Author: Olschewski
Year of Publishing: 2015
Publisher: RWSN
Institution: Skat

Summary of generic messages:
1. The Human Right to water does not favour or exclude any management model for provision of safe water to all. The important objective is that eventually all people have universal access, that core principles are adhered to and that there is no difference in quality and access no matter which supply approach is used.
2. Self-supply is aligned and compatible with the concept of progressive realisation of the Human Right to Water.
3. Government’s role in Self-supply is to identify where and when Self-supply is an appropriate option to provide access to safe water. Additionally government should provide technical support, monitoring, financial support (e.g. subsidies), establish an enabling environment and recognize Self-supply as one viable option to achieving the Human Right to Water.
4. In Self-supply, like in other approaches, challenges might occur around affordability, water quality, monitoring, and long term sustainability. The Government must support people moving up the water ladder but also take preventive measures to avoid negative impacts from Self-supply.
5. To further scale up Self-supply subsidies might be an adequate means to allow poor people to move up the water ladder in incremental steps. Subsidies need to be designed and provided in a smart way, without distortion of the local economy. If subsidies are provided there is need to find sustainable funding sources.
6. As Self-supply will not be an option in all regions, and because the cost of using the community managed approach alone will be far too high, a blended approach using boreholes, piped schemes and Self-supply sources (using different technologies) might be the best way to go for achieving universal access in rural areas.

Mainstreaming disability and ageing in water, sanitation and hygiene programmes A mapping study carried out for WaterAid UK

Downloads: 39

Author: JONES, H.
Year of Publishing: 2013
Publisher: WaterAid / SHARE
Institution: WEDC, Loughborough University

The mainstreaming disability and aging in WASH programmes report recognises that progress on the MDGs is not happening in an equitable way. A drive for increasing coverage of basic services, such as WASH has meant that people who are ‘harder to reach’, such as disabled and older people often remain un-served.

This report presents an overview of the extent to which disability and ageing is mainstreamed in WASH programmes. Drawing on experiences from WASH organisations around the world, it is evident that disability and ageing have received increased attention in the WASH sector over the last decade, but there is still a long way to go to achieve genuine mainstreaming. The current picture is of a ‘continuum’ of progress towards mainstreaming. This continuum provides a framework for WASH implementers to analyse their own equity and inclusion activities. With further refinement, it could also provide a practical tool for use by implementers in reviewing progress, and planning next steps in mainstreaming disability and ageing within their organisation and programmes. The thought provoking report provides a starting point and structure for discussion of ways forward.

Making rights a reality / Des droits à la réalité / Hacer los derechos realidad Summary of RWSN e-discussion on rights to water and sanitation / Résumé des discussions en ligne de RWSN sur les droits à l’eau et l’assainissement / Resumen del debate electrónico RWSN sobre los derechos al agua y al saneamiento

Downloads: 94

Author: de Albuquerque, C.
Year of Publishing: 2014
Publisher: RWSN
Institution: RWSN

The RWSN equity and inclusion theme hosted an e-discussion to feed in to the Special Rapporteur’s handbook for realising the rights to water and sanitation. The discussion took place through the equity d-group from 28th October to 15th November 2013, and focussed on three areas: non-discrimination, sustainability and the specific roles and responsibilities.

Le groupe “Equité & Inclusion” du RWSN a organisé une discussion en ligne pour nourrir le manuel du Rapporteur Spécial pour la réalisation des droits à l’eau et à l’assainissement. La discussion a été menée via le d-group Equité du 28 Octobre au 15 Novembre 2013 et s’est focalisée sur les points suivants: non-discrimination, durabilité et les rôles et les responsabilités spécifiques.

El tema de la equidad y la inclusión RWSN organizó un debate electrónico para alimentar el manual del Relator Especial para la realización de los derechos al agua y al saneamiento. Las discusiones se llevaron a cabo a través del grupo-d entre el 28 de octubre y el 15 de noviembre, 2013, y se centraron en tres áreas: la no discriminación, sostenibilidad y las funciones y responsabilidades específicas.

