UPGro – African Groundwater 2020

Final report from Unlocking the Potential for Groundwater for the Poor


Webinar Series 14 April - 23 June 2020: Human Right to Water - achievable by 2030?

Série de webinaires 14 avril - 23 juin 2020 : Droit Humain à l'Eau - Réalisable d'ici 2030?


Challenges of Water Well Drillers & Water Well Drillers Associations

Case Studies of Six Countries Angola, Burkina Faso, Mozambique, Nigeria, Uganda and United States of America


The 2019 RWSN directory of rural water supply services, tariffs, management models and lifecycle costs

Le répertoire RWSN 2019 des services, tarifs, modes de gestion et coûts globaux d'approvisionnement en eau rurale


05.10.2020 - 09.10.2020

Water and Health University of North Carolina • Chapel Hill, USA

The Water and Health Conference: Where Science Meets Policy, organized by The Water Institute at UNC, considers drinking water supply, sanitation, hygiene and water resources in both the developing and developed worlds with a strong public health emphasis. The Water and Health Conference: Where Science Meets Policy, organized by the Water Institute at UNC explores drinking water supply, sanitation, hygiene and water resources in both the developing and developed worlds with a strong public health emphasis. Abstract & proposal submission deadline is April 20, 2020 | »

News • Announcements


Happy anniversary to the human rights to water and sanitation! Bon anniversaire aux droits humains à l’eau et à l’assainissement

28 July marks the 10th anniversary of the recognition of the human rights to water and sanitation. 10 years and 12 resolutions later, this blog answers common questions on the legal status of water and sanitation as human rights in international and national law. Le 28 juillet marque le 10ème anniversaire de la reconnaissance des droits humains à l’eau et à l’assainissement. 10 ans et 12 résolutions plus tard, ce blog répond aux questions les plus courantes sur le statut juridique de l’eau et de l’assainissement en tant que droits humains dans le droit international et national. El 28 de julio se cumple el décimo aniversario del reconocimiento de los derechos humanos al agua y al saneamiento. 10 años y 12 resoluciones más tarde, este blog responde a preguntas frecuentes sobre el estatus legal del agua y el saneamiento como derechos humanos en la legislación internacional y nacional. | »


Evaluation of SDC’s engagement in the water sector shines light on RWSN success and influence

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is recognised a leading international development agency in the global water sector and one that is not afraid to challenge others and itself to reflect, learn and improve. So it is to be welcomed that SDC has made public an independent evaluation of the agency’s engagement in the water sector between 2010 and 2017, including the management response . One of the main findings was that the continuity, long-term approach and flexibility of SDC were important factors behind the relevance, effectiveness and impact of SDC’s operations in water. We can relate to this finding because the Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN) and SDC have been partners since the network’s inception in 1992 (as the Handpump Technology Network) and the longstanding partnership has been mutually beneficial over the years thanks to that long-term view and flexibility. It was pleasing to see in the evaluation report itself, several positive mentions of RWSN, which are worth highlight here because they illustrate the care and passion that our network’s Theme and Topic Leaders and Executive Steering Committee members, and my colleagues in the Secretariat, put in to making the network work: • “RWSN – the network has recently been evaluated and represents a long-term investment into support global WASH. It focuses especially on the issue of sustainability thus addressing a major area of investment and a major issue in rural water and sanitation where the GPW has had the opportunity to add value in terms of building up a knowledge base.” (p84) Also in relation to SDC promoting sustainability of water interventions: • "SDC’s widespread support to knowledge, learning and exchange in the various networks helps to further harmonize and strengthen approaches to sustainability globally – for instance through its support to RWSN which has sustainability as one of its core themes”, (p47) And on enabling and strengthening partners’ capacities to implement actions and to make the case using water actions to bring about and trigger transformative gender equality: • “Networks could highlight positive case studies, develop position papers and show how equal access to and control of water resources has led to more sustainable results. An existing positive example is RWSN, which has a “Gender and inclusion” subtheme.” (p65) Elsewhere in the evaluation report, RWSN is used as an exemplar for SDC networking to learn from, including on “active peer-to-peer exchange through the online platforms.” (p43); the importance of in-kind contributions from members from the network to drive vibrancy (p.43); and the value of our events, notably the 7th RWSN Forum in Abidjan in 2016 (p52). The overall and detailed findings of the evaluation show that SDC Global Programme Water (GPW) is effective and efficient and it is great to see that many, if not all, the recommended changes are being addressed in some way through the formulation of its GPW Strategic Framework 2021-2024, was shared with partners for comment earlier this month. Thank you to the GPW team for the continued partnership to achieve our shared goals of achieving universal access to safe drinking water, sustainable water management and poverty eradication. | »


