You cannot manage what you do not measure; but should you measure what you cannot manage?

Countries have committed to reach SDG 6, providing universal access to their population with safely managed water supply services, with country specific targets. This is a process that governments, as duty bearers, need to manage. Therefore they also need to measure progress in that.
Continue reading “You cannot manage what you do not measure; but should you measure what you cannot manage?”

New 2018 RWSN webinar series (April 3rd – June 5th, 2018)

Mark your calendars! RWSN is delighted to announce its 2018 series of 10 webinars dedicated to rural water services, April 3 -June 5, in English, French, Spanish and/or Portuguese!

To attend any of the webinars, please register here by April 2nd: http://bit.ly/2prrVf3

We will hear from more than 20 organisations on a range of topics, including:

· A special double session with the WHO/ UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme to find out how you can make the most of the JMP data, and how countries nationalise SDG6 targets and indicators (May 2nd and May 29th);

· The challenges specific to sustainable and safe water supply in peri-urban areas and small towns, with a focus on the urban poor (April 17th and 24th);

· Practical ways of financing to reduce corruption in the sector (April 3rd), and to improve social accountability for better rural water services (May 8th);

· A discussion on community-based water point management (April 10th), and a radio show-style session showcasing experiences with capacity strengthening for professional drilling (June 5th);

· A debate on water kiosks (May 15th), and the role of self-supply and local operator models for universal access in rural areas (May 22nd).

To find out more about the session topics, dates and times, see here: http://www.rural-water-supply.net/en/news/details/66

To attend any of the webinars, please register here by April 2nd: http://bit.ly/2prrVf3

Why is Groundwater Data important?

by Dr Fabio Fussi, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

The role of groundwater data in rural water supply has changed markedly in over the last few year:

6th RWSN Forum in Kampala, 2011: Some pilot projects of groundwater data collection and organization is presented. Uganda is presenting its groundwater atlas, a promising example for other countries.

7th RWSN Forum in Abidjan,  2016: there were entire sessions dedicated to groundwater data collection, mapping, analysis and application, with presentation of country programs from national water institutions, some example of international projects to create continental or world groundwater database (e.g. the groundwater atlas of Africa from the British Geological Survey) and application of groundwater data analysis.

What has raised the interest up to this level? There are several factors:

  • Data collection has become easy, with IT tools available in portable devices and smartphones for water point mapping. The increased availability of information has allowed to use these data to take decision about groundwater development and monitoring.
  • Depletion of groundwater resources (both in quantity and quality) requires the definition of sustainable groundwater development strategies and monitoring the effectiveness and impact of their implementation.
  • International donors have an increased interest to support countries to create groundwater information system, and national water institutions have, in several cases, understood the importance to put effort in this.

This seems a promising path for the future to support an effective and sustainable use of groundwater. However there are critical factors that must be taken into consideration:

  1. An increasing amount of data are available, but still there is lack of control in their quality. National databases are full of information, but limited effort is spent to revise them and depurate from mistakes. If this aspect is not properly considered, the risk of incorrect interpretation is high, leading to the formulation of incorrect strategies.
  2. Despite of the huge amount of information and the availability of powerful tools to process it, the level of data analysis to deepen our understating of groundwater system and give a practical support for complex decisions seems still basic. At this time we need creativity, technical capacity and collaboration between decision makers and scientist to unlock the potential of massive groundwater databases.
  3. An unbelievable amount of information is available, held by national water authorities and organizations involved in groundwater development. Most of this information is in hard copy, almost unused, not yet transformed into numeric database. This task is huge and time consuming, but if we can support it, we avoid the risk to loose relevant data and in they can be easily used to take decisions.

In the coming years the effect of climate change and the increase in water needs (due to population growth and improved living conditions) will lead to a more intense exploitation of groundwater resources, whose feasibility and sustainability must be carefully evaluated by a detailed interpretation of reliable data.

WPDx webinar: Beyond Water Point Mapping: Putting Data to Work for Improved Services

Too often, valuable data sits dormant in PDF reports and excel spreadsheets, never being used to its full potential to improve services.

Join this webinar and learn from people trying to change that. Joining Global Water Challenge will be Applied Predictive Technologies (APT) sharing findings from their Data Dive of the Water Point Data Exchange (WPDx) dataset and WASHNote addressing their recently-authored white paper: “Harnessing Water Point Data to Improve Drinking Water Services.” Akvo will moderate the session, lending their extensive water point data expertise.

By the end of the webinar, you will learn strategies to put your data to work for improved water services.

Register here

Gender and rural water services – lessons from RWSN members

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.