Proceedings of the 7th RWSN Forum 29 Nov - 2 Dec 2016, Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire

Downloads: 73

Author: FUREY, S. G. (editor)
Year of Publishing: 2017
Publisher: Skat Foundation
Institution: RWSN

The 2016 Rural Water Supply Network Forum in Abidjan was the first global gathering to consider the practical challenge of how everyone worldwide can get access to safe, affordable water by 2030. It was also the first RWSN Forum to take place in a francophone country, in the 25 years since the creation of the network.
The Forum gathered 467 rural water sector practitioners from over 300 organisations from 64 countries in Africa, Asia, Americas, and Europe, in a bilingual (English/French) four day event. It was opened by the Prime Minister of Côte d’Ivoire, Mr Daniel Kaplan Duncan. We were joined by HE State Minster James Dengchol Tot, Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity of Ethiopia, as well as a delegation from AMCOW.

This Forum proceedings compiles all peer-reviewed materials. Separate downloads and links to the films can be found at:

Realising the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation: A Handbook

Downloads: 145

Year of Publishing: 2014
Publisher: UN Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation
Institution: UN Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation

This Handbook is the product of six years of work by the first UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights to water and sanitation. It explains the meaning and legal obligations that arise from these rights, translating the often complex technical and legal language into accessible information.

This Handbook clarifies the meaning of the human rights to water and sanitation, explains the obligations that arise from these rights and provides guidance on implementing the human rights to water and sanitation. It also shares some examples of good practice, shows how these rights are being implemented and explores how States can be held to account for delivering on their obligations. Finally, the handbook provides a series of checklists, so that readers can assess how far they are complying with the human rights to water and sanitation.

The Handbook is primarily for governments at all levels, donors and national regulatory bodies. It provides information that will also be useful to other local, regional and international stakeholders, including civil society, service providers and human rights organisations.

The Handbook is presented in nine booklets, each of which addresses a particular area of activity:
1: Introduction
2: Frameworks (Legislative, regulatory and policy frameworks)
3: Financing (Financing, budgeting and budget-tracking)
4: Services (Planning processes, service providers, service levels and settlements)
5: Monitoring
6: Justice (Access to justice)
7: Principles (Non-discrimination, equality, information, participation, sustainability)
8: Checklists
9: Sources (Glossary, Bibliography, Index)

Booklets 2-7 contain checklists for the State and other actors to assess whether the State is complying with the requirements of the human rights to water and sanitation.

Reducing Inequalities in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) A synthesis of experiences and lessons discussed in the RWSN Equality, Non-discrimination and Inclusion (ENDI) Group 2015

Downloads: 129

Author: Wilbur J., Norman R., Huggett C.
Year of Publishing: 2016
Publisher: RWSN
Institution: RWSN

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.

Review of Self-supply and its support services in African countries Synthesis Report

Downloads: 198

Author: Olschewski, A.
Year of Publishing: 2016
Publisher: Skat Foundation
Institution: UNICEF

Over the past decades, in many countries, significant progress has been achieved in improving access to rural water supplies. However, it will be almost impossible to reach universal access by using community supply models alone, as this approach will simply be too costly. For achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ensuring universal access to water for all, new approaches and a shift in mindset and policies are needed. Supported Self-supply is a very cost effective service delivery approach which is complementary to communal supplies, is aligned with Human Rights principles, supports equity and inclusiveness and achieving several SDGs.
This Synthesis report summarises the results of a UNICEF funded review of supported Self-supply in Zambia and in Zimbabwe which was conducted in 2015 and reflects on findings from discussions at national workshops in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi and from a webinar on supported Self-supply and Human Rights to Water organized by the Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN).

