Writing Course for WASH Professionals Skat, WaterAid, SHARE, Waterlines Journal

WaterAid Mali Programme Officer Tidiane Diallo inspects the micro dam, Sanankoro, in the commune of Tianfala.

Good written communication skills are critical to successful projects and services.

© 2012 Layton Thompson • WaterAid

Project starts: 2012
Project finished: -
Collaborators & Partners: RWSN, Skat, WaterAid, SHARE, Waterlines Journal
Funder: SHARE


The Challenge

Over 2.5 billion have no access to improved sanitation and 780 million people lack access to improved sources of drinking water, according to the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (2012). The numbers are staggering. The suffering is real. The challenge to overcome is immense. Success can only come through a combination of action and communication. Both are critical.
We have a vision where Water, Sanitation and Hy-giene (WASH) professionals are regularly sharing and learning – at all levels from districts to global networks. As a sector, we also need to reach out and communicate with wide range of audiences: politicians, policymakers, companies, water users, and the public in all countries.
We often have the content: experiences, data, pro-jects, methodologies and stories of success and failure. What we are often not great at is explaining ourselves to others in a way that leads to positive action.
We want to change that.

Project Description

Aim of the course

On completion of the course, participants will:
1. have skills, know-how and confidence to share their experiences, ideas and recom-mendations in a written form that leads to the reader taking action.
2. be able to write in a way which appeals to a wide and differentiated audience.
3. return home with a better understanding of various document structures and the writing process.
4. have an action plan to write and publish something by a target date.
The course looks at how to prepare peer-reviewed papers, project reports, press releases, speeches, blog posts and even tweets!

Courses run so far:
1. July 2012, London (UK) - participants from WaterAid, Helvetas and World Vision, and country partners

2. March 2013, Kampala (Uganda) - participants from Water Missions, Triple-S, UWASNET, Peace Corps, Ministry of Water & Environment, Plan International, World Vision

3. September 2013, Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania) - participants from WaterAid and country partners. 3 day training introduced a field trip component.

4. February 2014, Monrovia (Liberia) - participants from various Government ministries. 4-day training focused on how to produce a WASH Sector Performance Report (SPR)


You can run the course yourself for free using the training materials downloadable at the bottom of this page.

Trainers are available from Skat and WaterAid to design and run a course tailored to you needs.

About the course developers & trainers

Dr Kerstin Danert (kerstin.danert@skat.ch)
Kerstin is the Director of the RWSN Secretariat, based at Skat. She has spent over 14 years working in rural water supply and is a specialist in cost-effective drilling and sector performance monitoring.

Sean Furey MSc C.WEM FRGS (sean.furey@skat.ch)
Sean takes a lead on communications and networking at the RWSN Secretariat. He has over 13 years’ experience in the public, private and NGO sectors and is passionate about communicating technical issues to a range of audiences.

Shamila Jansz (ShamilaJansz@wateraid.org)
Shamila is the Programme Officer – Learning at WaterAid. She has over six years of experience working with country offices, local partner organisations and local government to develop their knowledge and skills on learning, documentation and research.

Dr Sue Cavill (SueCavill@wateraid.org)
Sue works part time as the Research Manager at WaterAid for the SHARE Research Consortium. She is also a freelance consultant and the deputy editor of Waterlines journal, published by Practical Action.


Feedback from participants:
"An eye-opener on how to do things differently as well as motivation."

"It was very clear & easy course, making writing easy for everyone. It was given in a professional manner and the interaction was good."

"Developed better understanding on various document structures and the writing process. Learned about the elements and the skills to make the document effective."

"Every section had something new I did not know"

"The way you organised the training is excellent. Style, appearance and structure of writing are all valuable inputs."

More Information

» WASH writing course: Facilitators’ Manual & Handouts

» WASH writing course: Participant folder materials

» Writing for WASH: SHARE funds a workshop to improve documentation in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene sector

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