#RWSN @ #WWW : the presentations

RWSN co-convened two sessions at last week’s SIWI World Water Week in Stockholm and presentations are available to download: WASHoholic Anonymous - Confessions of Failure and how to Reform All presentations: http://programme.worldwaterweek.org/sites/default/files/panzerbeiter_lt_1400.pdf Build and Run to Last: Advances in Rural Water Services India’s rural water supply services presentation: Solar powered water supply presentation: Ensuring Sustainability … Continue reading #RWSN @ #WWW : the presentations

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

Word from the Chair: The Challenge of Change

The world in which we work is changing.  Some changes may be sudden and catastrophic, for example the outbreak of armed conflict, or the impacts of flooding.  The wars in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Somalia have resulted in destruction of much water infrastructure.  The Pakistan floods of recent years have had similar disastrous results.  But … Continue reading Word from the Chair: The Challenge of Change

Reflections from the Colorado WASH Symposium

by Jonathan Annis, WASHplus I recently attended the Colorado Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Symposium, hosted by the University of Colorado Boulder. The two-day regional gathering, intended primarily for students, faculty and local WASH professionals within greater Denver WASH community, attracted 130 attendees. A closely knit and cross-disciplinary group of graduate students did a fantastic job … Continue reading Reflections from the Colorado WASH Symposium

Thoughts from the Sustainable WASH Forum

Improve International

By Susan Davis, Executive Director, Improve International

Rwanda water pointLast week I went to the Sustainable WASH Forum and Donor Dialogues in DC. A theme of the conversations was roles and responsibilities, especially the roles of governments.  One interesting debate was about who should be responsible for monitoring.  Some said that governments should be solely responsible. There are some governments who are leading the way on this, but I and others believe that this doesn’t mean that development organizations shouldn’t also be accountable for their own work.  If an organization visits water and toilet systems for years after they are built, they can learn from their successes and failures and make their future work better.

Since many organizations only do monitoring & evaluation (M&E) during development programs (see my thoughts after the Learn MandE conference), I think we need to use a new term like “services monitoring” to refer to the…

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The importance of learning from project evaluations can’t be over-emphasised

Improve International

By Susan Davis, Executive Director, Improve International

You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink. You can do an evaluation but you cannot make us think.

The good news is there is a proliferation of evaluation databases. Donors like the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) and implementing organizations like CARE and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) are publishing evaluation reports online.  This gets them off people’s desks and into the world. (Update: another handy link to multilateral development bank evaluation groups and their reports is here.)

But is anyone learning from them? Evaluations and other reports from many years ago show, for example:

  • It has become overwhelmingly clear from both research and field observations (Warford and Saunders, 1976; Elmendorf, 1978; Burton, 1979) that the main obstacle in the use and  maintenance of improved water and sanitation…

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