Coronavirus/COVID-19 – Resources and Guidance for Rural Water/WASH professionals Updated 30.03.2020

Achieving universal access to safe drinking water is a good thing for many reasons, but for one of the biggest is improving health and wellbeing, and this is why water supply is generally grouped with sanitation and hygiene to form the WASH (or WaSH) sector. The current pandemic sweeping across much of the world has clearly demonstrated that access to safe water and improved sanitation is still not enough – without good hygiene behaviour, individuals put themselves, their families, and everyone they encounter at risk. There is a lot of information available on the internet, but not so much that is that is directly relevant for those working in rural areas of low/middle-income countries. However, here are some suggestions of places to start (we will add to this list as we compile more - please send us any recommendations to ruralwater@skat.ch or via Twitter): | »


Would you like to be mentored? Would you like to be a mentor? Aimeriez-vous devenir le mentor d’un jeune professionnel? Aimeriez-vous avoir un mentor?

In 2020, thanks to the financial support of the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) and World Vision, RWSN is launching a mentoring programme, aimed at matching young professionals under the age of 35 with more senior professionals in the water sector. The aim of this scheme is to help develop the new generation of water experts, and to ensure the knowledge and experience acquired by senior members of the RWSN community is not lost. This follows our first RWSN mentoring programme in 2019, where we matched 240 young professionals with senior experts from our network. The requirements for being a mentor or a mentee are as follows: - Mentees: mentees (junior professionals) should be under the age of 35 at the time of signing up for the mentoring scheme. There is no level of experience required. Students are welcome to take part. - Mentors: There is no age requirement for mentors (senior professionals), but they should have a minimum of 5-7 years of professional experience in the water sector. We are looking for a range of mentors with different levels of experience and a variety of skills, so don’t hesitate to apply even if you feel that you may not be ‘senior’ enough. - We strongly encourage women to sign up both as mentors and mentees. There are not enough women in the water sector, and in our network in general – and we would like this to change! As always, feel free to contact the RWSN Secretariat for more information, and please share this opportunity with young or senior colleagues who may be interested. | »


Rural water champions- Needed now more than ever! Les champions de l'eau en milieu rural : plus que jamais nécessaires !

Word from the Chair: Kelly Anne Naylor, UNICEF While we are making progress, we are not at the last mile nor the finish line yet- Rural water champions are needed now more than ever! Fundamentally, rural water supply is about ensuring the human right to water, leaving no one behind. While global trends show a trend towards urbanization, people living in rural areas continue to make up the large majority with no services at all and overall lower levels of service. Greater attention and deliberate action to close the gaps on inequalities between rural and urban and rich and poorest populations, and better address threats that a changing climate and water scarcity pose to rural water supply. Beyond a human survival need, we need to make a stronger case that safe, sustainable and affordable water supply is an essential part of vibrant rural economy and standard of living. On recent field visits in Chad, Yemen, Niger, Mauritania, Ethiopia, and Myanmar, I saw firsthand how innovations in solar pumping for piped water supply networks are catalysts bringing not only higher levels of service through household water connections- eliminating long distances and waiting times at water points, but also creating quality jobs, local entrepreneurship, and power supply to communities- benefits far beyond the water itself. After three years as RWSN chair, my term is coming to an end. This has been a dynamic time in the network with development of the RWSN strategy 2018-2023, updated Governance document, new initiative on Young Professionals, and continued active engagement with network members through webinar series, publications, and e-discussions. It has been an immense pleasure to work so closely with the highly talented and committed RWSN Secretariat team- Sean, Kerstin, Meleesa, Sandra, Elodie. Also, I would like to express sincere appreciation to Skat Foundation for being stable and continuously supportive hosts and to SDC for the long-term partnership and financial support to RWSN. The Steering Committee and Theme leaders truly bring together some of the greatest professionals in the rural water community that serve the sector in a spirit of collaboration, technical excellence and of course fun! Last but not least, I want to Thank You – the members of RWSN who are the beating hearts of rural water supply, serving courageously in countries and communities around the world, working with dedication and passion to progressively advance the quality and scale of rural water services for the most vulnerable population. As the baton will pass to a new chair in 2020, THANK YOU once again for sharing this rural water journey and I am looking forward to actively participating in RWSN as one of over 10,000 rural water champions- la lutte continue! | »

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