Download the brief : Gender and rural water services – lessons and experience from RWSN members

New 2017 RWSN Webinar series (18th April – 13th June 2017)

ENG: RWSN is delighted to announce the first of the 2017 series of webinars (on-line seminars) on rural water supply, running every Tuesday from April 18th, 2017 until June 13th, 2017. This series includes 9 weekly sessions on topics, which were presented and debated during the 2016 RWSN Forum in Abidjan, and related to the RWSN themes. For instance, we will find out about local government superheroes and their role in realising the human right to water and sanitation, but also hear about emerging cross-cutting issues such as improving WASH services in protracted crises. Each session will be bilingual, with one webinar in English as well as another language (French or Spanish) as we are trying to cater for a wide and varied audience. The format includes 1-2 presentations, comments from discussants, and a Question & Answer session where all participants are invited to ask questions or make comments. For more details on the first 2017 series, please refer to the table below.
The webinars in English start at 2.30 pm Paris time/ 1.30 pm London time/ 8.30 am Washington DC time. You can check your local time here. To register for one or all of the webinars, and receive an invitation please click on the following link: http://bit.ly/2movPGM

*******

FR : Le RWSN a le plaisir de vous annoncer une nouvelle série de webinaires en 2017 (les séminaires en ligne) qui auront lieu les mardis, du 18 avril 2017 au 13 juin 2017. Cette série comprend 9 sessions hebdomadaires sur des sujets ayant été présentés et débattus lors du RWSN Forum à Abidjan en 2016, et correspondant aux thèmes RWSN. Par exemple, on apprendra le rôle des superhéros des gouvernements locaux pour la réalisation du droit à l’eau et à l’assainissement, mais on découvrira également des sujets transversaux émergeants tels que l’amélioration des services EAH dans les cas de crises prolongées. Chaque session sera bilingue, avec un webinaire en anglais et dans une autre langue (espagnol ou français) selon le sujet, nous souhaitons en effet toujours toucher le public le plus large dans toute sa diversité ! Les thèmes abordés sont le droit humain à l’eau et à l’assainissement, l’auto-approvisionnement, la durabilité des services et le cadre de référence d’applicabilité des technologies. Chaque session comprend 1 ou 2 présentations, des réactions de la part d’un ou plusieurs intervenants et une partie Questions/Réponses lors de laquelle tous les participant(e)s peuvent poser leurs questions ou réagir aux échanges. Vous trouverez le détail de cette première série de webinaires de 2017 dans le tableau ci-dessous.
Les webinaires en français sont à 11h heure de Paris/ 9h heure de Dakar. Pour vérifier l’horaire du webinaire, vous pouvez cliquer ici. Pour vous inscrire à l’un ou à tous les webinaires de cette série et recevoir une invitation, cliquez ici : http://bit.ly/2movPGM

*******
ES: Desde el secretariado del RWSN tenemos el gusto de anunciar la nueva serie de webinars (seminarios en linea), la cual se efectuará entre el 28 de abril y el 13 de junio del 2017. Esta serie comprende 9 sesiones (una sesión por semana) respecto a los temas discutidos en el Foro RWSN en Abidjan en 2016, los cuales corresponden con los ejes temáticos del RWSN. Por ejemplo, aprenderemos sobre el rol de los superhéroes de los gobiernos locales para la realización de los derechos al agua y a saneamiento, pero también descubriremos temas transversales como la mejora de los servicios en agua y saneamiento en crisis humanitarias prolongadas. Cada sesión se implementará en dos idiomas, con una sesión en inglés y la otra o en francés o en español según el tema – de esta forma esperamos poder alcanzar a un público amplio y diverso. El formato incluye, para cada sesión, 1-2 presentaciones en línea, un comentario de al menos una persona, y una sesión de Preguntas y Respuestas donde todos los participantes tendrán la oportunidad de hacer preguntas o comentarios. Para mayor información sobre la serie por favor hacer clic en el vínculo abajo.

Los webinars en español empiezan a la 16.30 (hora de Madrid)/ 09.30 (hora de la Ciudad de México). Se pueden verificar los horarios para su localidad aqui. Para inscribirse a uno o a todos los webinarios de esta serie, haga clic aquí: http://bit.ly/2movPGM

18 April Improving WASH services in protracted crises
18 avril Améliorer les services EAH dans les situations de crises prolongées

25 April Professional Water Well Drilling: Guidance for Ensuring Quality
25 avril Le forage de puits d’eau professionnel : des orientations pour une meilleure qualité

02 May Making rights real – human rights guidance for practitioners
2 mai Faire des droits une réalité – conseils pratiques sur les droits de l’homme pour les professionnels

09 May Making water work for women – inspiring experiences
9 mai Faire fonctionner l’eau pour les femmes : des expériences inspirantes (1ère partie)

16 May Tackling corruption in rural WASH
16 mai S’attaquer à la corruption dans l’eau, l’assainissement et l’hygiène en milieu rural

23. May Making water work for women – inspiring experiences II
23 mai Faire fonctionner l’eau pour les femmes : des expériences inspirantes (2ème partie)

30. May Household wells: A lifeline in Nigeria?
30 mai Les puits d’eau résidentiels: une bouée de sauvetage au Nigéria ?

06 Jun Country-led monitoring
06 juin Le suivi au niveau des pays
6 de junio Monitoreo a nivel de países

13 Jun Searching for universal sustainability metrics for rural water services
13 de junio Buscando maneras universales de medir la sostenibilidad para servicios rurales de agua potable


More Information

» Register

Access to drinking water around the world – in five infographics

Billions of people have gained access to clean and safe drinking water since 1990, but data show that huge inequalities remain.

