Word from the Chair: How do we widen the net?

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Transferring the Knowledge: Handpump Training with Erich Baumann and the Austrian Red Cross (Photo: S. Furey, 2012)

If you receive this newsletter, and if you routinely receive the latest RWSN Field Notes and other knowledge products, then you are, like me, one of the privileged few who is reasonably well (or very well) connected to internet and email.  Assuming our workloads allow, we have wonderful opportunities to read and so access the experience and knowledge of water professionals and organisations around the world, and to use or adapt that knowledge to our own circumstances.  But what about those who work in remote areas, with limited travel or conference budgets, and with poor or no electronic connectivity?  Professionals who work for local Governments, local NGOs and CBOs, and the local private sector, who have very limited access to up-to-date experience and knowledge, either in their own country or beyond.

How should RWSN and other similar organisations communicate with and support such important workers?  Is it simply a matter of extending internet connectivity and speed ever more widely?  Or are there other things that we should be doing in the meantime to get better knowledge and ideas into the minds of local workers, so contributing to a greater level of professionalism at the ‘coal-face’?  If you have ideas about this, do please write to me or to the Secretariat.  Should we be producing different kinds of knowledge products, disseminating them in different ways, and helping our fellow workers assimilate and use them better?  Do let us know what you think.

Professor Richard Carter
Director, Richard Carter & Associates
Chair of the Rural Water Supply Network

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