Rural Water for All - The river may be wide, but it can be crossed Final Report April 2012

Downloads: 130

Author: DANERT, K.
Year of Publishing: 2012
Publisher: RWSN
Institution: Skat

6th World Water Forum in Marseille 2012
Target and Solutions Group 1.1.2: Sustainable Access to Safe Water for the Global Rural Population
In this report, you will learn more about the vibrant activities, as well as challenges and ideas for accelerating access to water supplies in rural areas. This work is set within the context of guaranteed access to water for all and the Human Right to Water.

Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN) Strategy 2012 to 2014 January 2012

Downloads: 216

Author: RWSN
Year of Publishing: 2012
Publisher: RWSN

The Final RWSN Strategy for 2012-2014, which describes the objectives, partners and activities. This includes 4 new themes and some new core partners.

Rural Water Supply Network - Annual Report 2016 Enabling practitioners, professionals and ultimately water users to make informed decisions on how to improve and maintain access to safe water in rural areas.

Downloads: 150

Author: RWSN
Year of Publishing: 2017
Publisher: Skat Foundtion
Institution: Rural Water Supply Network

The focus for the Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN) in 2016 was preparing for, and managing the 7th RWSN Forum in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, from 29th November to 2nd December with the title “Water for Everyone”. This was the first RWSN Forum to take place in a francophone country in the 25 years since the creation of the network.

Throughout 2016 specific in-country activities included a short-course on Procurement, Contract Management and Costing and Pricing in Zambia and a participative analysis of Manual Drilling in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Workshops organized by the World Bank in Bangkok and Lima on sustainable services drew together government agencies in both regions. Key lessons from both events fed into the RWSN Forum under the RWSN Theme “Sustainable Services”.

RWSN continued to work on strengthening the links between research and practice on groundwater by disseminating the outputs from UPGro (Unlocking the Potential of Groundwater for the Poor) research to the RWSN membership as well as fostering direct linkages between groundwater experts and water supply professionals.

RWSN Annual Report 2013 Enabling practitioners, professionals and ultimately water users to make informed decisions on how to improve and maintain access to safe water in rural areas.

Downloads: 165

Year of Publishing: 2014
Publisher: RWSN

The Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN) is a global network of professionals and practitioners. It works to raise standards of knowledge as well as technical and professional competence in rural water supplies and thus fulfil the vision of sustainable rural water services for all.

The year 2013 witnessed the dramatic growth in the number of members from 2,567 to over 5,125. Members are from 124 different countries. The network now also provides the opportunity for organisation membership, a mechanism that should strengthen RWSN and improve its vibrancy over the coming years.

Confidence in online exchange and sharing has grown, evidenced by extensive participation in e-discussions, whether formally structured, or as individuals respond to each other’s queries and comments. The sustainable Groundwater Development, Handpump Services and Mapping communities have been notably vibrant in 2013.

RWSN Equity and Inclusion Survey 2012

Downloads: 30

Author: GOSLING, L.
Year of Publishing: 2012
Publisher: RWSN

The short survey (launched through Survey Monkey) in January 2012 found out about the experience of RWSN members in order to build on and develop good practice that already exists.

RWSN Quarterly Newsletters - ENGLISH Archive of current and past newsletters

Downloads: 1133

Author: RWSN
Year of Publishing: 2016
Publisher: Rural Water Supply Network

RWSN members receive a quarterly email newsletter,which is available in English and French.

PDF versions are posted here, Since 2012, email versions are posted via dgroups (

RWSN Strategy 2015 - 2017

Downloads: 409

Author: RWSN
Year of Publishing: 2014

This Strategy sets the direction of the Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN) for the next three years. It explains what we are trying to achieve, how, why and who. The four themes from the previous strategy will continue, with some changes of focus, and "Mapping & Monitoring" becomes a cross-cutting topic.

This is not the definitive final version so may be subject to change over the next few weeks or months.

RWSN Webinar Series 2015

Downloads: 518

Author: Kerstin Danert
Year of Publishing: 2015
Publisher: RWSN
Institution: RWSN

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
- etc.

All of the presentations and links to the recordings will be posted here within two to three days of each webinar.

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