How many people have access to clean and safe water? Where do they get it from, and how much do they pay for it? A new report by the World Health Organisation/Unicef Joint Monitoring Programme delves into data on drinking water from the last 17 years to give a detailed view of the state of access to drinking water today.

It also examines how the current situation matches up to the vision for universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water – set out by the sustainable development goals (SDGs). It considers gaps in the data and what we still need to know to achieve universal access.

See the full article here: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2017/mar/17/access-to-drinking-water-world-six-infographics

 

 

RWSN Update – September 2016

 

If you are having trouble reading this then download the more readable PDF version: ENGLISH / FRANÇAIS.

Pour les francophones – Si vous souhaitez recevoir le bulletin trimestriel en français, veuillez nous écrire un e-mail à ruralwater @ skat.ch intitulé Bulletin Trimestriel en français.

English

The late Ton Schouten: 1955 – 2016

The sudden loss of Ton Schouten in May 2016 came as a shock to many of us, and sitting here looking at his photo I find myself still not quite believing that he has left; thinking that he might just call, send a message, or that we may bump into each other in the corridor of a sector meeting.

We miss you Ton. I think that you would have gazed with eyes wide, stood with ears pricked at the farewell given to you by your family, friends and colleagues in Delft on the 30 May. We learned so much about other parts of your life; your rich and full life. A life of listening, of caring, of giving, of philosophising and of humour. You touched the hearts and minds of people in so many places, and from multiple walks of life. Thank you Ton. Thank you.

Patrick Moriaty (CEO, IRC) helped us to know more about Ton in his tribute, so allow me to borrow from him: Ton worked with IRC for more than 17 years, and was equally a leading figure in the WASH sector, a steadfast champion of the cause of sustainability and above all of an approach to development that was based on respect and support to national actors and institutions. During his time at IRC, Ton led Triple-S (Sustainable Services at Scale), RiPPLE and SMARTerWASH and supported IRC’s Ghana country team. Ton brought his original passion for film making to IRC, producing the Seventh Video in 2000, a compilation of lessons on community water management from Nepal, Pakistan, Cameroon, Kenya, Colombia and Guatemala. Ton later used clips for another video “What if?”, which illustrated the concepts behind the Triple-S initiative. Other significant works that Ton co-authored include “Doing things differently: stories about local water governance in Egypt, Jordan and Palestine” (2008) and “Community water, community management: from system to service in rural areas” (2003). In recent years Ton became a champion of sector monitoring as a critical building block for national ownership and sustainability. It was with great pride that he organised IRC’s 2013 international symposium on “Monitoring sustainable WASH service delivery” in Addis Ababa. The outputs of the symposium formed the basis for a state-of-the-art book on WASH monitoring, for which he was co-editor: “From infrastructure to services: trends in monitoring sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene services”.

Many RWSN members sent their condolences and wishes, which we passed onto IRC and Ton’s family. Thanks to all of you. There is an online condolence register on www.memori.nl/ton-schouten.

Ton’s departure as our chair has certainly been felt. However he has left his mark, fired us up with ideas, and so as we nominate a new chair in the coming months and move forwards, we will keep on carrying the bright torch that Ton handed us – particilarly of listening to RWSN members – and enabling you, the membership to engage more with one another and keep on improving water supply services in rural areas.

 

Dr Kerstin Danert, Director RWSN Secretariat

 

HEADLINES

Continue reading “RWSN Update – September 2016”

Water, Spillovers and Free Riding: the economics of pump functionality in Tanzania

by Rossa O’Keeffe-O’Donovan, Economics PhD Candidate, University of Pennsylvania.

Which factors predict the functionality of hand pumps? Do communities free ride on their neighbors’ water sources? Are there positive spillover effects in the maintenance of nearby pumps? And what does this all mean for practitioners? This post gives an overview of my ongoing Economics PhD research, which tries to answer these questions.

Note: this research is still in progress, and I am seeking survey responses to complement my quantitative work, and help understand and interpret my results. If you have knowledge of how decisions are made in the installation and/or maintenance of hand pumps, please take this 8 minute survey here: bit.ly/PumpSurvey

Continue reading “Water, Spillovers and Free Riding: the economics of pump functionality in Tanzania”

Sharing water point data is easier than ever using the new Water Point Data Exchange #WPDx platform

guest blog by Brian Banks, GWC

Over the past decade, a dramatic shift has taken place in the water sector that fundamentally changes the way that work is done. During this time, water point mapping around the world has accelerated at unprecedented rates. Dropping costs of technology and innovative software has enabled national governments, as well as funders, NGOs, academics, and others to inventory, share, and even monitor the work they have contributed to.

Continue reading “Sharing water point data is easier than ever using the new Water Point Data Exchange #WPDx platform”