Skat Foundation hosts the Secretariat of the Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN):
We are currently living through a networking revolution. The internet is developing at an enormous rate, reaching more and more people each day in many new and interesting ways. We are constantly looking for new ways to engage with rural water supply practitioners across the world. As well as a dual-language website and a diverse presence on social media, we have made RWSN a well-respected source of information and knowledge through peer-reviewed publications and by hosting two webinar series a year. Each series consists of 10 weekly webinars, the major in two languages (English/French or English/Spanish), on diverse topics and diverse speakers from across the network and beyond.
Furthermore, every five years we host the RWSN Forum, a global event of 500 participants with rigorously peer-reviewed content. We also make the most of other events where RWSN members commonly attend to organise side events, workshops and have exhibition stands.
RWSN is more than just one network – it is a family of networks. We love collaborating! Using the online Dgroups platform (we are Board members of the Dgroups Foundation), we provide a home to discussion groups on RWSN themes and smaller networks that are thematically linked to rural water supply. These include:
- Multiple Use of water Services Group (MUS Group)
- The African Development Bank’s RWSSI initiative
- Rainwater Harvesting (RAIN Foundation)
- WASH Liberia community
- Sanitation & Water for All (SWA) Research & Learning Group and Country Processes Working Group
- Unlocking the Potential of Groundwater for the Poor (UPGro)
However there is more to RWSN than just communication and sharing. Our Theory of Change emphasises that our greatest impact on the lives of the poor is through the embedding of good practices and standards within organisations and countries. We first achieved impact in the 1990s by successfully encouraging numerous countries to adopt handpump standardisation to increased sustainability and improve supply chains. Skat and RWSN still hold the global public domain standards for the world’s most popular handpumps, the India Mark II, III and Afridev, among others.
Today our focus is on drilling professionalism – both mechanised and manual – in Sub-Saharan Africa, and with partners like UNICEF and WaterAid we strengthening the water well drilling sectors in countries including Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Angola, Zambia, Chad and Kenya.